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Description
Retrofret Stock # 3994. Gibson "The Alrite" Style D Model Flat Top Mandolin (1917), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 512, natural varnish finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, brown soft shell case. The style D "Alrite" mandolin was a very short-lived Gibson experiment, the company's first attempt at a flat-topped instrument. Gibson's entire marketing campaign was built around the superiority of their carved-top design, so the company had to tread carefully when opening up this new area! Using an oval, flat-bodied design for the new "Alrite" model, Gibson fitted their standard neck and hardware with a lower cost tailpiece and tuner strips. Gibson seemed ambivalent about the idea from the beginning, and the instruments were built for only a year or so in fairly small numbers. The top is amber spruce, with colored wood marquetry around the edge and soundhole. The back and sides are cherry-stained birch, while the neck is mahogany with an ebony fingerboard. The Style D has a distinctive sound, and despite its short shelf life is well-remembered; the Flatiron company was founded to produce instruments based on this model in 1977. Gibson kept the plain-Jane low-cost line alive with the "Army-Navy Special", which was built to the same general design as the Alrite but dispensed with all decorative trim, sporting only a utilitarian brown finish. These were intended originally for sale to Doughboys at military PX's. This was followed by the "Junior" models introduced after 1919, but the "A-Jr." mandolin was built with a carved top, leaving the flat-top mandolin design to languish until the 1930's. The Style D Alrite has a unique tone, bright and peppy but with a distinctly Gibson flavor. This is a good-playing and sounding example of a rare mandolin.Overall length is 24 1/4 in. (61.6 cm.), 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.) width, and 1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/8 in. (29 mm.). Overall a nice example; tailpiece cover is missing and a larger ebony bridge replaces the original. Some general wear and old repairs to the back edge (the birch back often shrinks on these) and play wear to the top. A good-sounding and playing "Alrite". Excellent Condition.
Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Retrofret Vintage Guitars

1917
Gibson
Excellent
natural varnish
Soft
Retrofret Vintage Guitars
Sales
718 237 6092
Brooklyn New York, NY
12:28 AM
Monday - Friday 12noon - 7pm Saturday 12noon - 6pm Other times and days often available by appointment. Feel free to contact us.

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Retrofret has been shipping instruments throughout the USA and worldwide for nearly 20 years. We have yet to experience a single instance of damage (...I hope this doesn't jinx our perfect record). Retrofret's shipping department can send parcels via UPS, Fedex, USPS, BAX, DHL and DSV Air and Yusen Air Cargo. We ship instruments and other items on a 48 hour approval basis once we received payment in full. Shipping charges and taxes are not included in the prices listed. Mail order shipments within New York are subject to sales tax of 8.875%. Shipments out of state are not subject to NY city and state tax, although the buyer assumes all other tax requirements of their municipality. Before sending payment, please call to confirm the instrument's availability and the cost of shipment.

If you decide not to keep an instrument shipped to you, notify us by telephone, fax or email within 48 hours of receiving it. We'll take note to expect the return. Please ship it in the same carton via UPS, insured for its full value. We will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges.