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Thread: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

  1. #1
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    I bought my favourite Martin guitar (1943 00-18) from these guys 20 years ago, so I check their site from time to time.

    They have a great looking, well priced 1922 F4 there currently. I'd thought I'd mention, as I know these are desirable to a lot of readers here.

    https://musicfolk.com/product/gibson-f-4-mandolin-1922/

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    That looks to be in very nice shape and the price isn't bad, either.
    Ah, if only I could be young again!

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Yes great price. I bought a 1922 F-4 back in 1998 or 1999 for $2,800. I would love to have that mandolin back. College tuition and expenses forced me to sell it back then. I sure enjoyed being it's temporary guardian.

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  7. #4

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Looks a good price for what it is. Strange how you an see some 1920s F4s at over $6000. This looks a good buy for someone.

  8. #5
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Yes, indeed. That someone is me. I've been looking for one of these for ages, and the price was right - not entirely, but close enough. I'd had a line on one through Bruce Weber this past winter, for a bit less, but learned that being second in line doesn't make much difference if the first in line wants it. That led me to the 1916 A4, which is all right in some ways but still not my Dream Machine. This could very well be that. I'll find out by this time next week.

    The serial number is 70944, which puts it at the early end of the Loar era, by my calculations - late 1922. The Mandolin Archive has 70946, which looks very similar. They didn't have the FON; I'll know soon enough. It's in beautiful shape, a few dings here and there, one small stress crack in an out-of-the-way location. The weirdest thing is the nut - looks like it was replaced with piece of mother of pearl, not bone - so says my luthier. That will need to be replaced, as it's cracked, and some frets will as well - all within reason, on a 99 year old instrument. He also says that if I didn't buy it, he would. That's what I call a recommendation.

    So hopefully I'll have finally assuaged my MAS, and will be able to move on to simply enjoying my good fortune. Though there's still that elusive resonator mandolin ... Ah, this should hold me for a good long while. And I've finally reached that level of mando-mania, in having spent more for a mandolin than any car I've ever owned. What an extraordinary feeling, to have finally gotten my priorities straight! I may have to continue eating rice and beans for a while longer than I'd anticipated, but it will be worth it.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Well done! It looks superb and I hope it lives up to or exceeds your expectations!

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  12. #7
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Thanks. After talking with Jim at Music Folks, I'm pretty sure it will do just that.

    BTW, he wondered how I'd heard about it, whether it had been Mandolin Café, and if so, when was it posted. He was pleased with the speed of the effectiveness. This had been for sale for about a month! I struggled with this decision for an excruciating 19 hours.

    Which reminds me - Thanks for posting, Bazz Jass. I already did the Thanks on your OP, and this is why. Sometimes these bits of info just float around till they settle somewhere where they make things happen.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #8

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Normally F4s have a pearl nut. I've had several F4s and replaced the pearl with a bone nut which I prefer, certainly on the Es and As.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    I didn't know that. I thought bone was standard. Well, I'll have to hear how it sounds. The crack doesn't go the full length of the nut, and it has been glued, so the effect may not be too bad. I'd still think bone would be preferable. I expect my luthier will replace that along with whatever frets need replacing. I doubt there's anything else that needs being done. Though she could probably use a good bit of playing.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    I will confirm that a pearl nut was standard on F-4's during the period in which this mandolin was built.
    I hope it turns out to your liking.

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  19. #11
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    I don't doubt it, just never knew before. And I would never second-guess the GM-G Co., Mr. Loar, nor any of their associates. I'm sure they had their reasons. But it is good to hear this from those in the know. And the repaired nut may well be A-OK. I'll find out soon enough, and will surely report my impressions. Thanks!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  20. #12

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Yes, indeed. That someone is me. I've been looking for one of these for ages, and the price was right - not entirely, but close enough. I'd had a line on one through Bruce Weber this past winter, for a bit less, but learned that being second in line doesn't make much difference if the first in line wants it. That led me to the 1916 A4, which is all right in some ways but still not my Dream Machine. This could very well be that. I'll find out by this time next week.

    The serial number is 70944, which puts it at the early end of the Loar era, by my calculations - late 1922. The Mandolin Archive has 70946, which looks very similar. They didn't have the FON; I'll know soon enough. It's in beautiful shape, a few dings here and there, one small stress crack in an out-of-the-way location. The weirdest thing is the nut - looks like it was replaced with piece of mother of pearl, not bone - so says my luthier. That will need to be replaced, as it's cracked, and some frets will as well - all within reason, on a 99 year old instrument. He also says that if I didn't buy it, he would. That's what I call a recommendation.

    So hopefully I'll have finally assuaged my MAS, and will be able to move on to simply enjoying my good fortune. Though there's still that elusive resonator mandolin ... Ah, this should hold me for a good long while. And I've finally reached that level of mando-mania, in having spent more for a mandolin than any car I've ever owned. What an extraordinary feeling, to have finally gotten my priorities straight! I may have to continue eating rice and beans for a while longer than I'd anticipated, but it will be worth it.
    Congratulations! I think you will be very happy with your Gibson F-4!

  21. #13

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Also, I think it's very cool that you will have both an A-4 and an F-4!

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  23. #14
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Let's not forget the H2. Don't want to hurt her feelings. She's been with me far longer.

    I expect the F4 to be the best of the bunch. The A4 hasn't quite lived up to my expectations. Actually, I've discovered that melodies sound fine on her, even though chords somehow lack the fullness I'd like. I'll bet the F4 will take care of that. And the A4 sure does make for a nicely matched pair with the H2.

    Honestly, all along I've been quite happy with my plain A. Just a fine-sounding instrument to my ears. There's always been a bit of a desire for more, I'll admit. The F shape is so much more sci-fi, sexy, and swanky. The F12 was fine-looking, but didn't have the sound. Even after nearly thirty years of playing, she never really became what I'd hoped. I've come to terms with losing her to theft. As it turned out, that loss led me, among other places, here, where I've learned so much more about mandolins than I ever would have otherwise. And though keeping an eye on eBay for the F12 proved fruitless, it did bring me the plain A which restored my music, as well as a couple of electrics which expanded my music in that direction. So all in all, it's been pretty positive.

    And overall, the collection has grown slowly, organically, despite this year's growth spurt.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  24. #15
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Thanks. After talking with Jim at Music Folks, I'm pretty sure it will do just that.

    BTW, he wondered how I'd heard about it, whether it had been Mandolin Café, and if so, when was it posted. He was pleased with the speed of the effectiveness. This had been for sale for about a month! I struggled with this decision for an excruciating 19 hours.

    Which reminds me - Thanks for posting, Bazz Jass. I already did the Thanks on your OP, and this is why. Sometimes these bits of info just float around till they settle somewhere where they make things happen.
    That's really great news. I hope you love it It's really just a fluke I found it for sale there. I have all manner of searches loaded on Ebay, Google etc for Gibson F4s, but some listings just never make it to the search results for some reason.

    Here's a great story about how this came to pass @journeybear....

    A couple of days ago I came across this new post here - Estate Sale find: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...d-this-morning!

    Someone had found an old bowl back labelled George Bauer, and did anyone have any info. I'm interested in researching such things, so just Googled "george bauer instruments". Here's what came back on the first page:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Untitled.jpg 
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ID:	195280

    Clicked on the Music Folk link, checked out the Bauer and thought, while I'm here....check out the used mandolins

    So that's feedback for Music Folk - that's how I found out about the F4! Probably wouldn't have happened...

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  26. #16

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Let's not forget the H2. Don't want to hurt her feelings. She's been with me far longer.

    I expect the F4 to be the best of the bunch. The A4 hasn't quite lived up to my expectations. Sure does make for a nicely patched pair with the H2, though.

    Honestly, all along I've been quite happy with my plain A. Just a fine-sounding instrument to my ears. There's always a bit of a desire for more, I'll admit. But the collection has grown slowly, organically, despite this year's growth spurt.
    Yes sir. Nice collection you have! I didn't know you had an H2. Very nice.

  27. #17

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Let's not forget the H2. Don't want to hurt her feelings. She's been with me far longer.

    I expect the F4 to be the best of the bunch. The A4 hasn't quite lived up to my expectations. Sure does make for a nicely patched pair with the H2, though.

    Honestly, all along I've been quite happy with my plain A. Just a fine-sounding instrument to my ears. There's always a bit of a desire for more, I'll admit. But the collection has grown slowly, organically, despite this year's growth spurt.
    Yes sir. Nice collection you have! I didn't know you had an H2. Very nice.

    Those A model Gibson mandolins sound great. I am enjoying the Gibson Snakehead A Junior that I have. Just a great sounding and playing mandolin. Nothing Junior about the tone.

  28. #18
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    OMG! A snakehead! I don't have a snakehead! Must have a snakehead! Ah, curse you, MAS!!!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  29. #19

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Lol I will trade you Snakehead A-Jr for the F-4. I know I can dream on! Lol

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  31. #20
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazz Jass View Post
    So that's feedback for Music Folk - that's how I found out about the F4! Probably wouldn't have happened...
    I appreciate the randomness. In a way, it makes more sense, now. My luck has been haphazard at best. But throw randomness into the mix, perhaps that increases the chance for some good fortune to come my way. It's rare, but it happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoMan1 View Post
    Yes sir. Nice collection you have! I didn't know you had an H2. Very nice.
    Here's a pic of the matched pair. I'm always short a tailpiece cover or two. Turns out one was in the shop with my spare plain A - now retrieved - so I can swap them around a bit less.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	H2-A4.jpg 
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ID:	195281

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoMan1 View Post
    Lol I will trade you Snakehead A-Jr for the F-4. I know I can dream on! Lol
    It's not even here and already it starts! No, I plan to stick with the current crew for a good long while.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  33. #21

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    That is a great crew to have!

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  35. #22
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Boy oh boy, this is the hardest part, the last leg of the journey. She left the regional center about 3:45 AM, and will reach the local distribution center somewhere around 8, 8:30 AM. Trying to sit patiently, waiting for her to arrive, while meanwhile she's sitting in a truck in 80-85° heat, will be difficult. Should I have them hold her at the depot and make the 50 mile round trip to get her? I just made that trip yesterday, pretty much. I don't want to be in the heat myself, though it's tolerable, with the wimpy AC in the van. The waiting is the hardest part ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  36. #23
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Boy oh boy, this is the hardest part, the last leg of the journey. She left the regional center about 3:45 AM, and will reach the local distribution center somewhere around 8, 8:30 AM. Trying to sit patiently, waiting for her to arrive, while meanwhile she's sitting in a truck in 80-85° heat, will be difficult. Should I have them hold her at the depot and make the 50 mile round trip to get her? I just made that trip yesterday, pretty much. I don't want to be in the heat myself, though it's tolerable, with the wimpy AC in the van. The waiting is the hardest part ...
    If it makes you feel better, I bought my F4 on the 24th of February from a Nashville dealer. With CITES documentation processing and shipping, it finally arrived with me here in New Zealand on the 30th of April!

    Pre-Covid, it would have been 10 days tops! That's the longest I've ever waited for an instrument, for sure!

  37. #24
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    It's not the waiting, per se, as much as the worrying - the thought of her sitting in an uncooled van for several hours perturbs me no end, But luck may be on my side - it's overcast. Think I'll sit tight. Plus I couldn't sleep last night, so I probably shouldn't get behind the wheel today.

    I just checked - she's at the depot. I can hear her calling my name ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  39. #25

    Default Re: Nice Looking F4 at Music Folk

    The waiting part is difficult. A few years back I wasn't home from work when UPS delivered a mandolin I bought, so the mandolin went back on the brown truck. I knew the mandolin would be going back to the local distribution center, so I drove to the local distribution center and waited for the driver to arrive so I could get the mandolin that day.

    Lol I wasn't going to wait for the mandolin to be delivered. I wanted it that day.

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