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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Gibson RB800


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Cagowner - Posted - 07/11/2007:  16:43:06


I am a new member to the banjo hangout and this is my first post. I am a68 yr old beginner and have practiced for about 3 yrs. I purchased my RB800 gold plated and inlaid beautifully, not H&F but the other standard inlay. The resonator is a beautiful sunburst color and overall this is a great banjo in my opinion. I paid 1700.00 for this banjo in 1973 and was told it was gibsons toop of the line. (If your curious as to why it took me 34 yrs to play it read my bio!} Here is my question. Why is it such a rarity ? I can find no info on this Gibson, is it a freak or a experiment or maybe a Granada look alike? It has the gibson serial no on the peghead and the mastertone inlay where the neck meets the banjo. It was ordered from the Gibson factory brand spanking new. I love this banjo and will pass it on to my grandkids. What up with this banjo?

There are two great tragedys in life. One is not getting the object of hearts desire and the other is getting the object of our hearts desire...GB Shaw

Tomcat - Posted - 07/11/2007:  17:06:31


I heard someone say for some reason they were very expensive to build (WHY? I don't know) A friend of mine had one ,it was a really nice banjo. Theres a pic in my photo section of me playing it. He is a hangout member (Hudbone ) email him ,may be he can tell you a little more about it.

Watson Banjo Company 19 Mears Avenue Canton NC 28716-4421 (828)648-5830

Tomcat - Posted - 07/11/2007:  17:16:59


Oh by the way, can I call you grandpaw?

Watson Banjo Company 19 Mears Avenue Canton NC 28716-4421 (828)648-5830

Sponge Bob Round Head - Posted - 07/11/2007:  17:28:07


The RB800 is a relatively rare bird. There were only 204 of them made from 1964 to 1971, and then none until 1979. The 2-piece flange made them expensive to produce. The early ones I have seen all had the inferior multi-ply rim, but of those, the ones I played still sounded pretty decent. I had the chance recently to set up a 1979 RB-800 which has an original rock-solid 3-ply rim and a pre-war spec tonering (Faulkner maybe), and that banjo plays and sounds fantastic.
FWIW....
Dan

GPettigrew - Posted - 07/11/2007:  19:30:26


I bought mine new in 1977 and in an earlier post stated issues with the quality/sound..After some changes(multiple) it kicks butt

ambpicker - Posted - 07/11/2007:  19:55:10


I started playing fall of 1980. There was a music store, in Bryan, Tx. that had one. I wanted that banjo so bad. I was just a little to poor to buy one. During that part of my life, times were pretty tight. I was doing good just to have the $100 pawn shop banjo I had at the time. If I remember, I think the retail price was $1200. I actually filled out a credit application of some kind. There are probably people still laughing from having read that application.
Funny, I still have a soft spot for an RB800, and that one in particular. I think I know who has it today.

El Dobro - Posted - 07/11/2007:  20:18:45


quote:
Originally posted by Sponge Bob Round Head

The RB800 is a relatively rare bird. There were only 204 of them made from 1964 to 1971, and then none until 1979. The 2-piece flange made them expensive to produce. The early ones I have seen all had the inferior multi-ply rim, but of those, the ones I played still sounded pretty decent. I had the chance recently to set up a 1979 RB-800 which has an original rock-solid 3-ply rim and a pre-war spec tonering (Faulkner maybe), and that banjo plays and sounds fantastic.
FWIW....
Dan



If it had the heavy ring, it should be the GBB ring.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband

lazyarcher - Posted - 07/13/2007:  05:34:47


I bought one new in 1976...sight unseen order from our local music store. It was a multi-ply rim model, with a neck like a baseball bat. It was "Argentine Grey", but ended up being lime green....but hey, it was the '70s so I thought it was kinda hip Really a mediocre banjo as far as quality goes, but when setup properly, it was a good sounding banjo. It unfortunately changed ownership without my consent one night in a club I was playing.

Dave Jack

Sponge Bob Round Head - Posted - 07/13/2007:  09:23:31


quote:
Originally posted by lazyarcher

It unfortunately changed ownership without my consent one night in a club I was playing.
Dave Jack


Dave, that really sux. Do you remember the serial number? Just in case it shows up somewhere,... you never know.

Dan
SBRH
"When all is said and done, more is said than done"
http://www.banjophiles.com

lazyarcher - Posted - 07/13/2007:  15:50:06


Dan--pieces of it did show up about a year later. One of the locals in town was responsable for the ripoff, and thought the "gold" was worth a big $$....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The rim and resonator sans metal was "turned in". A friend of mine bought it from the insurance company for $200 salvage, and the banjo was written off.

As an interesting side note--I had that banjo fully insured under a household policy which included theft, had the serial #s and appraisal on file, was listed as a working musician...and the insurance company did everything they could to get out of paying. The policy stuck because they had accepted the payments. Make sure all of your i's are dotted and t's crossed with instrument insurance. The insurance rep lady said at the table after the meetings that she couldn't believe a "banjo" was worth that much $$ I think I said the same about her insurance policy and cancelled it.

quote:
Originally posted by Sponge Bob Round Head

quote:
Originally posted by lazyarcher

It unfortunately changed ownership without my consent one night in a club I was playing.
Dave Jack


Dave, that really sux. Do you remember the serial number? Just in case it shows up somewhere,... you never know.

Dan
SBRH
"When all is said and done, more is said than done"
http://www.banjophiles.com



Dave Jack

DIV - Posted - 07/15/2007:  02:08:25


quote:
Originally posted by lazyarcher

The insurance rep lady said at the table after the meetings that she couldn't believe a "banjo" was worth that much $$ I think I said the same about her insurance policy and cancelled it.


I love the way you stuck it to 'em, Dave. "Eat THIS, insurance company!" Yeah!


Dan Varadi


Edited by - DIV on 07/15/2007 02:09:40

BanjoBil - Posted - 07/15/2007:  08:54:51


Welcome to the HangOut Bob, looks like you got a good collection of Banjos to pick on. Glad to hear your getting some picking in now, hope you keep that Parrot intertained for a long time.

.....Bill


2005 Maple BlackJack
2000 RB-18

f5loar - Posted - 07/15/2007:  21:20:15


Let's start with a bit of background on the elusive 60's-early 70's RB800. It was Gibson's Masterone "Deluxe" model. Truly a work of art, this beautifully constructed, gold trimmed 5 sting banjo offers the banjo artist the ultimate in a musical instrument(or at least at this time in mid 60's). Carefully selected prime quality craftsmanship to provide a banjo of exceptional musical quality and exciting appearance. Their finest artist banjo with the snap, the ring and the tone that the professional musician requires of his instrument (not too many women banjer pickers' back then!). Gold-plated, hand engraved metal parts, deluxe pearl position markers and peghead and custom finsihes make the Gibson RB-800 the world's finest giving this banjo an appearance that commands attention or at least this is how the '66 all color deluxe Gibson catalog said it. They even featured the 800 in the first full page color photo against a background of a collage of the American flag and two simple white daisy flowers carefully drapped over the "Masterone" label block inlay. The price in late 1965 including case was a mere $860.00. Compare this to the F5 mandolin at $757, the J200 acoustic guitar at $575 or the L5 archtop guitar at $790 it was pretty pricey at the time. Now let's do look at the rarity of the RB800: in 1964 they made 2. In 1965 they made 40 so pretty much '64 are prototypes with maybe one or two in '63 as early protos. But after 1965 they drop to only 25 and then 43 in '67. A high point in '68 with 48 they drop back to 44 to finish out '69. And this during the "peak" of bluegrass festival fever. Also this was the begining of master solo luthiers making 5 string necks to fit onto prewar Mastertones of all types.
There were none made in '70 and only 2 made in '71. No more until '79 when they start back up with a whoping 83 made. So what happened in those none made years? Fender, that's what and the surge of prewar conversions. Fender was putting out their Artist and Concertone and many pros were seen playing them eating Gibson's banjo market quickly. And then Stelling comes on stream about mid 70's to cut into it again with Alan Munde leading the way. I would love to own a pre-66 RB800. Since along about '67 is when things went "thin" for Gibson pots and the sound seemed to suffer as a result. There was an old gentleman in China Grove, NC that was obsessed with collecting RB 800s. He would trade his mother in law for one or 2 good used D28 Martins. Not sure how many he died with (Larry Perkins knows) but he cornered the market on the 800s for decades. The flying Eagle was the first pattern and most common. The cherry sunburst the most common finish. The other finishes are less common: Gibson Cermona Sunburst, Argentine Gray, Natural or the rare Viceroy Brown with Natural Sunburst (I never saw one of these!). You could order the hearts and flowers and you could get an all chrome engraved one(those are rare too).

Tom Isenhour

Huntndux - Posted - 07/15/2007:  21:37:52


Mine had the wreath pattern inlay...late 70's cherry sunburst...I had a clear head on it and inside the resonator, it was orangey red..real pretty... I've got 1 picture of that banjo and me when I was about 12 years old....I looked like a dork...LOL

Bobby

When I come to the end...the end of the road...to the land of eternity. When I come to the end...of lifes long road, the face of my Lord I'll see.

El Dobro - Posted - 07/16/2007:  09:57:50


In the catalog pic that Tom is referring to, the armrest is missing and the 5th string nut (if you want to call it a nut, since it was actually a screw) is placed too far in towards the center of the fingerboard. Gibson's attention to the small details. That's why people were buying other banjos. Another banjo maker that was making a far better instrument at the time was Baldwin/Ode.

Down through the years, I've searched for that magic OPF 800 that would knock my socks off. I've owned four of them and not one of them would even untie my shoes. Even though they may look like Ferraris, there's a Fiat engine under the hood.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband

beegee - Posted - 07/16/2007:  15:02:43


quote:
So a Gibson banjo was about half the price of a new truck.

and probably sounded 1/2 as good.....

_________________________________________
This too shall pass...

Grifton NC

Cagowner - Posted - 07/16/2007:  15:51:21


Thanks for the info on my RB800 I guess if I am happy with it thats all that matters. This is a great site and I am happy to be a new member.

There are two great tragedys in life. One is not getting the object of hearts desire and the other is getting the object of our hearts desire...GB Shaw

lazyarcher - Posted - 07/16/2007:  23:58:53


F5loar--if there were only 2 made in '71 then no more until '79, where did my 1976 one come from? The finish was so new the smell just about nocked you over.

Dave Jack

f5loar - Posted - 07/17/2007:  09:41:30


I can only state the Gibson production records as they are given which to my knowledge are correct for those figures and years. So sounds to me Gibson had a backlog of 800s sitting around. Dealers in those days seldom had more then one in stock of the high end models like the 800 or F5s, etc. The price was out of reach for the average picker.
I'd say you would have to have your serial numbers to date it back to '68 or '69 which were the high production years. Possible they had them built but without finish so that when a special order came in they applied the finish at that time but kept the old serial number which was stamped into the raw wood before finish. I know from my memory of this time you didn't see banjo pickers with 800s in the southeast. You did see Fenders, Stellings, Baldwin/Odes and Vegas and of coarse the most popular at the time the reneck prewar Gibsons of all models. A poor original tenor/plectrum seldom survived the 70's as it was turned into a flathead 5 string. Gibson has been known to do this hold back thing for decades so no reason it didn't happen up into the mid 70's.

Tom Isenhour

El Dobro - Posted - 07/17/2007:  14:45:27


Did the 800's you guys got during the mid 70's have 2 piece flanges?

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband

Cagowner - Posted - 07/17/2007:  17:29:48


This thread is getting more interesting as the puzzling info on Rb800 gets more confusing. I started this thread becaus of the lack of info on these Banjos. I ordered mine in 1973 through a local music store and had to wait six weeks for it.. It finally arrived and I was totally impressed with it's beauty and ease of playability. It smelled factory fresh and it was my first new Banjo. It was expensive (1732.00), I checked the serial no. with the Gibson factory and it indicated the Banjo was built in 1973, this was severa years ago. It sounds like they built it in 73 although they quit making them in 1969. Very confusing, maybe somebody knows the answer why it would be built in 73 with a factory order from my local music store.

There are two great tragedys in life. One is not getting the object of hearts desire and the other is getting the object of our hearts desire...GB Shaw


Edited by - Cagowner on 07/17/2007 17:33:04

El Dobro - Posted - 07/17/2007:  18:03:44


quote:
Originally posted by Cagowner

This thread is getting more interesting as the puzzling info on Rb800 gets more confusing. I started this thread becaus of the lack of info on these Banjos. I ordered mine in 1973 through a local music store and had to wait six weeks for it.. It finally arrived and I was totally impressed with it's beauty and ease of playability. It smelled factory fresh and it was my first new Banjo. It was expensive (1732.00), I checked the serial no. with the Gibson factory and it indicated the Banjo was built in 1973, this was severa years ago. It sounds like they built it in 73 although they quit making them in 1969. Very confusing, maybe somebody knows the answer why it would be built in 73 with a factory order from my local music store.

There are two great tragedys in life. One is not getting the object of hearts desire and the other is getting the object of our hearts desire...GB Shaw



Does your 800 have a cast flange or a two-piece flange?

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband

Huntndux - Posted - 07/17/2007:  22:08:49


Mine was a two piece flange

Bobby

When I come to the end...the end of the road...to the land of eternity. When I come to the end...of lifes long road, the face of my Lord I'll see.

Lono - Posted - 07/17/2007:  23:12:56


quote:
Originally posted by f5loar

I would love to own a pre-66 RB800. Since along about '67 is when things went "thin" for Gibson pots and the sound seemed to suffer as a result.



Gibson continued to use thick rims on the 800s and switched to thin rims on the 250s

wrightedward - Posted - 07/17/2007:  23:45:22


I dont know where to go with this as i am as confused as every other owner on this site >>I bought mine in 1974 ,new and i was looking for the longest time as to when it was built.. Serial no# didnt help me and peolpe on here couldnt help ..Every one gave me idea's as to when it was made ,but no one could nail it down .>Long story made short ,my banjo (800) wasnt a killer either ,it was very mellow and not loud .You could put it through a mike and get it up there .I had a luthier work on it this spring and he completly turned my 800 around ,volume ,tone ,bottom end to spare it sounds very good .It is cherry sunburst and yes the gold has failed ,some remains,who cares ??But i know when it was born ,,in the top of the rim ,under the ring is stamped 10/03/1974,machine stamped .As most know Gibson ser# are crazy but this machine stamp under the ring ,where no one could tamper with it ,shows when it took life .The first time the ring had been off of this banjo was the day the luthier set it up this spring and i know that for a fact ..The top washer on the upper Coor.rods was fowlling the ring .He completley torn it down to the last bolt to find out why it wouldnt prduce .He filed that little washer flat on the side where it was touching the ring .. Put it together and set it up and bingo and brandnew banjo ,that i am not ashamed to be heard anywhere .Looks like i am running out of space .Soon as i learn how i will put pictureson my site ,and will talk to anyone about their 800's
Eddie
Phillipians 4;13

wrightedward - Posted - 07/17/2007:  23:49:50


And yes to the two piece flange ,and no junk all solid maple including the resonator.
Eddie Phillipians 4;13

lazyarcher - Posted - 07/18/2007:  00:58:02


Mine was a bright green (argentine grey)sunburst 2 piece flange, multi-ply rim, fiddle headstock hearts and flowers.. I know of 2 others--Charlie Street has a '60s cherry sunburst 1 piece flange, double cut headstock, flying eagle inlay, I believe the 1st year made. Denis Lepage has a '70s cherry sunburst 2 piece flange fiddle headstock wreath pattern. All are/were good sounding banjos.

Dave Jack

slowlybutsurely - Posted - 07/18/2007:  09:22:23


I met a man awhile back that has played most of his life. His favorite Gibson is the RB-800. He has two of them and vows thats the only ones he like to play. He played while we were there and I will have to say...they did sound good..

Tim Nash
Happy pickin'

El Dobro - Posted - 07/18/2007:  11:48:17


If they were all 2-piece flange 800's, that means they weren't left-overs from the 60's style.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband

Cagowner - Posted - 07/18/2007:  18:52:03


Mine was also the two piece flange,multiply rim and solid maple,fiddle head and flying eagle inlay.
resonator is cherry sunburst. Maybe these Banjo's are not a complete piece of crap as the purists believe the sixetys RB800's were. In the years ahead the 70's RB800's might replace the pre-war Gibsons as the ultimet Gibson Banjo. I may have the only RB800 made in 73. Any Bids?

There are two great tragedys in life. One is not getting the object of hearts desire and the other is getting the object of our hearts desire...GB Shaw

GPettigrew - Posted - 07/18/2007:  20:33:07


I still have the original job sheet on my rb800 serial # 06188993 from Gibson...It says special instrument manufacturing order on the heading....job # 4692 ..CMI order # 403179(whatever that means) Date order recieved 7/1/77.. completion date 10/1/77.. shipped to Reliable music in Charlotte NC. It is natural finish , 3piece neck, 2pc flange, multi ply glue rim....flying eagle inlay....My friend recieved his exact copy of mine (except for h&f inlay) about six months prior ..

f5loar - Posted - 07/18/2007:  22:37:58


No doubt a number starting with 06 followed by 6 more numbers is a 1977 model but then you are saying this is a 2 pc. flange which would not make it the 60's 800.

Tom Isenhour

wrightedward - Posted - 07/18/2007:  23:03:18


Well mine only has 6 number's in the ser#, 512797 and it is cherry sunburst ,flying eagle ,they must have made a lot like that . And who knows they might be worth something some day .Although my never has or will be for sell ,go's to my youngest boy who is 43 already ,he must wait until i die and i havent made any plans for that yet ..Eddie
Phillipians 4;13

Huntndux - Posted - 07/18/2007:  23:26:26


I often wish I still had mine....but can you say PREWAR'S...
and more to come.>LOL


Bobby

When I come to the end...the end of the road...to the land of eternity. When I come to the end...of lifes long road, the face of my Lord I'll see.

5picker - Posted - 07/19/2007:  00:56:06


I have Ser. # 73459084 that I ordered in 1979. 2 pc.T&P flange, Wreath pattern inlay on ebony fretboard, fiddle cut peghead, Tobacco Brown finish from natural maple to dark brown on neck, rim, and resonator. Gold has held up very well, only the armrest shows any real wear. I've played that banjo for 27 years. Good volume, great tone even with the multiply rim. Gibson told me they used the 5 ply rim to get the necessary thickness for the tube and plate flange. Has the lightweight, long skirt tone ring. I filed the side of the washer also when I first noticed it touching the lower part of the tone ring way back when. Cost me $1800 in '79....still have the paperwork.

Kent

5Picker

wrightedward - Posted - 07/19/2007:  10:15:04


Kent ,amazing that it took me 34 years to file a washer ,but it had my ring lifted up a little and being who i am ,was afraid to touch it . But after the luthier filed and set up my 800 it has sounded great and i have heard my fair share of so called cannons ,i always thought they were a good banjo ,but in recent years ,people have had me afraid to say 800 ,instead i would just say Mastertone .The more i hear about these 800's the more i want to hear ,there is some history here
Eddie
Phillipians 4;13

wrightedward - Posted - 07/19/2007:  16:23:14


Cagowner ,,i have tried to reach you by mail and on line and cant seem to get you ;i would like to talk about our 800's ,your's a 73 mine a 74,,just to shed some light on this mystery that has appeared for me about the 800;s >They are not junk ,maybe some were ,but mine is as solid as a rock today >Mail me on my site
Eddie

FXHERE - Posted - 07/22/2007:  01:42:57


I have a tonering left from an 800..gold engraved...---Doug

No such thing as a bad sounding banjo

wrightedward - Posted - 07/25/2007:  23:59:24


FXHere,what happened to the rest of the banjo and is the ring any good
Eddie Phillipians 4;13

JFDonovan - Posted - 10/16/2007:  02:07:30


I am facinated with this thread, I bought my RB 800 from Gruhen's, Nashville for $1600 in 1999, it had the original warranty coming from Chandlers Music Co Serial # 81041011, it was originally purchased 1983, my birthday 14th July, so I thought we were destined for eachother!!!!. I spent 2 days in Gruhn's playing 20 Gibsons they had there, from price range sfrom 4K to 1K, and I thought this was the sweetest sounding instrument I played. As it turns out it I never checked the rim for cracks and there were two glue cracks , and the truss rod had no response. I only found this out when I showed it off to Ian Perry at a banjo lesson. However I had it set up by Bruce Dowd in Toronto, who offered to reset the rim, which I declined, it played fanastic especially when miked ( magnet bridge and Amp). Cristal clear sound for amp'd accoustics.

So' Ive played this instrument with all its flaws for 15 years or so and now I want to add new life to it accoustically, with a radiused fingerboard and new Tony Pass 600TS Rim, can't wait top hear what it sounds like.( not a rebuilt engine, but a new HEMI ! ! so to speak), I will never part with this instrument as it has been with me so long and has been the majo part of my learning the Banjo.

It is a maple banjo, with the gold plating coming off the armrest, no shock there but it is priceless to me, and will only add value when the new rim and neck are installed.

Thanks wrightedward for keeping this thread alive ! ANyone intersted in more info contact me email at jfdonovan@gmail.com

John D

2many5s - Posted - 10/16/2007:  02:36:31


John D,

Keep the old rim and neck with the banjo.

JFDonovan - Posted - 10/16/2007:  03:24:28


Ya,

Thanks 2many5s, I'm getting it done at Elderly and they are very detailed, deliberate and they are very assiduous in their work, I won't be selling this one but will need the old parts for the authenticity, thanks for that !

John

John D

ejimb0 - Posted - 10/16/2007:  03:28:08


I had an RB 800 back around 1970-72??.. It had a full size rim and a one piece flange. Double cut headstock. It was the worst sounding POS I had ever heard. The previous owner (who bought it brand new) had installed about 20 silver dimes between the inside of the rim and the tone ring.. with the dimes in there it sounded awfull.. If you took the dimes out It sounded even worse. It was a cherry sunburst monster.. the inside of the resonator was bright red. The banjo was so pathetic that the previous owner sold it disassembled to me for 100 bucks. I gave the pot away after doing dozens of experiments on it (some of them quite humorous) and put the neck on a washburn 12" frailer (which also sounds pathetic)

RB 800 no thanks..
jimbo

Hi Mom!


Edited by - ejimb0 on 10/16/2007 03:32:09

JFDonovan - Posted - 10/16/2007:  03:39:28


Jimbo, That is way too funny, I tell ya I've had my issues with the RB800 but nothing like that, I recently bought a Stelling MC and the only thing I notice difference wise is the wider pot and neck, both sound brilliant with great tonal quality, I like the Gibson more for its neck and ease of travelling on the fretboard, but I will learn that on the Stelling soon enough, ( it's idiocracies etc..).. but great anicdotal story..

John D

JFDonovan - Posted - 10/16/2007:  03:45:34


BTW, the Stelling MC is one hell of an instrument. It has the sweetest sound I've ever heard or recorded on a banjo.. soft, subtle, loud, tonal, and it is only a few weeks old.. Go figure!

John D

ejimb0 - Posted - 10/16/2007:  04:47:10


John,
I'm very happy you have a good one. If I had saved that one I had it would have been a simple matter nowadays to turn it into a fine banjo.. Back then nobody had a clue.. nobody was making anything.. you could get a pre-war arch top for 1/2 the price of a new Gibson... Some day I will start a thread and tell the story of the experiments we did on it... I still get a big grin when I think about that thing...
jimbo

I had a Sunflower once.... It was so pretty and rock solid.. I'm sure it is out there right now making great music somewhere..
To heavy for me..

Hi Mom!

JFDonovan - Posted - 10/16/2007:  05:26:57


Jimbo,

When I get the RB 800 back from repair and restoration, I will let you know how it is doing..and deliver a Wav. to the jukebox. It better be great, as I think it will.. with TP 600 TS at the helm.... Nowaday I would be better off thinking about getting the Irish tenor side of Life on track aka Tony (Sully) Sullivan and Gerry o' Connor. Back to the roots of Celtic Reels and Airs. ( On A 5 String no less, playing singles and triplets, yeahjh!)


John D

cledus - Posted - 10/16/2007:  16:54:40


Hello, fellow banjo pickers!

I found this thread a couple days ago while looking for information on a RB800. I'm looking for info like production quantities, special order options, and such that would be available from 1982. The Gibson customer service department was of little help, except for sending me a 1980 price list showing the RB800 selling price at $1829.00. The banjo that I got from the original owner was ordered in April 1982 at a price of $4600. The resonator doesn't look like the RB800's that I see on this website, or on other websites.

I have posted some pictures at http://s73.photobucket.com/albums/i...ledus/RB800/ Feel free to browse through the pics.

Anybody have any ideas about what the options were on this banjo?

Audie
.


El Dobro - Posted - 10/16/2007:  22:46:36


Everything appears to be a standard 800, except for the resonator. That is an All-American resonator and is why the price was higher than a standard 800.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband

cledus - Posted - 10/17/2007:  08:12:14


Thanks, Don, for the info.

Do you think an All American resonator would have been a $2800 option? That would be more than the cost of the banjo itself. Any idea how many RB800's might have been made with the All American resonator, particularly in 1982? The original owner told me that although he ordered the banjo in April, he didn't receive it until late November/early December of that year. He also noticed that the serial number ended in 001. Could this be the only one made that year?

Audie

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