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Thread: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

  1. #51
    Registered User Ken Berner's Avatar
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    Bill, I have only seen a couple of Flatiron banjos offered for sale over the last several years. I assume that they were pretty nice instruments and that owners just won't let go.

  2. #52
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    My first good mandolin was a Flatiron Performer F. It's long since moved on to a new owner, but I took a few pictures of it when it was still mine.

    http://flickr.com/photos/shibaku/set...62810698/show/

    Great little mando.

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    I saw this thread and wanted to ask a question. I have a Flatiron Festival serial number 10625080. I do know it's made in Nashville but I don't know the year. If my old memory serves me I think its a 2001.
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  4. #54
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    it's from 2001. Just take the last number and the first number and you have the last two digits of the year made. This is the case for the Nashville Flatirons.

    Fun reading this old thread!

    Yes, I still love my Flatiron and have sold most all the others (well except my pancake and A3).

    f-d

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  5. #55
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Thanks fatt-dad. I will be selling this little jewel that's the reson for the request on the year.. My playing days are about numbered. I have acquired Basel Arthritis at the base of my left thumb and it's getting to painful to play.

  6. #56
    Registered User CTH Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Heres a couple pics of my A5-2 Carlson # 83060030
    I was told it was an '83 , is that correct? The tailpiece cover in this pic is off my old Mann F5 ... I developed a rash from the original cover but have since put it back on.

    Kevin
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    "The Flatiron" '83 A5-2
    "wires an wood...man that's good!"

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Yes that is an 83 and an early one at that.

    Very nice
    Bill

  8. #58
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    That's a beautiful Flatiron. Nice to see this thread resurface!

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    heck yeah!! it really is good to see this thread back up again. im trading my current mandolin for a 1993 performer A right now. hopefully the trade will happen sometime this next week. i really cant wait!!
    "A mando is a terrible thing to waste."

  10. #60
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Does anyone remember seeing an A5 Artist (Bruce Weber era, early 90's) with a pickguard? I am getting one, wondered if the pickguard would have been original.
    Russ Jordan

  11. #61
    Registered User Ken Berner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Kevin, That is some outrageous flame on the backside of your '83; absolutely gorgeous. I really like the finish work on the pre-Gibson Flatirons!

  12. #62
    Registered User Ken Berner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Here is the quilted rear end of my former 1993 A5 Artist, now residing in Florida.
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  13. #63
    Registered User CTH Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Thanks Ken, I get lots of compliments on my A5..both the looks and the sound...just not many on my playing.

    Kevin
    "The Flatiron" '83 A5-2
    "wires an wood...man that's good!"

  14. #64
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Here are pics of a dandy 1992 A5 Artist signed by Bruce Weber. Even has an original pickguard.
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    Russ Jordan

  15. #65
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    I just can't believe I've never submitted a photo of my A5-1 to this thread. Here goes! With any luck, you'll see the original photo from Gruhn (i.e., when I bought it), a shot of the back, a shot of the front (in my Superior case) and a shot against my son's way-too-big bass amp - ha.

    f-d
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    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  16. #66
    Registered User man dough nollij's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Wow! F-D, that is just about perfect.

  17. #67
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Ha! I've sold off a lot of mandolins and kept this one over them all. That includes a Stanley, Stiver and Muth - all great mandolins too. I'm not even sure my Flatiron is that much "better" or unique, it's just what I like to play and it suites me just fine. So, on the mandolin front, I'm at peace. Guitars, however, are a different story. I have four players and I'm just not settled on any one as my "favorite". Matter of fact, I may even buy another guitar if my mutual funds ever recover - ha!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  18. #68
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    FD- I swear that mandolin shrunk from the time you got it from George, it just looks tiny in that last picture. Does you son play music with that or is it just for de-dampening? Maybe you could turn a few bucks just hanging mandos in front of those speakers.
    Bill

  19. #69
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Bill - Ha! De-damping, what a hoot! One thing for sure, teenagers never know what to spend their money on and for some reason, he went out and bought that big bass amp! He's since sold it, but I thought it so crazy that I just had to immortalilze it in a photo. Mandolin for scale. He does play music (if you can call it that). It seems to be thrashing head-banging punk rock stuff. I think he just makes up the vocals as he goes and the rest of the band makes enough noise to get the audience thrashing around (is the term "mosh" still current?).

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  20. #70
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    There was one Flatiron Model F-Style that was above the Flatiron Master Model (Signature Series) and that was the Flatrion F5 Elite. I first saw this advertised in a back issue of Mandolin Brother's catalog, one where there are five or six string musicians of some importances I think, and then Stan Jay and staff "replicating" the photo on the back cover. This would have been '93-'96, somewhere in that time period. I know Mr. Jay and his staff do this alot on thier catalogs, but there is no mistaking this particular issue...it was a large black & white photo issue only, no other colors. If I'm not mistaken, there's a photo of the F5 Elite in it, on the Flatiron page. The Flatiron F5 Master that I had was purchased from Mandolin Brothers. I simply asked Larry Wexer, who worked there at the time, to show me the best sounding NEW mandolin they had in the store and he took it off the wall and I purchased it about an hour later. I had no intentions of buying it for collector purposes or vaulting it for later re-sale. It was simply the best sounding new mandolin they had in the store that particular day. Period. Stan Jay said he had one just like it for his own personal use at home. The one I had came with "options" then that are rather commonplace among makers now...radiused board, large frets, x-bracing, triple binding, bolt-on neck and so forth. You can see a photo of it on STE on "players" page two...that's me playing "Kilroy" and the Master F5 is on the right. I did later sell mine at a decent profit, but not a triple-my-money kind of thing. I did take some good-natured ribbing from FattDadd (He's the best at pre-meditated mandolin mischief...) for selling what since has become a very limited collectible. But as I mentioned above, it was purchased simply because it was the best sounding new mandolin they had in the store that particular day. Just how many F5 Elite models were made I have no earthly idea, but I did call STE one time and was told that since the Flatiron F5 Master Model required so much time and handwork, especially with those abalone inlays and triple bindings and such, there may have been only a couple of dozen that were made. They didn't just crank these out. I do recall mine sounded on the bassy side of the spectrum, Loar fans may not have particularly liked it. It was loud as a cannon, but the neck was very thin to my tastes, both at the nut and along the back, which had a very pronounced "V" shape to it. I don't regret selling it because Bruce Weber and staff kept and still keep raising the bar on their instruments, so when something else better sounding came along, I did sell it. I know it's not the wisest thing to just hand your high-dollar instrument to just anyone, but I did have a lot of requests to play that mandolin and I did let anyone that asked me if they could play it, to do just that. I do remember Alan Neiderland playing it at a jam near Raleigh one time because he played it so well. I took it to Galax that same year and a fellow had one like mine except his was tone-bar braced and mine was X-braced. The tones were about the same, mine was just louder. But his had the most beautiful abalone inlay work I have ever seen...I had no idea the stuff came in so many shades/colors. Mine was a great sounding mandolin but I cannot honestly say it would be better or worse sounding than whatever you might want to compare it to today. In the photo on STE, that Yellowstone on my couch actually sounded better to my ears and had a much beefier neck, which I like. But those F5 Masters are nice instruments and if you are fortunate enough to come across one, by all means try it out.

  21. #71
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    I've been looking for a Flatiron, and I was contacted by someone who said they had a 1991 Performer A. It says Nashville on the label and the serial number is 91xxxx9. Am I correct in thinking that it's really a 1999?
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  22. #72
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    There looks to be a good deal on a pre-Gibson A5-Jr in the classifieds right now. Those older Flatiron A styles, especially the tone-bar braced Jr's (a little biased here), are great mandolins.
    Wes
    "i gotta fever...and the only prescription is more cowbell!!"

    '87 Flatiron A5-JR/'25 Gibson A-JR

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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    I see the listing is already gone, somebody got a good deal.

    What an undervalued instrument group.
    Bill

  24. #74
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    Quote Originally Posted by cooper4205 View Post
    Here's my Carlson signed A5-Jr. from 1987, so they were doing the coffee color at least until right before the Gibson purchase. Most of the A5-Jr.'s I have seen have a 'The Flatiron' decal on the headstock, but this one is MOP. anyone know when they changed that?
    I have a 1991 Weber signed A5-JR with The Flatiron in MOP.
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    Flatiron A5 JR
    Flatiron Performer A
    Kay archtop morphed into a OM
    Mann EM-5

  25. #75
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    Default Re: Flatirons - festival, performer, artist, signature

    I have a couple of questions. Some of the Montana Flatirons are signed by Carlson and some by Weber. Were there any other Flatiron people signing their instruments? Was there any difference in the build out specs based upon who signed them?

    I have a Flatiron Banjo catalog ( and a Flatiron Sweetgrass banjo '86) sent to my by Bruce Weber. The label on my A5-1 mandolin '83 says " Flatiron Mandolin Company" The Banjo label says " Flatiron Mandolin and Banjo Co." Do we know when the label was changed to include the Banjos?. I would be happy to provide the catalog to anyone who committs to doing a history of the Flatiron company ( although I think they are not particularly rare.)

    The Master A pictures have got my juices flowing - I think I want one.
    We all get exactly what we have coming -

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