1918 Gibson A Carved-Top Mandolin

Yep, another classic "old time" Gibson mandolin came through the doors of the shop. I've seen a lot of these over the years and this is in the "better half" of the Gibson A camp. It has that creaminess to the top end with the snap to the bottom that you want out of these. That makes them cut through a mix while still sounding pretty-enough to play on your lonesome.

This guy was just here for a glorified setup, but I was glad it came by. I love the sound of these old teens-era A-models and the pumpkin-natural top color is always my favorite other than white. These take you back right to the teens/'20s the moment you start picking them.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, minor seam repairs, cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays perfectly, with a straight neck, and hair-under 1/16" action at the 12th fret. Strings are 36w-10 GHS and that's as heavy as I suggest -- but many folks get away with modern 40w-11 gauges on these.

Scale length: 13 7/8"
Nut width: 1 3/16"
String spacing at nut: 1"
String spacing at bridge: 1 1/2"
Body length: 13 1/2"
Lower bout width: 10"
Side depth at deepest: 1 3/4"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid birch
Neck wood: mahogany, two-piece
Fretboard: ebony, bone nut
Bridge: non-adjustable, compensated, ebony
Neck feel: medium V-shape, flat board

Condition notes: this has all of its original finish and features except that the finish has been oversprayed at some point with one clearcoat. The original weather-check/crackle and look is still evident through it, though. Fortunately, this mando has no cracks. The pickguard looks original but may be a clever replacement as it doesn't have the latching "foot" that clamps to the back/sides.