IN LATE 1922 GIBSON, UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF their new acoustic engineer, Lloyd Loar, refurbished their entire line of mandolins. The new versions of previous models (the A-2 in this case) had a number of distinquishing features including the adjustable truss-rod in the neck (hidden by a plastic bell-shaped cover on the peghead), adjustable two-piece ebony bridge, and a new tapering peghead contour, called the “snakehead” by vintage-instrument dealers and collectors. The unusual designation A-2Z was given this midline instrument, with bound fingerboard, top and back, and an additional black line of purfling around the top. The A-2Z is most commonly found with a natural-finish top, although there are examples with black tops.
(from Tone Poems CD booklet , used by permission)
Photography by Eric Harger