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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: 1930’s Gibson All American by Walter Carter


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/373819

TheBanjoWest - Posted - 03/23/2021:  22:29:04


Hey all,

I wanted to share this video of my uncles Gibson All American that he played during the Navy and left behind for me. Something I’ll cherish forever.

I’m sure most of you know a heck of a lot more about this rare piece than I do, but Walter always does a nice job of recapping the history.

mikehalloran - Posted - 03/23/2021:  23:48:47


Ya got a link there, Cowboy?

TheBanjoWest - Posted - 03/24/2021:  00:18:16


I guess that would help!

youtube.com/watch?v=65acNuLoy8w

kyleb - Posted - 03/24/2021:  04:13:54


Wow! You have a treasure on your hands.

Brian Murphy - Posted - 03/24/2021:  06:41:27


Fantastic. Can you tell us more about the history and about your uncle? He played during the Navy? This is not the kind of instrument most servicemen could hope to afford. (Gibson actually made simple Army/Navy model mandolins for those deployed). Did he play it while serving? Where was he deployed? Was he in a Navy dance band or something? Do you know how he got it?

I love Mr. Carter's comment that the owner actually played it, which is rare.

TheBanjoWest - Posted - 03/24/2021:  07:19:13


I appreciate you guys sharing in the excitement with me. It means a lot. We sent the piece off prior to the whole pandemic when I spoke to my mom about most of the historical items surround my uncle and how things came to be, so you’ve given me a good excuse to ring her up. I’ll give her a call and see what she can remember off the top of her head and then I should be able to dig through more of his photos once I’m done getting vaccinated and try to fill in any missing pieces. Seems like a great community you’ve got here, so I’ll do my best not to let you down!

Bubbysaar - Posted - 03/24/2021:  10:44:21


The fender Vibro champ banjos stands are nice LOL.

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/24/2021:  11:18:06


That is about as tasty a Gibson banjo as exists.

If I hit the lottery I'd buy that banjo and try (key word is "try") to find someone to make a 5 string conversion neck for it. However, that is an EXTREMELY difficult proposition now.

There aren't many plectrum banjo players left any more.

Good luck with the sale.

southerndrifter - Posted - 03/24/2021:  11:29:21


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer





If I hit the lottery I'd buy that banjo and try (key word is "try") to find someone to make a 5 string conversion neck for it. However, that is an EXTREMELY difficult proposition now.







Good luck with the sale.






Donald Bryant and Greg Rich could come as close to doing it as anybody I know. They (and a couple others) did a marvelous job with my replica "Margaret Boote RB-4/Florentine" neck! I bet they could do the same with an All American!

southerndrifter - Posted - 03/24/2021:  11:34:04


I enjoyed Mr. Carter's explanation of Gibson banjo design and history! The only thing I might question is the ball-bearing system and it's intended purpose. I have always heard, and believed, that the ball-bearing system was an attempt by Gibson engineers to have a way to automatically keep a skin head tight, so the owner wouldn't need to remove the resonator and continually adjust the tension on the head. The problem was, the springs weren't strong enough to keep continuous tension on the skin head.

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 03/25/2021:  07:28:18


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer



If I hit the lottery I'd buy that banjo and try (key word is "try") to find someone to make a 5 string conversion neck for it. However, that is an EXTREMELY difficult proposition now.



 






Who's the woman out in California I see mentioned sometimes? (Can't remember the name right now....) She did a great job on a conversion neck for Randy Barrett's PW Florentine (seen in the linked video).



youtube.com/watch?v=KCQytxwTl3I

Oldtwanger - Posted - 03/25/2021:  08:10:13


quote:

Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer



If I hit the lottery I'd buy that banjo and try (key word is "try") to find someone to make a 5 string conversion neck for it. However, that is an EXTREMELY difficult proposition now.



 






Who's the woman out in California I see mentioned sometimes? (Can't remember the name right now....) She did a great job on a conversion neck for Randy Barrett's PW Florentine (seen in the linked video).



youtube.com/watch?v=KCQytxwTl3I






Renee Karnes?

Emiel - Posted - 03/25/2021:  08:36:48


quote:

Originally posted by southerndrifter

The only thing I might question is the ball-bearing system and it's intended purpose. I have always heard, and believed, that the ball-bearing system was an attempt by Gibson engineers to have a way to automatically keep a skin head tight,






Loyd Loar wrote in an article that the intention was to have a tonering that could vibrate freely. In the patent (1925) it says: "The springs el are stiff enough to support the resonance ring under the stress of the head, and at the same time they yield so that the resonance ring is effectively supported throughout its length and is free to vibrate with the head. "

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 03/25/2021:  08:39:54


quote:

Originally posted by Oldtwanger

quote:

Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer



If I hit the lottery I'd buy that banjo and try (key word is "try") to find someone to make a 5 string conversion neck for it. However, that is an EXTREMELY difficult proposition now.



 






Who's the woman out in California I see mentioned sometimes? (Can't remember the name right now....) She did a great job on a conversion neck for Randy Barrett's PW Florentine (seen in the linked video).



youtube.com/watch?v=KCQytxwTl3I






Renee Karnes?






Yes! Thanks, Frank.

southerndrifter - Posted - 03/25/2021:  09:06:35


quote:

Originally posted by Emiel

quote:

Originally posted by southerndrifter

The only thing I might question is the ball-bearing system and it's intended purpose. I have always heard, and believed, that the ball-bearing system was an attempt by Gibson engineers to have a way to automatically keep a skin head tight,






Loyd Loar wrote in an article that the intention was to have a tonering that could vibrate freely. In the patent (1925) it says: "The springs el are stiff enough to support the resonance ring under the stress of the head, and at the same time they yield so that the resonance ring is effectively supported throughout its length and is free to vibrate with the head. "






Good information. I guess, in either case, the design was not very successful. 

okbluegrassbanjopicker - Posted - 03/25/2021:  15:24:45


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer

That is about as tasty a Gibson banjo as exists.



If I hit the lottery I'd buy that banjo and try (key word is "try") to find someone to make a 5 string conversion neck for it. However, that is an EXTREMELY difficult proposition now.



There aren't many plectrum banjo players left any more.



Good luck with the sale.






What sale?



Unless I’m getting something mixed up, the OP refered to the banjo as “something I’ll cherish forever,” which is about as far from a sale as you can get.

TheBanjoWest - Posted - 03/25/2021:  15:33:12


Hi,

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to make such a productive remark. I apologize if my wording was a bit off in my post. I wasn’t really seeking out an opinion on how I should feel about having this piece and/or what that means moving forward. I cherish the fact that my uncle left it for me. I never played the banjo before he gave it to me and he didn’t tell me not to sell it if I ever lose my job during a global pandemic. So, again, thanks for the unwarranted response. I appreciate everyone else who has been very kind in helping me learn more about the piece and it’s history. Have a great week

DSmoke - Posted - 03/25/2021:  18:34:42


Please, and I beg, please don't let this banjo end up with a conversion neck!!!

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 03/26/2021:  06:29:42


Oops--the link I posted above was incorrect. HERE's the video showing Randy Barrett's Florentine with the Renee Karnes neck: youtube.com/watch?v=CpXUoFg9wJQ.



 



(Thanks to Oldtwanger for pointing the error out to me.)


Edited by - Ira Gitlin on 03/26/2021 06:30:53

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/26/2021:  06:57:00


My goodness Ira, thanks! 1) good to see you making music 2) good to see Dede, and 3) that's a mighty good looking neck from the front. You've seen the back, is it all carved and painted as it should be? And Renee Karnes made the whole thing, or had it made?

J.Albert - Posted - 03/26/2021:  11:35:48


Carter's page on the banjo:

 cartervintage.com/products/gib...can-tenor

ChunoTheDog - Posted - 03/26/2021:  11:38:54


quote:

Originally posted by TheBanjoWest

Hi,



Thank you for taking the time out of your day to make such a productive remark. I apologize if my wording was a bit off in my post. I wasn’t really seeking out an opinion on how I should feel about having this piece and/or what that means moving forward. I cherish the fact that my uncle left it for me. I never played the banjo before he gave it to me and he didn’t tell me not to sell it if I ever lose my job during a global pandemic. So, again, thanks for the unwarranted response. I appreciate everyone else who has been very kind in helping me learn more about the piece and it’s history. Have a great week






Cash is king

okbluegrassbanjopicker - Posted - 03/26/2021:  13:19:09



quote:

Originally posted by TheBanjoWest

Hi,



Thank you for taking the time out of your day to make such a productive remark. I apologize if my wording was a bit off in my post. I wasn’t really seeking out an opinion on how I should feel about having this piece and/or what that means moving forward. I cherish the fact that my uncle left it for me. I never played the banjo before he gave it to me and he didn’t tell me not to sell it if I ever lose my job during a global pandemic. So, again, thanks for the unwarranted response. I appreciate everyone else who has been very kind in helping me learn more about the piece and it’s history. Have a great week






 



 



I did not mean to infer that you weren’t open to selling the banjo. 



Seems like you were giving me a verbal poke. 



I wasn’t trying to come across as a smarty. 



But mark my words, if you do sell it, it will be one of those decisions that you will sorely regret and wish you had a time machine so you could have it again.



 



 There are more than a handful of Hangout members that will back up my statement about a time machine. 



 Bob Rodgers said he owned a prewar Gibson RB-3 (if I remember right), that he said had unbelievable tone and that it was ‘SICKENING’ to think about it and not be able to play it after he sold it.



Edited by - okbluegrassbanjopicker on 03/26/2021 13:20:33

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 03/27/2021:  07:50:10


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer

My goodness Ira, thanks! 1) good to see you making music 2) good to see Dede, and 3) that's a mighty good looking neck from the front. You've seen the back, is it all carved and painted as it should be? And Renee Karnes made the whole thing, or had it made?






Thanks for the good word! Yes, the neck is everything a Florentine neck should be. AFAIK, Karnes made it herself. The pot is one of the three PW Florentines that had OPFs. (Naturally, Randy has the original tenor neck.)

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/27/2021:  12:12:35


I find no contact information when Googling Renee Karnes.

Anyone know how to reach her? I'd just like to have that contact info for when I win the lottery.

banjo_nz - Posted - 03/27/2021:  12:44:35


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer

I find no contact information when Googling Renee Karnes.



Anyone know how to reach her? I'd just like to have that contact info for when I win the lottery.






 



Possibly via contact info at banjosbyrenee.com/index.html

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/27/2021:  13:09:53


Thanks Bryan.

Bob Rodgers - Posted - 03/28/2021:  06:04:08


quote:  I rarely ever think about selling the 3 flathead . I found a 1938 RB-75 that cost me less than the selling price of the 3.  My brain was scrambled for a couple of days concerning this banjo.  I thought someone was wanting to share a treasure with BHO. I never thought of the inst. being for sale,  until I Heard the name Walter Carter.  When your 80 plus yrs old, Your brain does not function as when you were younger. I can understand hard times might cause a person to do things they might otherwise not want to do. Money Talks,  I recently sold a 1930 Rb-3 Flathead,  a 1937 Granada Flathead, and A 1924 Loar F-5 for a friend.  It took me less than 2 weeks to sell all those instruments.   All I need is a Telephone.  I know the people to contact.  It does not take long for word to get out when Rare insts become available for sale. I hope for the sellers sake, He does not regret selling such a rare Banjo.  On a Brighter note,  There is one more All American located in Canada.  It Is (NOT) for Sale, Money will not get the owners name  This All-American Flathead is a work of art. He owns the Crown Jewell of Gibson Banjos until sold,,,I Hope he does not ever regret selling such a piece of American History,,,,

Originally posted by okbluegrassbanjopicker


quote:

Originally posted by TheBanjoWest

Hi,



Thank you for taking the time out of your day to make such a productive remark. I apologize if my wording was a bit off in my post. I wasn’t really seeking out an opinion on how I should feel about having this piece and/or what that means moving forward. I cherish the fact that my uncle left it for me. I never played the banjo before he gave it to me and he didn’t tell me not to sell it if I ever lose my job during a global pandemic. So, again, thanks for the unwarranted response. I appreciate everyone else who has been very kind in helping me learn more about the piece and it’s history. Have a great week






 



 



I did not mean to infer that you weren’t open to selling the banjo. 



Seems like you were giving me a verbal poke. 



I wasn’t trying to come across as a smarty. 



But mark my words, if you do sell it, it will be one of those decisions that you will sorely regret and wish you had a time machine so you could have it again.



 



 There are more than a handful of Hangout members that will back up my statement about a time machine. 



 Bob Rodgers said he owned a prewar Gibson RB-3 (if I remember right), that he said had unbelievable tone and that it was ‘SICKENING’ to think about it and not be able to play it after he sold it.







 

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/29/2021:  20:35:00


Thanking Bryan from NZ again. I sent an email to Renee Karnes and got a very nice reply. She has restored All Americans and built 5 string Florentines and would be willing to make a 5 string AA conversion neck if she had a good model to work from. She said she has worked on the old original 5 string AA that we've all heard about.

Cost would be at least 3 times higher than the most expensive TOP QUALITY "regular" Mastertone 5 string conversion neck that I'm aware of.

So if I win the lottery I'll be ready to go!

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