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Thread: Is this really a Gibson?

  1. #1
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Is this really a Gibson?

    To me, this is a bit of a strange looking mandolin. But what do I know, really.

    What do you think?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/16559314168...MAAOSwUxli3Cco

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    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    I doubt it. Serial number is ~1922 and there were no Gibson mandolins that resembled that one back then.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    That serial number was used again in 1964.

    I'm editing my post with apologies to the seller. After examining pictures of several A-40's, I've determined that Gibson did use a neck joint that was squared off at the back on that model. I now believe that this is indeed a Gibson A-40 that has had a non-replica style replacement neck installed and has had the hardware changed. It appears that there has been at least some finish work above the bass f-hole.

    I'm going to suggest the neck might be of European origin.

    If this one was indeed regraduated, it might sound better than the average A-40, which were generally pretty weak sounding instruments.
    But because A-40's in excellent original condition might bring as much as $1200 only on a really good day, I would expect the market value on this one to be significantly lower than one in original condition, even if it sounds better.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-24-2022 at 9:10pm.

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  6. #4
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    No bids yet. Maybe too high a starting point? But you can make an offer. See if he'll take, I dunno, $300.

    In other words, something really fishy here ...

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    Here's the back. And then there's the background clutter. This is not how to present an instrument for sale.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    That zero fret was never installed in any Gibson factory. The body maybe, but as Bob pointed out the neck has been replaced.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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  9. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    There’s a guy on ebay I think his name is Ron Hyde. If you look closely that tailpiece says Hyde. He is a real character and now I believe that he may have taken a basket case A-50 or A-40 and did his magic to it. Neck replaced and fretboard—when have we even seen a Gibson with a zero fret? There is a Gibson orange label inside the f-hole.

    Takes a look at the tailpiece and inside the f-hole:

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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    I just checked out some Ron Hyde videos. A real character indeed.
    Worth a look. It might affect what you think about that mandolin, I would say.
    David A. Gordon

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Yep, Ron Hyde has rebuilt a number of basket-case old Gibsons and sold them on eBay. He's not at all concerned with preserving "originality." This fits perfectly.
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    I was so taken with Ron Hyde that I want to put up this video of him talking about a really nice 1907 Gibson.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpB4oGQx8iE
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    'This is not how to present an instrument for sale.'

    Too true! But, very common in many of the ads I see, LOL.

  16. #11
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    I'm pretty sure this is the same exact mandolin:



    "It really enjoys being put back together."
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner winner, chicken dinner! In other words - I reckon so.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Awe, it features the Hyde tailpiece, that was a tell. Does he use Hyde glue?

    Now, here's a Gibson if anyone is in doubt!
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  21. #14
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Hmmm, Gibson refrigerated mandolin there, Jim?
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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    I'll bet it sounds really cool.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    A cool mandolin, is it hard to play hot tunes on it tho.
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  27. #17
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    I'm pretty sure this is the same exact mandolin
    It would be nice if Ron could get people in the background to shut up while he's making demo videos.
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    It would be nice if Ron could get people in the background to shut up while he's making demo videos.
    I suppose so, but they sound happy. I kind of like it. I really enjoy his approach actually, and I like what he's done with this mandolin.
    David A. Gordon

  29. #19
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    I guess the answer to the original question is: Yes - half of it, anyway. And the bigger half, at that.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  30. #20

    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    The focus on strict originality turns up in other collector activities, and serves a couple of purposes, one of which is market value, but, as in other areas, in order to generate concours material, other instruments, cars, furniture, etc. wind up being sacrificed for parts or scrapped instead of preserved.
    While this process provides entertainment and income for some, it’s good to know that others, like this guy, are able and interested to keep good things functional, and in this case, playable, which just might be something one might enjoy.

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  32. #21
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Yeah, yeah, but when is an instrument, originally made by Gibson, no longer eligible to be advertised as such??

    There are thousands of "Gibson" 5-string banjos, that started out as tenors, or plectrums, or guitar-banjos (I own a GB-3 "ball bearing" Mastertone conversion), that acquired non-Gibson necks along the way, when the tenor banjo fad declined and all the aspiring bluegrassers wanted Mastertones "like Earl's."

    My main guitar looks like a Martin 00-42, but it's a 1940 00-28G classical that got re-topped and re-necked to become a steel-string. Is it still a Martin, after some luthier got done remaking it?

    So, assuming this one started life as an A-40, what is it now, with a replacement neck, zero-fretted, and who-knows-what other mods? Still has the Gibson label ––
    well, so does my "Martin" have the original model number stamped inside, and my "RB-3" banjo have the original label. But, really, what are they?
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    ...assuming this one started life as an A-40, what is it now, with a replacement neck, zero-fretted, and who-knows-what other mods?
    Well, neither the seller nor the luthier denies the neck has been replaced. I'm no expert in these matters, but I'd like to believe that the body being made by Gibson makes it a Gibson - modified considerably, but that Gibson-made sound chamber sounds like a Gibson.

    He says it's an A-50, by the way. The luthier, that is, not the seller, who just says "A-style."
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  34. #23
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    Yes, when does it stop being a Gibson? I have an axe that belonged to my grandfather. My father broke the handle and had to replace it, the head wore out so I replaced that but it’s still my grandfather’s axe!

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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    indeed a question for the ages:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

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  38. #25
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this really a Gibson?

    It is part Gibson but all mandolin.
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