In 1922, Lloyd Loar's design of the Gibson F-5 mandolin fundamentally defined the design of the modern mandolin and fundamentally transformed the mandolin's role in American music. Sporting the iconic 2-point F-style design, the F-5 was Gibson's first mandolin with parallel top braces, 1-piece Maple neck, longneck design, and fingerboard raised off of the top. The tone the F-5 produces was every bit as revolutionary as the design, inspiring generations of mandolin players.
Since the Lloyd Loar era, Gibson has produced many impressive recreations of these "Golden Age" instruments. Just like in the '20s, each of these mandolins is signed by Gibson's head acoustic engineer who oversees and coordinates their meticulous construction from start to finish.
This Gibson F-5 Master Model was signed by Charlie Derrington on February 7, 2000. Charlie developed his reputation for a vast knowledge and strong command of fine mandolins in 1985 when he was tasked with rebuilding Bill Monroe's fabled F-5, and he led Gibson's Original Acoustic Instrument Division from 1999 to 2004. According to many Gibson historians, Charlie was responsible for the finest instruments Gibson produced since Loar in the '20s. Charlie was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 2006, and since then, mandolins he signed have gained near legendary status. As soon as you try one, you'll find all of the lofty accolades are well, well deserved.
This 2000 Gibson F-5 Master Model is a faithful recreation of the early-'20s "Flowerpot" F-5. It is remarkably clean and looks as if it sat in its case for much of the last nineteen years. Its tone is thick, robust, and throaty, but it still packs gorgeous delicacy and tons of subtlety. With this mandolin in your hands, it's hard to imagine a better, more well-rounded mandolin.