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Relisted after pulling the listing after one day: Due to 's bizarre search engine that needed "mandolin" in the title. ie: "Flatiron F5" would find the instrument, but "Flatiron F5 mandolin" would not. Go figure. Sorry to previous buyers. 'Hope you return!Breaking up is hard to do. I have played this beautiful Flatiron F5 Artist for six wonderful years. I have numerous mandolins and this has been my main axe for bluegrass and Gypsy jazz. I have recently purchased a hand-made, hand varnished (very expensive) mandolin, and I am over my head at the moment, and need to part with my Flatiron that has served me so well. The instrument is in perfect playing condition and has been maintained by master luthier Chris Mirabella. Chris also did the custom work on it which includes: an ebony and figured maple abbreviated pick guard, pearl nut, scooped end to the ebony finger board, re-fretting, installation of Allen tail piece, and a beautiful inlaid abalone rainbow trout. This inlay was done on the surface to cover a small hole from a wire of a Fishman pick-up when I bought it. This does not impede the sound or structure in any way. Fortunately the seller included the original bridge, so I removed the Fishman and put the origiginal back on. When a mandolin has such an exquisite sound, my thinking is that I do not want to send that precious sound through a wire (even on a Fishman pick-up). I have performed using high end condenser mics and have been quite happy.
Here is some info that I copied from the Folk of the Woods site. It was a response from Mickey that offers some details and insight to what these mandos had sold for:"These are highly esteemed and highly desirable mandolins...I would recommend that you hold on to it since the Flatiron name is now defunct...it should go up in value considerably over the next 5 years..."The last retail we had on these was 5,600.00...
Original specifications included:* Construction: Spruce top, Maple back and sides
* Tone Bar: X-bars
* Headstock Inlay: Modified Fern
* Binding: Side Double Bound
* Hardware: Gold
* Color: Sunburst
* Finish: Lacquer
* Case: Rectangular Hardshell
The F5 Artists was the top model put out by Flatiron. Many players find the X bracing offers extra punch to to really persussive chording (chops) and the leads on the instrument will keep up with the best mandolins around. The F5 Artists were signed by Bruce Weber and Steve Carlson. This one was signed by Dennis Balan who was plant manager for ten months in Bozeman, Montana while Weber and Carlson were away traveling around the world or something.
There are literally no issues with this mandolin but there are two tiny items I am pointing out to be totally thorough. In one of the close-up photos I have circled two areas. One is a tiny gouge (not a crack) and the other is a slight hairline crack at the the indent of the point. It appears to be in the finish only. Both are barely noticeable and offer no need for any concern.
I believe in REAL sales without reserves and high start offers. Anyone interested in this mando has a fairly good idea what they go for, so I am confident that it will bring in the numbers what it is worth, without pestering buyers with reserves and games.
Lastly, keep in mind that after Gibson bought out Flatiron at the end of the 80s, it was still a great instrument for a lot of years, but the pre-Gibson, Montana Flatirons have always been regarded as being the most desirable. I will stand behind this instrument 100% and I have a perfect response history. If you do not fall madly in love with it after playing it for a few days, I will gladly honor a refund (minus shipping cost). I am willing to bet the farm that won't happen. It is a truly wonderful instrument!
Here is a vid playing out with it: is our band website where you can download songs in which I am using the Flatiron on all tracks (best examples would be Minor Swing, No Hiding Place, and Lady Be Luck, and Happy offerding.
On Feb-25-11 at 21:20:43 PST, seller added the following information:
NOTE: It has come to my attention From Dennis at The Mandolin Store (Great Shop) that although the instrument may have been made in '87, it was labeled in '88, and Gibson was the new owner, at least on paper. For all intensive purposes it is a Bozeman, Monatana Flatiron Artist F5 made the same way as the years leading up to this, and they were all signed by Carlson, Weber, or Balan. A few years after the takeover Gibson moved it all to Nashville. ...So anyway, officially it is not a "Pre-Gibson", but that is how it was sold to me. Apologies. -W