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Thread: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

  1. #51
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    I don't want to hijack this thread any further, just clarify some things.
    1) You cannot measure distance of f holes from edge which is assymetrical, rather do it from centerline.
    2) Gibson tops are CNC cut with f holes. See Gibson factory tour on frets.com
    3) Exact position of f-holes doesn't have all that much impact on sound.
    Adrian

  2. #52

    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    3) Exact position of f-holes doesn't have all that much impact on sound.[/QUOTE]

    You can say that again!


  3. #53
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Well, I meant exact like within few 16ths of an inch from perfectly symmetrical. I wanted to edit but was too late
    Adrian

  4. #54
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    HOGO: Exact position of f-holes doesn't have all that much impact on sound...

    Hans: You can say that again!
    OK I'll bite this is "inside baseball" obviously -- what is the joke here?

    I can see the mando in the picture has f-holes higher up on the top. So how did it sound?
    Bernie
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  5. #55
    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    OK I'll bite this is "inside baseball" obviously -- what is the joke here?

    I can see the mando in the picture has f-holes higher up on the top. So how did it sound?
    I got to play that mandolin and it sounds great.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

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  6. #56
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    The point here is the OP has a really sweet sounding and looking new mandolin, Congratulations. The exact symmetry of the F holes ain't no part of nothin here in this thread. If you are lucky enough to get matched up with a mandolin that has the right stuff for you it still may not be the right stuff for someone else. I think some of us are nit picky to the point of being obnoxious to those who are not. Some of us are so obsessed with certain tonal requirements for a particular style of music that we dismiss instruments that are strong in other tonal qualities appropriate for other styles of music. Any time I have gotten deeply involved with any activity I have learned to see or hear small imperfections that to the untrained eye or ear are unnoticeable. So it is with our beloved instruments we hear and see things that are unnoticed and unimportant to the majority of our audiences. Again Congratulations on your beautiful new Sammy.

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  8. #57
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    It is a beautiful instrument and I guess I never paid it any mind whether the f holes were placed the same treble and bass side. In thinking about it, I realized that I never considered the instrument to be one based on symmetry to begin with so if they were placed slightly differently it was for chasing sound purposes.

  9. #58
    Americanadian Andrew B. Carlson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Since this one was inspired by a picture in the 1934 catalog, does anyone have a copy of the said picture? I wanna see what sparked this new Hoss.
    Mandolin, Guitar, & Bass for Doug Rawling & The Caraganas
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  10. #59

    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew B. Carlson View Post
    Since this one was inspired by a picture in the 1934 catalog, does anyone have a copy of the said picture? I wanna see what sparked this new Hoss.
    You can find the original catalog on this link:

    http://www.acousticmusic.org/Instrum...87.html#Gibson

  11. #60
    Americanadian Andrew B. Carlson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    You can find the original catalog on this link:

    http://www.acousticmusic.org/Instrum...87.html#Gibson
    Thanks for the link. Doesn't it just hurt when you look at those prices? I wonder why Sam didn't want the 29 fret extension too. What does he have against semi-useless frets? Pick-click or not, it looks cool.

    I'm sure jealous of your new mando though. It's gorgeous.
    Mandolin, Guitar, & Bass for Doug Rawling & The Caraganas
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  12. #61

    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew B. Carlson View Post
    Thanks for the link. Doesn't it just hurt when you look at those prices? I wonder why Sam didn't want the 29 fret extension too. What does he have against semi-useless frets? Pick-click or not, it looks cool.

    I'm sure jealous of your new mando though. It's gorgeous.

    Sam in a interview said: "About '74, somewhere in there, I had Bob Givens take out the frets on the fingerboard extension because my pick hit it and clicks so badly. So I had it that way for a while but the pick still would click on the extension. Then one day I saw Roland White, who had basically just sawed it off of his mandolin at that fret. I was always afraid that if you did that, that it would change your playing. So I asked Roland if it changed the sound and he goes, "Yeah, that click's gone!" So about 2 months later we were in New York and I had John Monteleone saw it off. So John did the work on it. I think they look better with the long extension, artistically, but it just doesn't agree with my playing the way my hand hits it."

    I have choosen this model fot the same reason. I have a Kentucky KM-1000 with the fingerboard extension and for my playing I wanted to remove the frets and "scoop" the fingerboard thinner in that area.

  13. #62

    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    OK I'll bite this is "inside baseball" obviously -- what is the joke here?
    No joke Bernie...I have put ff holes all over on instruments. Doesn't make that much difference and was just trying to point out that 1/16" isn't going to make any difference.

  14. #63
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Hans: I have put ff holes all over on instruments. Doesn't make that much difference and was just trying to point out that 1/16" isn't going to make any difference.
    OK very cool - great information and it kind of drives home how "over the top" some of these discussions can get (Hank made reference above and I agree). I find it amusing that some claim they can hear difference in the tiniest changes to a mandolin -- no need to go into examples!
    Bernie
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  15. #64
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Interesting thread here. I proudly own a 2005 DMM and a brand new varnished Fern (Dec. 2009), both of which, I believe, sound just great. And they both have the same f-hole issue as Mario's: The respective bass f-hole is definitely further away from the edge than the treble f-hole. However, the bridge on the Fern is right in the middle, with absolutely normal string spacing. (The bridge on the DMM is placed a bit towards the bass f-hole, though.)
    The pictures on the mandolin archive show that a good deal of the original Loars have some misalignment of the f-holes. Beyond that, all those old Loars have a certain assymetry. (Check out Charlie Derrington's interview on Mandozine.) For instance, the treble f-hole is "higher", and the neck is tilted towards the body scroll, which, I believe, looks good; just from this aspect, most (older) copies look way different than the Loars. Placing the f-holes a touch towards the treble side helps the neck to lean towards the body scroll and the bridge still being in the middle, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe that's what they intend these days at Gibson, just my idea. I have yet to find a new Gibson with the f-holes towards the bass side, which is what some Loars actually show, very interesting.
    There are, indeed, some irregularities in new Gibsons. I like to look at them as that additional authentic Loar touch. (However, no one has ever come up with a real close reproduction of the Loar period bridge, yet.)
    Anyhow, i. m. h. o., the new Gibsons nail it when it comes to a great sound and appearance. And it sure took Gibson a whole lot of r & d work to get closer to the Loar principles. Better expensive than not available. Well, there are people in the world who work for $ 2.50 a day...

  16. #65
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Eagle View Post
    Interesting thread here. I proudly own a 2005 DMM and a brand new varnished Fern (Dec. 2009), both of which, I believe, sound just great. And they both have the same f-hole issue as Mario's: The respective bass f-hole is definitely further away from the edge than the treble f-hole. However, the bridge on the Fern is right in the middle, with absolutely normal string spacing. (The bridge on the DMM is placed a bit towards the bass f-hole, though.)
    The pictures on the mandolin archive show that a good deal of the original Loars have some misalignment of the f-holes. Beyond that, all those old Loars have a certain assymetry. (Check out Charlie Derrington's interview on Mandozine.) For instance, the treble f-hole is "higher", and the neck is tilted towards the body scroll, which, I believe, looks good; just from this aspect, most (older) copies look way different than the Loars. Placing the f-holes a touch towards the treble side helps the neck to lean towards the body scroll and the bridge still being in the middle, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe that's what they intend these days at Gibson, just my idea. I have yet to find a new Gibson with the f-holes towards the bass side, which is what some Loars actually show, very interesting.
    There are, indeed, some irregularities in new Gibsons. I like to look at them as that additional authentic Loar touch. (However, no one has ever come up with a real close reproduction of the Loar period bridge, yet.)
    Yes, Loars have all kinds of asymmetries, but many were quite random (or at least not intentional by any means). From my measurements it sems like Loar two f holes were cut (routed?) using template with two f holes. Relative posiiton of f-holes is same but sometimes the template slipped towards bass side, treble side or rotated making one hole appear higher. Always within 1/16". The neck set to bisect center between f holes would make bridge look normal and centered as was typically done on Loars.
    So the "problem" of mandolin in OP may as well be in neck set. The modern Gibson f body shape is different from Loar and the bass f-hole larger circle seems to be typically further from binding than on treble side.
    Adrian

  17. #66

    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Do you still have your mandolin and do you still like it?
    I have one also.
    Where did all the rest of the 25 end up?
    Your mandolin friend,
    David.

  18. #67
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Could you tell me what the designation "pilot" mean. I understand there were 25 SB limited editions fern models produced. How does the pilot #11 fit into those production numbers?

  19. #68
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by glabbe View Post
    Could you tell me what the designation "pilot" mean. I understand there were 25 SB limited editions fern models produced. How does the pilot #11 fit into those production numbers?
    I would be curious about this too and would hope that Big Joe, Danny Roberts of Dave Harvey might weigh in on this topic. I have Sam Bush Fern Pilot #2 which is simply a fantastic instrument. While I don't recall ever seeing one of the 25 "production" instruments for sale here on the Cafe or EBay or elsewhere, the OP has (or had in 2009) Pilot #11 and I see Pilot #8 is presently listed for sale on Reverb. So the question of just how many Pilots are out there as well as how do they differ from the 25 production models, if it all, are of interest to me. Also: did other "signature" models (the Bibey, the Steffey, etc.) also have Pilot's? Thanks, cheers and Merry Christmas, all.
    2009 Bush Fern '34

  20. #69
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Gibson is famous for the inconsistences, my late 30's F-7 conversion has the treble F-hole very far in the body compared to the bass side, and is very off! But it sounds so great it has never bothered me and with a guard who cares? Not me as long as it has the tone, power and overall killer voice? Some people have to have everything perfect though but not this guy so play and enjoy if it has the sound! Some people can't even deal with playwear or scratch here and there but I have news unless you look at them in a glass case they will get wear! Look at some old Loars and Ferns "inconsistences in most of them!-the imperfection of the old F-5's were discussed many moons ago!"

  21. #70
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Gonna try once again to bring this thread back to the OP's original intent: to discuss the Limited Edition Bush Fern "Inspired by '34" mandolin.

    I'm curious, like the OP, to know more about them: who has them, how many pilots were made, what the pilot program entailed, were modifications made to the pilots prior to going into full production, etc.

    Thanks and cheers.
    2009 Bush Fern '34

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  23. #71
    Expert on my own opinion Bogle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Perhaps "pilot" = "prototype"?

  24. #72
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogle View Post
    Perhaps "pilot" = "prototype"?
    Yea...I'm taking "pilot" to be synonymous with "prototype" too.

    I find it interesting that each of the SB'34LE pilots that I've encountered, including mine, all sport Sam's gold magic markered signature on the back of the headstock, just like the full production models...so I have to assume they were meant either to be given away or sold (perhaps to employees?).

    In addition to the questions I listed in my earlier posts above (#'s 68 and 70), were pilots released for the DMM's or RSDMM's or other limited production models?

    I know that the Goldrushes had a couple different versions: some with black binding, some with tortoise shell. Some standard Bushes had the abbreviated "cut off" fingerboard while others had the "birds beak" at the end. Were some of either of these "prototypes/pilots", or did Gibson issue these variations for some other reasons like customer requests, because the different materials were lying around, market testing or "just for fun"?

    Anybody from Gibson, or otherwise knowledgeable, feel like jumping in here?

    And then there is the overarching question: anybody out there have one of the SB'34LE production models or pilots and, if so, whatcha think of them?

    Cheers.
    2009 Bush Fern '34

  25. #73
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    I have been looking into this for a little bit. I must state that I am NO GIBSON EXPERT. I think that the 25 Sam Bush mandolins that were made were considered a pilot program. Right now on Reverb there is a Les Paul reissue that is called part of a pilot run and was 11 of 20 guitar made for a NAMM show. The guitars serial number is "PR 11",

    So far the only serial numbers I have sen for any of the 34 Sam Bush Ferns have been "pilot #2", "pilot #8", and "pilot #11". There have been two other 34 Sam Bush Ferns that have been mentioned in threads #14, and #22. Could the owner of those two mandolins tell us their serial numbers? Are they "pilot #14", and "pilot #22"?.

    I saw a video on youtube of Dennis Vance from the Mandolin Shop playing a 34 Sam Bush Fern that is noted number 22. If anyone knows Dennis does he know what the serial number of that mandolin.

    Additionally I spoke with the salesman who originally sold the 34 Sam Bush Fern with the serial number "pilot #8". He didn't understand the "pilot" part, but he said that when he contacted Gibson he told them he only wanted one if the serial number was single digit. He assumed that this mandolin was the 8th production mandolin built.

    Theories must be tested by the light.

  26. #74
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    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    Benski - If I am right you have the first production 34 SB Fern. If "pilot #2" was the second 34 SB Fern made, Sam Bush got number 1 or "pilot #1". Which would mean that you have this first production model sold to the public.

  27. #75

    Default Re: Sam Bush Fern '34 LE

    I still own Pilot #14 Acoustic Engineer. Sam Bush
    It has great C, D, and G range.
    I heard a rumor they never finished the “run of 25”. They ran out of LIKE materials.

    I have several Gibson F5’s from different years. Each and everyone has its own voice. Neck shape and size etc.
    I enjoy each.
    Best regards

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