8/20/2014

c.1920 Gibson A-2 Carved-top Mandolin


I meant to grab the serial number and record a clip of this mandolin before its owner came by but ran out of time... so the date is a guess. My work on this mandolin was a slight bridge recut/fitting and setup. It's actually in great overall shape but the neck does show a bunch of fretwear and a light warp. Still... because it's a Gibson... it miraculously plays just fine with proper action at the 12th fret and a good, woody, classic old-timey sound.

What makes it an A-2? Binding on the board, top, and back and a slightly nicer rosette. And who can blame the original owner of this for choosing a nice brown-stained beaut? A fella loves a dark horse.







The piezo-equipped ebony replacement bridge actually sounds fairly decent. It had been installed sans adjusters and with a couple washers for spacing because the "towers" on the foot of the bridge were too tall and shoved the action up too high. I got it back down to spec by modding the bridge foot and the adjusters went right back on -- so useful it's painful not to have them.



The back actually appears to be flamed birch.


The replacement tuners are a bit icky so I suggested StewMac antiqued repros. I hope the owner follows-through.



The extra trim sure looks snazzy, huh? I'm so used to top binding only on old Gibs that visit over here.

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