This lovely mandolin was made in 1983 by Bob Givens in Sandpoint, Idaho. It predates Bob’s use of paper labels but it has the serial number 296 penciled on the back and the date 1/3/83 penciled under the top. Bob Givens has near-legendary status among today's mandolin builders, as he was one of the first modern luthiers to tackle carved top and back mandolins, including F models, as an individual maker. This example was made long before modern woodworking technology such as CNC revolutionized instrument manufacturing. Givens made all his own jigs and fixtures, cut his own pearl inlays, and essentially built each mandolin solo, or with the occasional help of one other person. Givens has equally high status among players, because his mandolins sound uncommonly good, with a rich, bubbly tone that works well in just about any style of music.
The nut width on this mandolin is 1 1/16” and the fretboard is radiused but there is no adjustable truss rod. The previous owner had the frets at the end of the fretboard removed and the fretboard extension scooped, a common modification that makes it easier for the player’s right hand to produce a strong rhythm chop. The maple neck has been given a "speed neck" treatment by removing the finish on the barrel of the neck. The bridge appears to be original. The original tuning machines, which were most likely Schallers, were replaced with nickel Gotoh MF-40 gears with pearl buttons. The original tailpiece was replaced with a nickel plated James tailpiece, a definite upgrade. The pickguard is not original but it’s well-made in the Gibson style. There are a pair of nicely repaired cracks at the top and bottom of the treble-side f-hole, and a repaired crack in the top near the curl. The finish has quite a few nicks, scuffs and dings and shows the signs of having been played a bunch. That makes sense because this instrument has the kind of tone and easy-to-get volume that makes it hard to put down once you start playing. Includes a hardshell case.