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Thread: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

  1. #1
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Ah, just what I don't need, another mandolin. However as soon as I saw this in the classifieds from our friends at Elderly, it clicked all the boxes. Plus it looked too pristine to be true ... but it is likely true...

    At the moment not my best sounding mandolin but it might just need what one MCer calls, "playing the potatoes out of it" for a while. The tone played softly is quite sweet but it when attempting more fortissimo it seems a little resistant. It wants (or I want it) to relax a bit and enjoy the music. However, it is one beautiful piece of Gibson work and probably wasn't made on a Friday.

    In any case, I have always loved those oddball chocolate-grained tuners. And it also has a Virzi (for what that's worth). My best Loar F-5 playing experience was with a 24 F-5 with a Virzi at RetroFret a few years ago.

    Even the case is pristine except for the disintegrating handle. I talked to one of the repair guys who set it up or at least examined it and said it was all original.

    So I take my chances. If nothing else it is nice having it around to admire and fool around with.
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    Last edited by Jim Garber; Nov-21-2022 at 9:35pm.
    Jim

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Congrats! The ultimate snake.
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  5. #3

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    It needs a little of the Led Zeppelin treatment. Mike Holmes told me that if he wanted to wake an instrument up he put it on a stand in front of a speaker and played a little 70’s rock into it for a few hours.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    It needs a little of the Led Zeppelin treatment. Mike Holmes told me that if he wanted to wake an instrument up he put it on a stand in front of a speaker and played a little 70’s rock into it for a few hours.
    I like it but I think I was listening a bit to Zappa back then or was that earlier... How about "Wake Up Little Susie" -- Everly Brothers?
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    I love those cherry red Gibson, so beautiful. Let it’s sound come to you.

    What a wonderful instrument you’ve found.
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Very nice! Congrats! Very cool with a lot of rare features.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    I was going to offer to add to the archives but it looks like Dan is not doing that any more or that anyone who can do it it would be infrequent.
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    That's an incredible looking mandolin. Too bad about the archive, it would be a good one to immortalize.
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

  14. #9

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Matt Flinner has one like this, Jim. You are in good company.

    and I think any music will do, even Wagner.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Matt Flinner has one like this, Jim. You are in good company.

    and I think any music will do, even Wagner.
    In the one workshop I did with Matt he was playing his Gilchrist and that one looked wartorn but sounded great especially in his hands. I wonder if his A-4 was as pristine as this one and if it still is. I am not usually one to have pristine instruments. Most of mine have been played and some quite a bit. I love the mojo of an instrument and try to imagine what was played on it and where, etc.
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  16. #11

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Jim, that is fabulous- and a case to match. I am sure the handle can be addressed. I have just been given some nice old leather and I am going to look at using it on some iffy case handles.

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    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Beautiful mandolin, Jim. And a great thread title.

    Butó "it clicked all the boxes" ??? Mixed metaphor!

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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    My word, that is drop dead gorgeous! (As they used to say, back in her day.) I hope she grows to sound as good as she looks. Now, I know it's a bit unseemly to ask a lady's age (and she clearly is a lady, not a dame), but is she the '24 at the top of your list?

    And I agree about the tuners. Chocolate beats vanilla. I've always thought plain white buttons look somehow just a bit less special on a special instrument.
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Jim, that is fabulous- and a case to match. I am sure the handle can be addressed. I have just been given some nice old leather and I am going to look at using it on some iffy case handles.
    The case is actually pretty special with red velvet instead of the usual green felt. Ironically I have a reverse scroll case that my Regal Ultra is in and it has a perfect leather handle but that case is even more rare than the Gibson one. I’ll post pics of the case later.
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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Jim, congrats on that A4! Do I see a maple back or just nicely figured birch?

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik Ahrend View Post
    Jim, congrats on that A4! Do I see a maple back or just nicely figured birch?
    I will try to photograph is outside in the sun. It doesn’t look like seriously flamey maple but it not sure how I tell if it is birch or maple anyway. It looks like other A-4s from the same period.
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    It would be excellent to have a pair of roper western boots that color!
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  24. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Clausen View Post
    Beautiful mandolin, Jim. And a great thread title.

    But— "it clicked all the boxes" ??? Mixed metaphor!
    Modernized version, adapted to the Web, of “checking all the boxes”. The model, the tuner buttons, the Virzi, and my own impulsiveness at the moment.

    BTW I have seen a few others from that era in very similar condition including one currently on Reverb.
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  26. #19
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Here’s a photo of the back showing the flame. Still not sure if it is slab cut maple or birch.

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    And here’s the case. It came with what looks like a thin blue case cover with a Velcro-closed pocket so I assume that the cover is not contemporary with the mandolin.

    Here is the luxurious red velvet lines case interior. As noted the handle is the only disintegrating part of this

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    Jim

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  28. #20

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Yes, a great case all right. I have been trying to sew leather and beginning to think that revamping case handles is for someone with more stitching tools and skills than I possess! I would be on the maple side of the aisle with that back but I am not an expert.

  29. #21
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    I've covered 2 old A case handles now with thin black leather. I made a curved template and used a household sewing machine to sew one half. I hand stitched the other side and was pretty pleased with the outcome.
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  31. #22
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Someone on here a while ago was making reproduction handles for these old cases.
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  32. #23
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    I posted this how-to page on the current case handle thread: https://www.instructables.com/Repair...uggage-handle/
    Jim

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  33. #24

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Beautiful Top-of-the-Line Snakehead there Jim! If there's anything to the notion that playing time = opened up tone, I'd say there's a good chance that one will come to life after some time in your hands. Looks like it's never been played!

    Interesting (to me anyway) how different the color appears in the two different sets of pics. Elderly burst pic looks more 'tobacco-ish' to me. Might just be my monitor.

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  34. #25

    Default Re: Ultimate Vintage Snakeheadedness and Chocolatey Goodness

    Congratulations Jim! Beautiful mandolin! As said before, the ultimate Snakehead!

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