1925 manufacture date (traditional estimates)
1928 shipment date, according to Spann's Guide to Gibson
Mandolin, Style A
Factory order number unknown
1926 Gibson A
Serial # 83371. From the early post-Loar era, this A model mandolin features the same adjustable bridge and truss-rod that were introduced by Llyod Loar just a few years earlier. The back and sides are maple (another Loar introduction) rather than birch, as was previously used by Gibson on all their carved instruments. All told, this Model A is much more akin to a Loar period Snakehead than to the instruments built before '22 and after '28. And it sounds like it too. This is about as loud an oval hole mandolin as you can find. Although tonally it is very dissimilar to an F-5, it can carry its own in terms of sheer volume.
The instrument is in excellent overall condition, but does show finish wear on the back of the neck and on the top under where your arm would rest. It has been played, and it has been well cared for throughout its life. Completely original but for a bone nut that we've made for it, the instrument has a fabulous look and feel. The neck and frets are bang-on (the frets were lightly dressed by us, too), and the action is slinky low. The top is in good shape and shows no signs of sinkage.