The winner is Todd Evans
Additional Bowden Comments
Thanks to all the contestants, we have lovely parting gifts for you, including the Home Game. And congratulations to our dogged first-time winner!
The answer was indeed G, which include D&E. Gibson has been cranking out a handful of “distressed” Master Model F5 mandolins for around 15+ years. There’s also a distressed “Ricky Skaggs” version. Last year they announced they were going to make 3 tributes to Bill Monroe’s original Lloyd Loar F-5; one in original format (with intact peghead and pickguard, “lightly” used; one in the famous 1950s/1960s format with broken peghead with “Gibson” gouged out and no pickguard; and then finally in the “as restored” condition with the peghead fixed by the finish nearly completely gone from the body. Inaugural of each would go to a museum, then more would be offered for sale.
CF Martin put a toe in the water a couple of years ago with “lightly aged” D 18s and D28s. They take perfectly good brand new vintage-repro guitars and then staff members “relic” them by hand. One thing I’ve noticed after seeing a bunch of them for sale, all the aging/distressing/relic-ing looks identical on all of them! I guess they have a blueprint. They look mighty nice to me.
Gibson no longer makes banjos (imagine that!), and never offered a “distressed” model.
Gibson owns the Dobro trademark, but Andy Bing confirmed my suspicion that Gibson no longer offers Dobro resonator guitars. Instead, their resonator guitars are now badged Epiphone and come from Asia.