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Thread: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

  1. #1
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    I had to give up my 1919 Gibson A, because it was just too uncomfortable with my arthritic fingers, and I've found that the narrower (1 1/8") nut width is a lot easier for me to play. I know that the snakehead 20's Gibsons had narrower nuts, but they're unaffordable for me.
    I'm interested in finding out about the nut width on Gibson mandolins from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Can anyone help me out? Thanks!
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  2. #2
    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    I had to give up my 1919 Gibson A, because it was just too uncomfortable with my arthritic fingers, and I've found that the narrower (1 1/8") nut width is a lot easier for me to play. I know that the snakehead 20's Gibsons had narrower nuts, but they're unaffordable for me.
    I'm interested in finding out about the nut width on Gibson mandolins from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Can anyone help me out? Thanks!
    You can adjust the strings in on the nut and bridge to a more narrow string bed. Maybe it is the size of the neck that troubles your arthritis. The post truss rod Gibbys I have experience with do have a more narrow neck and a slightly more narrow nut and fretboard, but they have that TR metallic twang also.
    I have the world in a jug, and the stopper in my hand.

  3. #3
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    I'm pretty sure that it is the actual width and size of the neck that I find uncomfortable.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  4. #4
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    So, nobody has a post-snakehead Gibson that they're willing to measure.....?
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    Just a thought. I have played mandos with wide and narrow fingerboards (1-1/6" vs 1-3/16"), radiused and flat fingerboards, and fat and skinny neck profiles. I find that the neck profile has the most dramatic impact on my playing comfort (i.e., how long it takes for my hand to start hurting). It's probably because of how a fat neck profile forces my grip. Stumbled onto this by accident and it may just be me in my old age.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    I'm pretty sure that it is the actual width and size of the neck that I find uncomfortable.

  6. #6
    Registered User dustyamps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    The nut on my 32 A-0 is 1 3/16 wide.
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  8. #7
    Still Picking and Sawing Jack Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    My '58 A-5 two pointer has a 1 1/8 in nut.
    Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
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  9. #8
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    The snakeheads are usually right at 1-1/16 +- 1/32
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    I've always thought the pre-Loar mandolins had the wide board partially for strength since they didn't have trussrods. Loar clearly preferred the narrow nut and the TR allowed for it. But it seems they went back to the wider nut pretty soon after the Loar era.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    1942 a-50 1 1/8"

  12. #11
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nut width on vintage Gibson mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    I've always thought the pre-Loar mandolins had the wide board partially for strength since they didn't have trussrods. Loar clearly preferred the narrow nut and the TR allowed for it. But it seems they went back to the wider nut pretty soon after the Loar era.
    I posted this in another thread, but I feel reasonably confident the return to the paddle head was returning to older necks already in stock as a cost reducing effort to use up old stuff instead of constantly building from scratch for each and every FON

    Hence, return to the wider neck which yes I believe was for strength prior to truss rod
    Last edited by Darryl Wolfe; Apr-03-2013 at 12:40pm. Reason: add thought
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
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