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Thread: H4 Copy

  1. #1

    Smile H4 Copy

    Does anyone know if there are any copies of the Gibson H4 style mandolas apart from Duff. I was thinking of a cheaper version.

    Also any idea what a teens Gibson H4 may cost?

    Any information appreciated.

    I'm in UK

  2. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    There is this in the cafe classifieds...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/199801#199801

    Original Gibsons seem to be in the same price range.

    NFI
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  3. #3

    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Thanks Charley but that is an H copy. It is the oval hole H4 I' interested in.

    Regards

    Jimmy

  4. The following members say thank you to jimmy powells for this post:


  5. #4
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    I've checked the listings of most of "the usual suspects" on this side of the pond. All I can come up with right now in carved mandolas are H-1's and 2's, and modern f-hole instruments.

    Retrofret in Brooklyn NY does have a cant-top Stahl made by the Larsons [and yes, it's a real Larson], and it is likely a very good instrument, but it will look and sound different from a Gibson. You might want to consider it, though. I've never met a real Larson that I didn't like.

    Options are pretty limited on H-4's. Not many have been made by anyone.
    If you were to commission a new one from a good modern builder, it's liable to cost at least as much as an original, you would have to wait for the instrument to be built, and you would probably have to deal with the problems of an international purchase.

    Or you just may have to settle for an old H-1 or 2, at least for the time being. Although I would love to have an H-4, I have found that the H-2 that I bought back in the 1980's will do just about anything that I want a mandola to do. If you want to get an idea of what it sounds like, I played it on Norman Blake's "Flower From the Fields of Alabama," and Peter Ostroushko played it on disc 1 of his "The Mando Chronicles."

    ================================================== ====================

    It seems that the original Gibson H-4's that I have seen most recently were listing for around +/- $8500 USD.

    You might put your name on the "want" list at Gruhn's. They turn one up from time to time, perhaps one or two every year or two, and can handle international sales and shipments.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-17-2023 at 6:32pm.

  6. #5

    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Thanks so much Ron. I bought my latest 1919 F4 from Gruhns so yes I could indeed do that. I'll also have a listen to the two tuners you said and you are right that the Hi or H2 would no doubt sound the same. I suppose I'd just love a teens Gibson H4 but the price may be prohibitive so just thinking about options. A scroll body H4, even a copy, would be great. Thanks s much. Jimmy

  7. #6
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Glad that I could help.
    For the record, my correct name is Bob. I see that I need to add that to my home page.

    The tracks it was used on are "Texas Gales" on the Norman Blake record, and "Lantern in the Ditch," "Old Virginia Reel," and "Monkey on a Dog Cart" on disc 1 of the Pete Ostroushko record. It can be heard the clearest on "Texas Gales," where it has the lead. On the other tracks, it is used as a harmony instrument.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-17-2023 at 7:24pm.

  8. #7
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    I also should mention that one should avoid using the D'Addario mandola sets on these old instruments. They are much too heavy, and will do horrible things to them.

    I buy loop end singles, and string mine 12-20w-32-49.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-17-2023 at 7:27pm.

  9. #8
    Paul Wheeler
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    I had a 1916 H4, very good condition, that I sold (consigned) last year for $6750. It was originally offered in January for $7500, finally sold in August for the compromise price. In the process I wound up with a more-modern Trillium mandola that I like better. An instrument collection is a dynamic system! -- Paul
    He joyously felt himself idling, an unreflective mood in which water was water, sky was sky, breeze was breeze. He knew it couldn't last. -- Thomas McGuane, "Nothing but Blue Skies"

  10. #9
    Registered User hubrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Quote Originally Posted by twaaang View Post
    An instrument collection is a dynamic system! -- Paul
    I'm going to use that! 👍😀

  11. #10

    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Thanks to Bob (RCC56) and I agree about the D'Addario strings. I love D'Addario but ther mandola strings are too heavy. Had them before.

    Thanks also to Hubrad re his 1916 H4 info. That price sounds more palatable than the odd very high price. Like F4s--You see them at $5K and some others at $8K. I bought mine from Gruhn at $4300 2 years ago as there was no pick guard and tuners needed but a great 1919 F4.

  12. #11
    Registered User hubrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Wasn't me, Jimmy.. I assume you mean twaaang.
    That Hiscox case is in use now, btw! How did you get on with Ovation?

  13. #12

    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Ah yes Sorry to Hubrad it was Twaaang who had the 1916 H4. The Ovation was something I picked up at my local music shop. USA made and action was great. I knew the pick up was great but pleasantly surprised at how good it was acoustically.

    Perfect for soemone who needs a loud no feedback mandolin. I tend to buy them and tire of them and sell them. I always fancied one, Now I have tried it and woudn;t hesitate if I played in a band which needed an electric mandolin.

  14. #13
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Clarinda Harvey in Arkansas makes affordable H4-style mandolas.

    https://clarindasmusic.com/mia-mandolas
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  15. #14

    Default Re: H4 Copy

    Thanks Martin. I'll have a look.

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