Gibson 60's RB-100 Banjo Reviews

Gibson 60's RB-100
submitted 12/8/2013

Submitter

Porter Claxton (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Kennely Keys

Year Purchased

1976

Price Paid

250 ($US)

Sound


It had pretty good sound for a "beginner" banjo, though it had no tone ring when I got it. I was just starting to learn old time (and then ultimately bluegrass banjo) so it was great for what I was doing.

Sound Rating

8

Setup


The banjo was set up pretty good and was even in tune hanging there on the hook when I bought it. It's rare for a music store to keep all their instruments in tune, but they did.

Later on I had a tone ring put in and it made quite a difference in both its volume and resonance. I tried several different bridges and heads and finally settled on a low crown Remo Weather King. I still wasn't totally satisfied with the volume or tone and it was still a little "thuddy" so I tuned the head tight like a drum and it really brought the sound out. I also put on a 7/8" Snuffy Smith bridge and raised the action which amped up the volume nicely and gave it a clear ringing tone. Lastly I installed Kieth Tuners for the G and B strings.

Setup Rating

8

Appearance


The wood of this RB100 is beautiful with its Curly Maple resonator. That was in fact, a big reason for buying it - with fantastic burls and swirling grains jumping out of the finish. It's one of the prettiest resonators I've ever seen.

There is white binding around the resonator and maple neck which has a rosewood fingerboard with simple dot inlays. The golden "Gibson" logo on the headstock is simpler than a Mastertone's but still looks good. The metal parts are not engraved, but are nickle plated and shine up nicely. There are no flaws on the banjo.

Appearance Rating

7

Reliability


The metal parts are heavily plated with nickle; like an old Caddy's bumper. The wood finish is high quality and still shows little wear after many years. The tuning pegs are also original and still operate smoothly.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Never had to deal with Gibson as I have never had a problem with this banjo.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


Although the RB100 (R= regular banjo) is one of their lesser banjos, the materials and parts are still first rate. Nothing cheap or tinny. The reason these sold for less was because they had no tone ring, simple inlays on the fretboard and no engraving.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


After adding a tone ring and setting it up to its best potential, this banjo is a little rocket. It has a clean, resonant sound and is super easy to play due to its wide neck and flat fingerboard. I take it everywhere as my "travelling companion" and even play many gigs with it. I've gotten lots of positive comments on its sound.

If you would like to HEAR IT go to youtube and search for either "Banjo Signal OOTB", "Fire on the Mountain OOTB" or "Little Willie OOTB".

Overall Rating

8


Gibson 60's RB-100
submitted 2/25/2007

Submitter

Majorbanjo (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Guitar and Banjo Shop Beaumont Texas

Year Purchased

2002

Price Paid

900 ($US)

Sound


This banjo is all original...meaning it still has it's brass tone hoop and has not been cut for a flathead tone ring. The banjo sounds so sweet the way it is I have no reason to mess with it...this is one great sounding banjo with plenty of volume. I've had folks here me play it and claim they had no idea that it didn't have a tone ring. I'm going to keep it this way.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


It's got light strings a grover bridge and a clear 5 star head just like it did when I bought it...I haven't changed a thing and in my opinion it doesn't need changing...there is significant fret wear from heavy playing but it still frets great....a previous owner has added a second coordinator rod and a sliding 5th string capo

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


looks great..understated with the sunburst resonator fly swatter peghead with dots inlay but I think it's beautiful

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


It's still working fine....must be reliable..40 something years old now...

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


not evaluated.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


great..still work...I even borrowed a tuner from the peghead when one went out in one of my newer banjos.....they all still work fine...

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


Great...Great....inexpensive banjo....you get a lot of banjo for the money with these old RB-100s....it sounds so great rigt now I cannot imagine how good it would sound with a full flathead tone ring...If it were stolen i'd get another one....I see them all the time...they're going for $1,000 or better now and I'm sure they'll continue to rise...

Overall Rating

10


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