1966 Gibson A5 Mandolin ID-6357
1966 Gibson A5 Mandolin
This 1966 Gibson A style mandolin features a rounded teardrop shaped body. It may have two points projecting from the body, one on each side of the neck. However, the term "A", is then further qualified as a "double cutaway A" or "Jethro style A" or "Florentine A" in this case. In the absence of further designation, vintage "A"s are understood to be of the oval hole variety, modern "A"s of the f-hole variety. In the early 1960's the A-5 mandolin incorporated the Cherry sunburst finish. It plays wonderfully, has a great loud "chop", and a beautiful warm sound.
There are very many styles and varieties of mandolins made by very many manufacturers and independent luthiers. However, Mandolin referred to in the USA are more than likely those manufactured by the Gibson Co. (or patterned after the Gibsons).
Orville Gibson (born 1856, Chateaugay, New York) started making mandolins in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States. The mandolins were distinctive in that they featured a carved, arched solid wood top and back and bent wood sides. Prior to this, mandolins had a flat solid wood top and a bowl-like back similar to a lute. These bowl-back mandolins were very fragile and unstable. Disdainful of the shape, Orville Gibson characterized them as "potato bugs". Gibson's innovation made a distinctive, darker-sounding mandolin that was easier to manufacture in large numbers.
In 1922 Gibson introduced a level of master-grade instruments under the watchful eye of its top engineer, Mr. Lloyd Loar. These instruments designated as the F5 mandolin, L5 guitar, H5 mandola, K5 mandocello, no mandobass and exactly one A5 mandolin. They were characterized by very high quality workmanship, materials, ornamentation AND f-shaped soundholes. The F5 mandolin also has a longer neck than the previous mandolins. This allows easier access to the higher frets. These instruments signed by Mr. Loar have become highly prized collector items.
This is a nice clean A style with F-shaped sound holes with a carved spruce top and flame maple back and sides. Fretboard is flush with the top. Classic "Gibson" decal logo above the truss rod cover on the peghead. Fully bound top, back and fingerboard. All hardware and finish is original. Some scratches, dents and wear as seen in the detailed photos below. Comes with original Gibson Hardshell Case.
- Shipping Weight: 68lbs
- Serial: 408235
- Top Wood: Carved Spruce
- Back Wood: Maple
- Nut Width: 1 3/16"
- Scale: 14"
- Year: 1966
- Inlays: Crowned Pearl
- Fretboard: Bound rosewood with Pearl Dots
- Nut Material: Bone
- Pickguard: Laminated Beveled Edge
- Headstock Shape: Scroll
- Headstock Inlay: Pearl Gibson Logo
- Frets To Body: 12
- Case: Original Gibson USA Hardshell Case
- Misc. 1: Florentine symmetrical 2-point body
- Misc. 2: Oval soundhole
- Misc. 3: Clamshell 2 piece tailpiece