Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gibson crafts Skaggs-model F5

In an impromptu ceremony on the IBMA exhibit hall floor, Gibson USA announced what is likely to become an object of desire for mandolin pickers everywhere--a Ricky Skaggs-autograph distressed-finish Lloyd Loar F5 mandolin. The company will make 30 copies of the instrument, designed with a "speed neck" to Skagg's specifications and carefully worn to appear as old as a Lohr original.

Each instrument will be inspected by Skaggs and come complete with his signature, certificate of authenticity, embroidered case cover, tone guard and a CD of Skaggs instrumentals. Final pricing has not been set, but a Gibson spokesman said it would list at around $23,000.

Skaggs himself opined that the resale value of the instruments could easily reach twice that after the production run was complete. "You can always buy a new F5 from Gibson, but this looks and plays like it is 60 years old," he said.

Gibson also offers signature models endorsed by Sam Bush, Doyle Lawson and several others, but the Skaggs model will be the only distressed-finish mandolin in its artist series. I want one.

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