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Thread: Gibson "F-3"

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson "F-3"

    Just curious, in the want ads there is someone looking for a Gibson F-3...Is there such an animal or is this something that is a misprint or someone that is misinformed...I have read where years ago Gibson made some custom mandolins and put some numbers on them that weren`t ordinary and maybe this is one of them....

    Thanks....Willie

  2. #2
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    There are a few in the Archives...
    Here's one....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    I've never heard an F-3 ... anybody here heard one? They look a little different ... ?

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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    The F3 was the designation for the 3 point model. They have a quirky sound and feel that you either love or hate (from what I've heard). Hans Brentrup was making such beautiful reproductions.

    Jamie
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    One can never be too thin or have too many points I always say.

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    F3 has nothing to do with being a 3 point model. In 1902 they introduced four 3 point F models: The F, F-2,F-3 and F-4.
    The 3 points were phased out by 1910 when the 2 point F models first came out.
    The F-3 just didn't sell and therefore not many made. I've only seen one in person in my lifetime. A few are in museums but few out there to find for sale. If you did find one expect to pay the 3 point F4 price or more.

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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    So, Mike, does that mean an F-12 has twelve points? Are you advocating a twelve-point program for mandolins?
    EdSherry

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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    The baddest cat in the jungle played one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
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  10. #9
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    No quite an F3. It has the torch&wire headstock inlay and no rope binding and a fully bound back making ole Nolan's an early blackface F4 model with 3 points. I remember seeing him at Galax, VA Fiddler's Convention in the late 60's.
    What ever happened to Nolan?

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  12. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Quote Originally Posted by EdSherry View Post
    So, Mike, does that mean an F-12 has twelve points? Are you advocating a twelve-point program for mandolins?
    12 or 13, whatever it takes.

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Goist View Post
    The baddest cat in the jungle played one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!

    If anyone wonders what one of these sounds like in the hands of a master, check out Nolan. Some of the music on this album ranks among the bluesy-est, hard-driving bluegrass mandolin ever.

    Nolan Faulkner had tone to rival Monroe's. Not the same, but equally as powerful.

  14. #12
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    No quite an F3. It has the torch&wire headstock inlay and no rope binding and a fully bound back making ole Nolan's an early blackface F4 model with 3 points. I remember seeing him at Galax, VA Fiddler's Convention in the late 60's.
    What ever happened to Nolan?
    Very interesting! I have heard Nolan's mandolin called a "torch & wire 3 point" before, but always thought it was officially an F3.
    Thanks for the correction.

    Nolan's grandson recently posted to the Cafe, stating that he now owns Nolan's F-Style Gibson.

    Last I heard about Nolan, he was living near Detroit and occasionally sitting in with a local band there called "Behind the times". Here a blurry pic from the Behind the Times Facebook page of Nolan playing with the band:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
    Think Hippie Thoughts...
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  15. #13
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    A Nolan update: Nolan is still in the Detroit Area and is playing with a group billed as Nolan Faulkner and the Cass Valley Ramblers. Behind the Times has some of the same players, though.
    Regarding the F3 designation- I believe the F3 was the most ornate three pointer that Gibson made. The way to differentiate the F4 F3 F2 is with the black and white alternating top binding.
    Lastly, I spoke with Nolan yesterday. He is playing on April 19, 2013 at the Berkley Front in Berkley, Michigan. Behind the Times is also on the bill.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

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  17. #14

    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Check out the classifieds with this recent addition.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/146892#146892

    Amazing to see all the different the fingerboard inlays used.

  18. #15
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Nice looking mandolin. Someday I will get one.

  19. #16
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    For historical purposes:
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    Jim

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  20. #17
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    There's one for sale at Player's Vintage Instruments in California.
    An interesting note-- Lowell Levinger, the proprietor, was the guitarist for The Youngbloods.

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  22. #18
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    There's one for sale at Player's Vintage Instruments in California.
    An interesting note-- Lowell Levinger, the proprietor, was the guitarist for The Youngbloods.
    Banana is also playing with Little Steven and the Disciplines of Soul these days. In past years he had a whole lot of stuff in the classifieds but I think he has been touring quite a bit in the last few years. He's a really decent guy. He seems to have a knack for finding premium vintage instruments.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  23. #19
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Saw him in Cambridge MA in 1965; band was called Banana & the Trolls. He had one of those little troll kewpie dolls on the headstock of his guitar.
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  25. #20
    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    Well if Bill Monroe would have made the F3 his main mandolin....
    John A. Karsemeyer

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    Default Re: Gibson "F-3"

    The F-3 may be the rarest catalogued model Gibson ever made . . . with the plain style F close behind.

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