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Thread: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

  1. #1
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/175391#175391

    If memory serves me, were these not laminated, pressed arched mandolins?

    Previous discussion from 2004.....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...veau-by-Gibson
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    I do seem to remember them to be Japan built. Don't believe they are carved top, either, but can't confirm.
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    I have wondered about this model of mandolin, but have never played one or ever found a video of one being played.

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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    One of the national chains has one, search "1989 Nouveau By Gibson C-7 Natural Mandolin"
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    Walk away and quickly...
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    I serviced one of these some years back. That one had a solid top. I don't remember for sure about the back. It was one of the earlier ones that had the neck and body made in Japan, and then had final assembly and finish completed in the US. It was not a bad mandolin, and I considered it to be quite a bit better than the imports that were being made at that time. Whether or not they were equal to what Gibson was making in-house from scratch at the time, I'll not venture to say.

    The line was introduced in 1986, before Gibson acquired the Flatiron company. The bodies and necks were roughed out in Japan, then finished up in the US. They made them like that for about a year, maybe a year and a half, then shifted production of the line to Epiphone by September of 1987, four months after Gibson acquired Flatiron. The Epi made instruments would most likely have been completely built in Korea. The Nouveau brand was discontinued by early 1989.

    The ones that were roughed out in Japan and finished in the US are labelled "Nouveau by Gibson." The Epi built models are "supposed" to say "Nouveau by Epiphone," and apparently the Epi models were indeed laminated. I have not personally seen one of those.

    My reference for Nouveau's history is "Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars," second edition.

    The mandolin in the OP's link appears to be a Japanese/American Nouveau. I won't try to guess whether or not such an instrument is worth $2000. An Epi made one certainly is not.

  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    I believe the brand name surfaced again a few years back with even cheaper instruments. I seem to recall they were packaged for retail sale in big box stores.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    That's the first time I've heard of those, Mike. But it doesn't surprise me.
    It's hard to keep track of all of the instrument lines that Gibson cheapened over the years under the former management.
    The only thing they managed to accomplish was to destroy their own credibility. How dumb did they think the buyers were?

    I can't think of any good reasons for transferring the Flatiron name to mandolins made in the Epiphone plant.
    And I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when they made a big stink over the use of the term "dobro," and then ended up pasting the name on a bunch of low grade imports.

    I've got a real OMI Dobro which has been sitting on consignment at a good store for over a year. Even though it's a decent enough instrument, and it was made before Gibson bought the company, it won't sell because Gibson ruined the Dobro name. So I guess I should cry.

    I guess they did accomplish one other thing. They opened the door that allowed Eastman, Northfield, Collings, et al to take over the mandolin market. And they gave Beard the opportunity to become the primary manufacturer of resonator instruments.

    Maybe Paul Beard should send Henry Juszkiewicz a case of liquor every Xmas as a token of gratitude.
    Last edited by rcc56; Sep-01-2021 at 3:35pm.

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  11. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    I'm trying to remember the last time I saw one. I think it was at a local (now closed) Best Buy and they were sold in a display box like the First Act guitars sold at the big box stores. It was Nouveau by Gibson but I'm not finding any info on the web. A couple I know had a little music store in NJ and they were selling the guitars and a mandolin. The instruments were basically crap. Nothing Henry did surprised me. I had an OAI dobro round neck in my hand at the Opry Mills store and was going to buy it until I figured out I could get a Regal plywood resonator guitar cheaper. Those were the days. There are many threads regarding the now infamous Epi-Flats.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    There was one on the Classifieds back in 2017. Wouldn't take too much effort to dig it up... eh, so to speak. LOL

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Gibson Nouveau mandolin in the classifieds

    Here's that ad and the image. Looks like the person that placed that ad this was his only use of the classifieds and it was from 2017.

    I have for sale a beautiful, somewhat rare Gibson Nouveau C-7 f style mandolin. The action is great and is a really easy playing instrument with great tone. I am asking $1750.00 or best offer! Thank you for your time. Have several more photos upon request. Thank you!

    Gibson Nouveau mandolin

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