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Old 11-18-2022, 12:28 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Default Comparison of a few Gibson built mandos!



Comparison of a few Gibson built mandos. Each mando goes through two passes. The fingerpicked guitar is a Larrivee P-09 BL (Black Limba). NO EQ,
NO COMPRESSION, and mic'd with a AKG C414EB P48

1917 Gibson A-1
1995 Gibson A-5G
2021 Gibson F-5G
1994 Flatiron Performer A


Last edited by rockabilly69; 02-04-2023 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 11-18-2022, 07:29 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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The A1 is definitely my favorite. I listened through several times now. The brightness is very pretty. I bet it would be great for Christmas songs! Your choice of the AKG C414EB P48 was excellent, by the way. I like to call it a "literal" mic. It sort of gives you whatever is in front of it and doesn't pretty it up, which makes it excellent for comparisons. We've got an old C414comb here at the studio that is pretty close to the EB.

Bob
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Old 11-18-2022, 11:24 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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The first ('17 A1) sounded the best to me. Next was the F5G. The other two were kind of buried by the guitar accompaniment, but I like the Flatiron better than the A5G.

Thanks for sharing this!
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Old 11-18-2022, 12:58 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
The A1 is definitely my favorite. I listened through several times now. The brightness is very pretty. I bet it would be great for Christmas songs! Your choice of the AKG C414EB P48 was excellent, by the way. I like to call it a "literal" mic. It sort of gives you whatever is in front of it and doesn't pretty it up, which makes it excellent for comparisons. We've got an old C414 comb here at the studio that is pretty close to the EB.

Bob
Thanks Bob, I used the AKG C414EB P48 for exactly the reason you pointed out, it's literal! My brother had two of the older comb versions and they sounded very much like this one (frankly, I don't think I could tell them apart in a blind test)

I preferred the A1 in this too, with the F-5G a close second because the thick mids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
The first ('17 A1) sounded the best to me. Next was the F5G. The other two were kind of buried by the guitar accompaniment, but I like the Flatiron better than the A5G.

Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks Mandobart, as you can see I am in agreement with you on the A1 and the F5G being one and two, but I'm not too sure on the Flatiron being better than the A5G.

If I were to do this test again, I would find the sweet spot for each mandolin to bring each of their best qualities forward, instead of going with the same distance for each. I think the Flatiron and the A5G would have done better here if I moved them in closer to get some more of the top tone into the recordings. And one thing to remember there is NO eq on any of these recordings Thanks for listening guys!!!

I like all of these mandolins, and I think either the A5G or the Flatiron will be getting a set of Flatwound Thomastik strings on it to give me more variety in tones.
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Old 11-24-2022, 09:23 AM
ggibson189 ggibson189 is offline
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Where would I find mandolins on Gibson's web site?
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Old 11-24-2022, 02:03 PM
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I think Gibson forgets they make them, probably a good thing. Start with the F 9 at several hundred over $5K. It goes up quickly to around $23,000. I'd look at The Mandolin Store's website for a good representation. The Harvey era Gibsons are fabulous, and IMHO, if you want that Gibson tone, buy one.

Mandolin buying is not for the feint of heart. Have a gander at Carter Vintage's selection. Yes you can buy a credible Eastman, but you will lust after better. The Northfield F 5S is what passes for reasonable in the mandolin world.
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Old 12-05-2022, 12:17 AM
Matthew Sarad Matthew Sarad is offline
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I have an F9 I bought around 2008. Loud and bright with a good chop. Both F5G models I have played have a more midrange and low end than my F9. That extra thousand dollars really shows tonally.

Last edited by Matthew Sarad; 12-16-2022 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 12-05-2022, 12:46 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Sarad View Post
I have an F9 I bought around 2008. Loud and bright with a good chop. Both F5G models I have played have a more midrange and low end than my F9. Thatc3xtra thousand dollars really shows tonally.
From what I've heard I agree with you Matthew. BTW what year is your F9? The last few years have been really great for F5Gs.

BTW for the last few weeks I've been trying to figure out what I like about all of my mandolins, their strengths and their weaknesses. And one thing I can say for sure is that I truly love my F-5G. It just sits well in so many different types of music.

It not only sounds really good, it's a joy to play. I am by no means a great mandolin player, more of a roots rock side man for my recorded songs, but I KNOW when I have a special instrument, and this one is special.

Don't know if you heard this in my other thread but I just wrote a little mandolin part for this Elton song...


Last edited by rockabilly69; 12-05-2022 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 12-05-2022, 09:32 AM
K20C K20C is offline
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I decided to try out mandolin a couple of years ago and bought a Collings F type. Itís a nice sounding mandolin but Iíve found I prefer the sound of those century old oval hole Gibsons. So resonant and sweet sounding. I could have saved some money and been happier with the tone if Iíd bought a vintage Gibson. Itís a beautifully performed little piece in your demo.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:30 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K20C View Post
I decided to try out mandolin a couple of years ago and bought a Collings F type. Itís a nice sounding mandolin but Iíve found I prefer the sound of those century old oval hole Gibsons. So resonant and sweet sounding. I could have saved some money and been happier with the tone if Iíd bought a vintage Gibson. Itís a beautifully performed little piece in your demo.
I bought a Collings A type, and man did it look sweet, and the quality of the built was EXCELLENT, but the sound did nothing for me, so I returned it. And then bought the Gibson oval not long after. The oval type just has a roundness and a sweet top-end. It's really not the instrument that would chop through a busy mix, but for simple melodies like the one I wrote for that demo it'a just the perfect little instrument It's great to just sit and play it on the couch.

Thanks for the nice works on my demo!
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Old 12-06-2022, 04:43 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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My 1913 A 1 is just a bit out of my tonal likes. I prefer the twenties snakeheads. But it's what I play more than anything. Fiddle tunes and old timey are great on it, as is Celtic music. The snakeheads are just a brighter tone.

I've gone hot and cold on the Collings tone, which I think is the standard of modern sound. When you get to this nice a level it is completely subjective. Nothing does the Gibson chop like a Gibson, at least that I have played. There are many great sounding mandolins and too few places to experience them. I'm blessed to have, between two stores, access to four or five premium brands. I noticed the other day, Gryphon had no Collings at all. Even in COVID hell they had four or five. Early Christmas shopping?

But when I bought my Weber, I could play Collings and Northfield, and was happy to compare. The verdict was equal but different. Same when I took my modestly priced Silverangel in for a tweak. Very different, but ballpark equal. The opposite of the Collings tonally, much darker. But the G string tone I crave was in both.

I just would not know what to recommend. I guess if you can afford it a Collings MT would get you well over the bar. So would a Northfield F 5S. An honorable mention for the much more affordable Kentucky KN 900. But we are far afield of the original question. I remember my Grandmother would only fish with a stick, some line, a bobber and a hook. She had a grand time. You will too, with a Kentucky KM 150, or an Eastman. Just don't say I didn't warn you. Somewhere there is a guy playing his Dudenbostel and pitying me having to play my Webber Yellowstone Deluxe. Just as I am with those playing Eastmans. I think that is just the way things are. I want folks to have great instruments.

There is a Facebook mandolin group made up of a lot of new players and they are mostly very happy with their Eastmans. That is a grounded place for me to be every now and then, as I was once one of them.
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Old 12-16-2022, 09:43 AM
Matthew Sarad Matthew Sarad is offline
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Rockabilly69, My F9 is probably from 2005+/-
It sat in a store that was open for just a few years.
When it went out of business. I got it for $2,200 which was way below the list.
It's loaned to a friend.
I'll get the serial # and check the date.
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