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1923 Gibson F-5 Mandolin
 
John Reischman demonstrates a Lloyd Loar-signed F-5 that’s in nearly mint condition.
March 15, 2022
 

When luthier, musician, and acoustic engineer Lloyd Loar designed the F-5 mandolin in 1922 while he was working for Gibson, he came up with an instrument that is still universally considered to be the pinnacle in the evolution of the mandolin. Loar left Gibson in late 1924, and the F-5s that he personally signed and dated between 1922 and 1924 are among the most valuable fretted instruments today, appealing to players and collectors alike. (228 Loars are documented to still exist, out of around 350 that were originally made.) Peghead Nation instructor John Reischman is closely associated with a 1924 Gibson F-5 that he’s been playing for more than 30 years (check out his demo of the instrument), so when we learned that Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon, California, had a 1923 Loar-signed F-5, we arranged for John to check it out while he was in the area to shoot lessons for his Peghead Nation Old-Time Mandolin course.

Signed on June 13, 1923, this Gibson F-5 is from the middle period of the Loar era, before Loar’s Virzi Tone-Producer was frequently added to the instrument, and it has a lighter sunburst than some later models, including John’s 1924 instrument. The mandolin appears to be completely original and is in remarkable condition, with a few scratches, yellowed binding, and a tarnished tailpiece being the only signs of its age. 

John didn’t play the instrument prior to shooting this video, which documents him discovering the instrument, playing a variety of tunes, and commenting on its condition, tone, and playability. “It has a nice bottom-end, and very clear top-end,” he says. “It’s a great mandolin, a lot of fun to play!” 

To learn mandolin from John Reischman, enroll in his Melodic Mandolin Tunes or his new Old-Time Mandolin course. 

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com