Does anyone know which model R&T banjo this is and which tone ring would have been installed from the factory. These are pics from the internet and the info is limited. Is this banjo worth 2899.00? It has a pick up installed and I don't know if that means that something had to be modified to install it.
This is basically the R&T Classic built toward the end of the R&T Fame !!! It is Basically like a JD Crowe but without the Signature or Crowe Inlays !!! It should be Mahogany neck and Resonator, should have the Tennessee 20 tonering unless someone changed it out for another one !! Probably built after 1995 or later.
I found the listing. The pickup is a K&K. These are dual circular pickups that are simply stuck with adhesive to the underside of the head, near the ends of the bridge. I believe K&K includes an epoxy that reuires a special remover. Some people ignore that and use other adhesives that are more easily removed.
The output jack visible in one photo is attached to a bracket that's either clamped to two tension hooks or mounted on the flange. These are also both easily removed.
The pickup is not hurting anything being there. I have a different brand of pickup stuck to the underside of my banjo head and I don't think it has any effect on the banjo's sound.
If you don't think you'll ever want or need to play amplified, you could remove the pickup and sell it.
Is the banjo worth $2899? Probably no more than that. There's a JD Crowe model listed here in the Hangout classified for $2500, which means you can probably offer less and try to negotiate. Of course, the one you're looking at is also listed with a "Make Offer" button -- which is telling you that $2899 is not the real price. Banjo Warehouse, which is generally a high price seller, has a JD Crowe model for $2799.
The one on the Hangout is offered by Ceres Banjo Works, Jim Britton. One of the best and most honest sellers you could ever want to deal with.
Carlton already answered it's the classic. I just wanted to comment that the listings on Reverb and the seller's own site identify the model. The listings say "Bluegrass Classic" and that name appears in past listings of R&T banjos for sale.
Since Mark Taylor is out of business, there is little market data with which to compare. The only thing you can do is compare the banjo with similar banjos on the market. I have found little to substantiate any extra value due to the Rich & Taylor marque. Nice banjos. value would lie in the quality of workmanship, sound and playability in relationship with other boutique banjos, then determine the worth of that to you. in other words, what would it cost to buy a similar banjo from another contemporary maker. A friend of mine had some dealings with Mark in his closing days of business and had some "issues." I had a Tennessee 20 ring and I could never find a banjo I especially liked it in
They were running in the 1800 range for quite a while, but now prices are getting generally stupid high with many banjos; or I'm getting old and cranky, maybe both. A pickup won't hurt anything. I'd just leave it on. Maybe you'll use it someday.