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Thread: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

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    Registered User Paulrb51's Avatar
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    Question Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Hi all. I have been looking for a good early 20th century Gibson F4 or F2 and have found a promising instrument at Folkway Music in Canada (a picture is below). The potential problem is that the mandolin has a repaired crack at the base of the neck which you can see in the second picture I attached. I am wondering folks see this as a significant problem. The ad says the crack "appears to be stable and solid." Thanks a lot for any advise on whether this is a wise purchase or not, both in terms of the likelihood of any future problems down the line. I am also wondering if it would negative affect resale value should I end up wanted to sell it at some point.

    Paul
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  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Sort of depends on the price. $500, probably not an issue, $5000, different story.
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    Registered User Paulrb51's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    The asking price is $3999 CAN so about $3200 USD.

    Paul

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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    This instrument has been discussed previously.

    A well repaired headstock crack can hold for decades. A poorly repaired one can give way at any time. This one looks well repaired, although no one can tell for sure. And Folkway has a good reputation.

    However:

    A repaired head devalues an instrument by 50% of what it would bring in similar condition without the crack. And a large number of buyers will not even consider an instrument with a repaired head.

    At $3300 US, $4000 Canadian, the price is simply much too high. While it might be a great sounding instrument, you would get hurt if you tried to sell it later. At current prices, it probably wouldn't bring any more than $2000 US.

    If you got really lucky, I suppose that there's a remote possibility that it might bring $2500 on a really good day. But only to a buyer who absolutely loved the mandolin and didn't care about future resale value.

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    It is impossible to tell how well it was repaired from pictures, and probable from in-hand examination. Best case; it is never a problem. Worst case; it has to eventually be repaired again. Especially good care would be in order... never too hot, no rough handling, but of course that should be the case with any instrument anyway.
    At the right price I wouldn't say to avoid it, but I think a little negotiating is in order at the asking price.

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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Thanks much for the quick replies Bill, John, and rcc56! I guess I'll keep looking...

    Paul

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    I agree with the wise assessments above. There are plenty of similar F-2s out there for sale without questionable issues. If I were looking for an F-2 or an F-4 I think I might look at later teens or even early twenties, slightly pre-Loar era. 1920 or 1921 especially if you have to buy them remotely without trying first in person.
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Thanks Jim. Why would you look especially at a pre-Loar era F4 or F5?

    Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I agree with the wise assessments above. There are plenty of similar F-2s out there for sale without questionable issues. If I were looking for an F-2 or an F-4 I think I might look at later teens or even early twenties, slightly pre-Loar era. 1920 or 1921 especially if you have to buy them remotely without trying first in person.

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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Theres one in Portland oregon CL for sale.

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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    More discussion of these wonderful instruments in this current thread. Elsewhere, too, surely.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrb51 View Post
    Thanks Jim. Why would you look especially at a pre-Loar era F4 or F5?

    Paul
    No such thing as a pre-Loar F-5. I assume that was a typo. By the the late teens Gibson really perfected their mandolins. I have played lots of 1920 and 1921s and have liked them all.
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    By the the late teens Gibson really perfected their mandolins. I have played lots of 1920 and 1921s and have liked them all.
    I thought you'd rung in on that other thread I mentioned, but upon closer inspection there were comments from others, though they espoused similar opinions. But just so it's clear - Would you say an early teens F2/F4 might tend to be just a bit lesser quality than late teens, as Gibson was just a bit shy of hitting its peak? As a general rule of thumb, that is. With Gibson. anomalies abound always.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    IMHO Gibson just seemed more consistent in those later years. Of course you can find excellent mid teens mandolins but I think that some might be better than others.
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    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Paul, I know your looking for an F but Folkways has a 1922 A2 that is in very good condition. While my experience is more limited, I've also really liked every early 20s Gibson I've played.
    Cary Fagan

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    Default Re: Buying a 1911 F2 w/ repaired neck crack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    IMHO Gibson just seemed more consistent in those later years. Of course you can find excellent mid teens mandolins but I think that some might be better than others.
    Yes, consistency - often an issue with Gibson (surely other makers, too; perhaps Gibson just gets discussed so much here, and/or I pay more attention to such discussions). Though to be sure, sometimes such considerations may be perceived as concerning gradations of excellence. There does seem to be some sort of consensus regarding late teens-early 20s, though surely there were plenty great instruments being produced during the years before and after that period.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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