Gibson has announced two new instruments in its iconic F-5 mandolin line, a replica of the historic 1923 Loar, and a modern version for players who want the sound without all the frills.
The 1923 F-5 Master Model Reissue is a painstaking clone of the mandolin that started it all, the most highly prized F-5 ever made, those signed in July of 1923 by Gibson’s master luthier and designer, Lloyd Loar. Using a mix of 3D scanning and Loar’s original notes, they have replicated every curve and every specification from the original article. They are so sure that it is an exact copy that they even paste in a replica of the authentic label, with Lloyd Loar’s signature.
Like the real thing, Gibson uses a high grade red spruce top, with quarter sawn figured red maple neck, back, and sides, finished with a hand rubbed varnish. The ebony fingerboard has mother-of-pearl dots, and the headstock boasts the classic flower pot in abalone.
This reissue also comes in a replica case with the pea green lining.
To help demonstrate the 1023 F-5 Master Model Reissue, Gibson invited Sierra Hull in to check it out, and filmed this video with David Harvey, head of mandolins at the company.
Gibson offers the 1923 F-5 Master Model Reissue for $19,999, and says that they have them available for sale now online, and from a limited number of specialty mandolin resellers.
Also new is the F-5G, the little brother to the ’23 reissue. It is made with the same basic F-5 body shape, but with a wider, radiused fingerboard, no fingerboard extension, and a sitka spruce top with red maple neck, back, and sides. These mandolins are finished with a nitrocellulose lacquer, and come with a standard hardshell case.
The F-5G has been in the Gibson line for several years, but its specifications have been updated for the current model.
Adam McIntosh with The Mandolin Store created this video to explain.
Perhaps not as exciting as the ’23 reissue, but they sell for only $5,999.
Detailed specs for both models can be found on the Gibson web site.