From the seller description: This is a Gibson Mastertone like banjo. It took me 15 years to figure out it wasn't a mastertone because the quality is so good. I bought the banjo in about 1990, it is in great condition and looks like a parts banjo as I was not able to find a serial number. It is an excellent banjo, with a heavy mahogany resonator, and plays very well. The sound is very good.
Looks to be as described. An older copy of a Gibson Mastertone. As with other parts banjos, value just depends on condition and sound. My conversion chart shows @ $1100.00 in US which is less than it would cost to build.
From my perspective, if you're buying it to PLAY, and not to resell for a profit, make arrangements to play it and return it if not satisfactory.
I greatly regret selling off a parts banjo which I was lucky enough to cobble together, waaaayyyy back when i had very little idea what the hell I was doing. Sounded really mellow, and, since I'm a four chord folkie hacker, not a Bluegrass specialist, I didn't need or want something that rings like Earl's.
The bones certainly look good and, if as good as they look, certainly worth what the seller is asking. That's a pretty big IF, however. I'd want return privileges if it doesn't live up to expectations but even that wouldn't be a deal killer for me.
So, are you in the market for something like this and can you afford to take the chance? As much as we'd like to cheer you on from the sidelines, none of us can answer that for you.
Do I see a crack in the rim? Photo 8, showing the inside of the pot and bottom edge of the rim, at about 9-o-clock opposite of the Gibson sticker. Looks like there may be something funky on the inside ply, might just be a surface scratch though.
Thanks for reply's, No sadly i cant afford to take the risk, but that neck shouts pre war Granada to my untrained eye and was wondering what the experts think. Well spotted with the possible crack probably hard to tell unless its sat on your lap ??