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Thread: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

  1. #1

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    I was at a jam last night and this old boy had a G.T.R. F5 mandolin. It did not have a label inside. He said it stood for Grooten (sp?), Taylor, and R. Woods. He bought it at an auction in the early 90's

    I was assuming maybe that the Taylor was either Mark or Tut. As for R. Woods....well I thought that would have to be Randy Woods.

    This mandolin was obviously hand crafted with a real nice tone. Very good looking mandolin.

    I wonder if the G stands for Givens?

    Any insight would be appreciated here.

    Tim Saxton



    "Well, Yes, It is true that it did have random Hippie Sanding done to it"

    "It's about the journey and not the destination."

  2. #2
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    I think it was a venture between George Gruhn, Tut Taylor and Randy Wood.

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  4. #3

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    i believe that bill collings made some of the guitars
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Registered User wellvis@well.com's Avatar
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    From Gruhn Guitars' November 2004 newsletter:
    Quote Originally Posted by
    Gruhn Guitars started out as GTR Inc. with George Gruhn and Tut Taylor as partners and Randy Wood as our sole employee, hence the name GTR for George, Tut and Randy, as well as being an abbreviation for guitar.
    Select the newsletter link on the main page, then scroll through some of the other newsletters for more information on this company.
    Brad's Page of Steel:
    http://www.well.com/~wellvis/steel.html
    A website devoted to acoustic & electric steel guitars

  6. #5

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    I called and spoke with George Gruhn today. He informed me that there were myabe less than a 100 of these out there. They were hand built in Japan from 1974 to 1978. The initials stand for George, Tut, and Randy. These have NOTHING to do with Tut or Randy as they had all parted ways buy this time. George also informed me that they were a very high quality F5 copy. (I agree).

    On a second note, I also spoke with Randy Woods and confirmed this, also, adding that there may have been some banjos imported as well.

    Interesting.

    I will try to get some photos of it posted soon.

    Tim Saxton
    "Well, Yes, It is true that it did have random Hippie Sanding done to it"

    "It's about the journey and not the destination."

  7. #6
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    "George also informed me that they were a very high quality F5 copy."

    There's a GTR A-model here on the island....

    Nice axe...

    I wonder how many of those were made??

  8. #7

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    Hmmmmmmm.... very interesting

    Tim
    "Well, Yes, It is true that it did have random Hippie Sanding done to it"

    "It's about the journey and not the destination."

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    I've got a GTR F5 copy....a friend (now deceased) bought it new at Gruhn Guitars in 1976. He left it to me. It's a really good mandolin with a great chop....and very well made of good materials. It has had a heck of a lot of playing in 29 years and has stood up to it all. I'm giving it 3 months break with no strings on it while I play in my 1940's Kay..........John

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    Reminds me of the 80's group "GTR" (When the Heart Rules the Mind)....
    Alan

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    back in 2004, sprucetop1 had this to say after a conversation with G. Gruhn:

    " Just had some info. from Mr. Gruhn himself. These [GTR] mandolins were made for him by a foreman in the Moridaira guitar factory in Japan from 74-78."
    "Oh, no, Sweatheart, I've had this mando a long time!
    Don't you.....recognize the case?"

  13. #11

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    That's what he told me too. I just could not remember the name. He also mentioned the specific luthier. And again I can't remember that either. Memory is clogged with malted hops and bong resin from my early years

    Tim
    "Well, Yes, It is true that it did have random Hippie Sanding done to it"

    "It's about the journey and not the destination."

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    My GTR F5 never had a label, but it does have a serial no. 9514 which is on the back of the peghead. I've never seen another GTR here in the UK, but have an old photo from the 1970's of the McClain Family Band, and the lady mandolin player therein was playing a GTR F5. Wonder where all the others are? Anyone any idea of its value if I decide to sell?....John

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    I agree with Tim, I bought a GTR banjo new from George around 76, very good quality Jap banjo, a little thick in the neck but it sounds good, looks great and survived many years, miles and huge temperature swings in the equipement van, I still have it! If their mando is this good it would have been far better than any other imported mando of the era and as GIbson's quality and sound wasn't too hot at the time it might have been almost as good as a new one of those in the mid 70's?

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    Only my opinion, but I've compared my GTR F5 with a few other mandolins locally. It has more volume and chop by far than my 1914 F2. It has a better chop than a recent Stelling F model, but the Stelling seems to have a bit more volume when taking breaks. The Stelling is a great mandolin (and has a really comfortable fingerboard). It is better than my 1940's Kay, (but most mandolins are......). About 10 yrs. back, I had the chance to play a genuine Loar F5. Couldn't compare that too well with my GTR. as my hands were shaking too much....
    I reckon that the 74-78 GTR's were a good buy at the time........John

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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    Hi Everyone, this is my very first MC post, but I'm a long time reader and I've learnt so much from everyone on the site.

    This is a very old thread but I just thought I'd add to it as I also have a GTR F-5 fern inlay mandolin. This thread has been really useful on learning about where it came from.

    A few details on it, It's it pretty good shape, 1978 according to the seller (But I'm unsure how he got that info) a few nicks and dings in the finish (which feels a bit thick) but a nice mandolin. Serial number on the back of the peghead: 0128, no label.
    Nice flamed maple back, sides and neck.

    I'm coming from a playing oval hole mandolins so the F holes a taking a bit of getting used to, just in not hearing the mandolin the same way and having a somewhat brighter more punchy midrange sound. But it is loud and I'm liking the tone.

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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    There is a GTR banjo lurking around here in Maryville, TN. Decent banjo.
    1/2/89 Gibson A5-L

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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    Hi, I ordered one at George Gruhnīs in 1978 and still enjoy having it. He had them hand made by former violin builders in Matsumoto, Japan. I always thought the neck has something of a violin profile as opposed to the common V-shape. I had an email communication with George about it in 2014. and he said that very few of these mandolins were made. In his opinion, they are some of the finest mandolins ever made in Japan. Current market value should be about $2000 USA (2014).
    Enjoy playing!
    Sven

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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    Hi Sven, that's great, thanks very much for the info!
    I see what you mean about the neck and it hadn't occurred to me until now, yes it does have a very violin like feel, it's very comfortable. It's great to have a rough market value too, good to know I didn't pay over that.
    I've only had it now about 3 days and haven't been able to put it down :-)
    Andy

  24. #19

    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    Andy,
    I have just bought a GTR fern inlay f style mandolin with no label and a serial on the back of the headstock of 0128, is this by chance your mandolin? It seems lovely, only had it a couple of days...

  25. #20
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    GTR rang a bell for me. Here's an old forum thread G(Gruhn) T (Taylor) R (Randy Wood): https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...p/t-16078.html

  26. #21

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    Hi Jdelarre, Just saw your post. Yes thatís the one :-) sorry itís taken a year to reply.
    I had to sell my GTR unfortunately and deeply regret it, but itís one of those things, I needed the money at the time.
    Was that from Hobgoblin London? Enjoy playing!
    (Iíve just noticed I appear to be logged in on a different profile)

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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    Nfi but charles johnson at mandolin world headquarters has a gtr f-5 for sale on his website-don't know the price but charles is a great guy to work with!

  28. #23
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    I owned one for about 17years, I bought it around 1975 from Elderly Instruments when they were still in their basement store in East Lansing. I sold it in 1992 when I bought my first Nugget. Back when I first bought it, there weren’t many choices. I think I paid around 800. For it.

  29. #24

    Default Re: Heard of a G.T.R. mandolin?

    Yes from Hobgoblin, was the best second hand F style in the shop, but the machine heads needed changing within a week as one of them snapped and the truss rod cover screw keeps slipping.
    But itís getting a lot of love, has already made its way onto a couple of albums last year.

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