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Thread: Compulsive purchase- Flatiron 1N

  1. #51
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    All of those flat Flatirons had adjustable truss rods. All had spruce tops, no cedar. The difference between 1, 2 & 3 was wood and finish details.
    #1 = Plainer woods, no binding or rosette, rosewood fingerboard
    #2 = Fancier maple (koa was an option) binding but no rosette, ebony fingerboard
    #3 = Same as 2 but had binding and rosette

    I don't know all the letters but some are:
    #MB = Birdseye maple
    MC = Curly maple
    N = Natural finish
    #CH = "Chocolate" finish
    # C = "Cherry" finish (I think)
    # K = Koa



    Fiddles
    Arches F4 / Newson F5
    Crump B1 / Old Wave GOM

  2. #52
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Jim M,

    Thanks for getting us to page 3. Regarding the "1" series, the early ones did not have adjustible truss rods. Maybe when Gibson took over the factory they became standard, but my 1N from '84 does not have an adjustible truss rod - not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Very interesting description on the meanings of the numbers and letters - thanks again.

    fatt-dad
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  3. #53
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    You're right, sorry, I should have specified that those were post-Gibson takeover. One of the options available was f-holes. Has anyone seen those on the flattops? Anyone have a Flatiron mandola they want to sell?
    Fiddles
    Arches F4 / Newson F5
    Crump B1 / Old Wave GOM

  4. #54
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    <span style='color:blue'>The 1992 3K on Ebay does not have a Truss Rod. The 1996 2MB does. Which would you choose?</span>

  5. #55
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    Personally I wouldn't worry about lack of adjustable truss rod. Those are well-built instruments, and there are plenty of non-adjustable truss rod Gibson A's that have survived many years. I'd buy the koa because I like the sound and would want to add something other than maple to my herd. I'm not bidding on it, so don't worry about me.
    Fiddles
    Arches F4 / Newson F5
    Crump B1 / Old Wave GOM

  6. #56
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    I have festivals and the suymposium coming up so I can hold off also unless they really stay that low in price.

  7. #57
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    I own a 1988 2MW and it doesn't have an adjustable truss rod, so I think adjustable truss rods showed up years after the Gibson take over. BTW, MW stand for wavy maple. I also own a 1984 3K OM and despite size considerations when compared to other maple back instruments.... tone could be nice but volume lacking. So if you are planning to use a mando in sessions I would suggest the maple back mando.
    BTW, I am also interested in Army Navy style mandolas.... Flatiron didn't make many so they are more than rare. Bratsche's mandola is one of the few that I discovered in ebay... too late to get it. So if you want a AN mandola, options are very few, Sawchyn in Canada make some nice copies as AN models for near Ca$900... #I have heard good things about sawchyn instruments... Has anybody tried them?...
    salu2




  8. #58
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    atetone - all three of my mandolas are flat top/back instruments with a round or oval hole, as well as all being made from spruce and maple. I also have a Troubador Gervaise (discussed in a different thread) and a Sawchyn Beaver Tail (hi, lucho! - this will interest you too!) The Gervaise, while it has a great tone, is not yet living up to its potential, because it still has incomplete setup issues that I haven't had time to attend to (faulty intonation due to too high zero fret). The Sawchyn is absolutely perfect in every way! I love it! And it is very, very similar, both in sound and feel, to the Flatiron. I was eyeing Flatirons before a member of the Cafe offered to sell me the Sawchyn. The Flatiron, however, is the one I grab first, for a couple of reasons, nothing to do with sound. One, it has already received its first few scratches, and I dread the day that I mar the Sawchyn for the first time! And two, its fretboard is not bound - while I've not yet had to have fret work done on any of my instruments, I'd hate to wear the frets out on the Sawchyn from repeated practicing to learn pieces well, knowing that it would be the more costly one to re-fret due to its bound fretboard! But they really are very similar. The Sawchyn is a "deluxe" though, and a little fancier - radiused ebony fretboard, the binding, and some inlaid rings around the soundhole. The Gervaise is somewhat different, with its bigger body, smaller soundhole and shorter scale. But they're all nice...

    bratsche
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  9. #59
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
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    OHhhhI should have bought the 1N that sold for $157.00 #

    The Cadets appear to be the same instruments with a different finish. Also, I've noticed the 2N's have binding on the top only.

  10. #60
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    The 3MC in the classifieds is a really nice mandolin. I've played it a few times. Its beautiful to look at, and has a nice rounded tone. For the condition that one is in, I think it is a great price. My 2M in from 83, early Flatiron, and is a great Celtic mandolin. No truss rod in the early years though. I hope somebody local, here on the cafe, picks the one up in the classifieds.

    Slim pickins on those Flatirons, Dan
    Play em like you know em!

  11. #61
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    Well, my 1N arrived all in one piece.
    I have to say that I was very taken aback when I opened the rather small case.
    This mando is very small!!! I didn't realize just how small these things are.
    There is nothing small about the sound that jumps right out of it though.
    It is kind of mystifying how that kind of sound comes out of that little box.
    I look at it and my brain says "tiny skinny box with way too much bracing. Hardly any room left for a soundwave to even move around in there",,, but the sound just jumps right out at you and is startlingly loud.
    It doesn't seem possible but,, there it is.
    Amazing. I find myself looking at it and thinking "how did they do that??"
    Anyway, I took the rusty strings, bridge, tuners and tailpiece off it and cleaned everything really well and put it back together and strung it up with
    D'Addario J62s and then whomped on it for a couple of hours.
    I suspect that this mando has not been played for a long time.
    It was very tight at first and would not stay in tune, but I expected that.
    This mando came from Florida to me here in Western Canada so it will probably take a while before it acclimatizes.
    Either it is starting to loosen up or I am getting more used to it but I am now expecting it to improve greatly over the next fews days.
    It's pretty good already.
    I will keep you posted on the progress.




  12. #62
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Hey, my 1N came from Canada to Richmond, Virginia.

    Great to hear your story. I was playing mine last night and had similar thoughts on size and sound. Amazing, eh?

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  13. #63
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    O.K., so here I do it again - posting after a post. Having just scanned ebay, I note the following. The plywood "Gibson Flatiron" is up to $300.00, the 2MB is under $200.00, nobody is the least bit interested in the 3 for $600.00 and there are two KM-11 (Kalamazoo pancake) that are begging in the $200 to $300.00 range (another great flat-top oval hole mandolin. For the under $300 market, the 2mb and the KM-11s are the way to go (IMHO).

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  14. #64
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    Hey All-

    How do you attach a strap to your Flatiron? A strap button on the heel? Tied off to the headstock? Don't use a strap?

  15. #65
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    I tie my strip of rawhide around the headstock, going under the strings and between the tuners. What I actually to is get three rawhide shoelaces, braid them together and then end the braid with one sticking out for tying on to the end pin and also around the headstock.

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  16. #66
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    has anyone played a koa model?
    Mike McManus

  17. #67
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    I'm about 20 minutes from the Cadet in the classifieds and bought my 1st mando 4 yrs ago from the seller.(family had a great small town music store)

    Where do these cadets fit in with the models discussed here? The $595 asking price seems high but I don't have a clue as to what I'm looking at.
    mick meinsler

  18. #68
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Herein lies the death of the Flatiron 1N thread. No match for "thinking about a BRW". Alas, on to other topics.

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  19. #69
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    Hey, if you want quantity, it takes time...(or is that quality?).

    I just found the thread, so I'm only now chiming in. I own a 2M, serial 8105921 (with the five-latch HSC). I love it, but it's actually not my go-to-first mandolin (right now--kinda goes in cycles). It is on my not-for-sale list, though.

    I'd mentioned, in passing, to Ken Cartwright that I wanted one.... Years later I walked into his shop & he said "There's your Flatiron." I'd just received a prob'ly-teens Vega (flat back, two point) from an eBay purchase (this one is my current main axe), so I was kind of strapped for cash. I didn't even want to play it, 'cause I knew I'd be hooked. I failed to resist temptation, and put it on layaway before I left....

  20. #70
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    Where can one find a hard shell case for a Flatiron 1N???

  21. #71
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Call TKL in Oilville, Virginia and they may have something that works. I did some research on Flatiron cases, and I think that they used Harptone cases. TKL bought Harptone and was in the process of moving the forms from the Harptone shop to Virginia. Whether they did it or not is unclear.

    Good luck,

    fatt-dad
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  22. #72
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    F-D
    I was thinking that TKL might have something. I'll give them a call tomorrow.

    How about the BRW thread getting shut down! About time #

  23. #73
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    The hardshell case that came with mine is definately made for the mandolin.
    Very form fitted. Snug as a bug.
    I assume that it was a factory supplied case. It's a pretty good one.

  24. #74
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Here is the TKL phone number in Oilville, Virginia - 804-749-8300. I have no real opinion on the BRW thread, as I never made an attempt to read through the personal chat to learn about the BRW mandolin. I guess if there are cafe members that get some enjoyment discussing a "mandolin-related" topic I do not see the harm with it continuing. But then, it's not my web page - ha.

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

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

  25. #75
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    atetone, I was wondering..since you have had your 1N for a couple of weeks now what do you think?

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