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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: The "G" Mystique


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/394843

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TN Time - Posted - 12/29/2023:  12:49:00


Gibson banjos get lots of respect in the banjo world and the Gibson name gets lots of respect in the world in general. Many pros play Gibson instruments; i.e., banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, and mandolins. It seems that the average person, when seeing the Gibson logo on the peg head of an instrument, no matter what model or quality, just assumes that the player "has arrived" so to speak.



I must admit that I have been enthralled for a long time by the Gibson name. In the past I have owned a Gibson SG electric guitar, a J45 acoustic, and an LGO Parlor guitar. They were all very good quality and not terribly expensive (at that time anyway). I ended up trading them off one by one in a few weak moments. When I seriously took up the banjo, the Gibsons I saw were out of my price range. Instead of a banjo with the "G" mystique on the peg head, I ended up buying less expensive but good quality banjos. But deep down, I always wanted a Gibson of some persuasion, didn't matter too much on the model.



When I bought my Fender Allegro, I asked on this forum if the Allegro and the Gibson RB-100 were similar banjos. The answers I got indicated that were essentially almost exactly the same, different years of manufacture notwithstanding. When I finally did see an RB-100 for sale at price similar to the Allegro, I bought it just to satisfy my Gibson Mystique mood. My new to me RB-100 sound was pretty disappointing, but after a lot of set up, tweaking, experimenting with different strings, bridges, head tightness, resonator felt lining, etc., I got it sounding pretty darn good. As for a comparison of the RB-100 to the Fender Allegro, well that is the subject for another post which I plan on pursuing in the near future. I know there are some players who will have and play nothing but a Gibson, some just collect them, some may have one in their mix of banjos and are not carried away by the mystique, and there are some who do not care for them at all. Where do you fit in with the Gibson world?

Robert


Edited by - TN Time on 12/29/2023 21:27:44

roydsjr - Posted - 12/29/2023:  13:02:24


I've always like them but like you, they cost more than what I want to invest in. I just build my own Gibson copies. I finally settle on putting my name on them now. I still have respect for them though and may one of these days, may still get one.


Edited by - roydsjr on 12/29/2023 13:03:21

Culloden - Posted - 12/29/2023:  13:47:00


My first "good" banjo was a 1951 RB100. I played it for many years but, alas, I traded it for a Mastertone in a moment of weakness. That was one of my biggest mistakes. The Mastertone sounded good, but it didn't compare to the RB100 for ease of playing.
I have owned a couple of prewar Gibsons when I was a little more flush than I am now. I would love to have another one, but I don't ever see that happening. I have also owned a real Bow Tie Mastertone and didn't really like it as much when I had it as I probably would today. Now I make my own banjos and I no longer play on stage so the power and tone of a real Gibson would be wasted on me.

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/29/2023:  14:24:12


Martin and Gibson are it for my old brain!!

I was recently playing my 250 at a jam and the "new guy" just kept staring at me and eventually the regular player in the circle, who brought him, said "He loves your playing but he is going crazy lusting over your banjo" Yeah he was an old guy toowink

GStump - Posted - 12/29/2023:  15:15:30


Well, here we go! This is a question which really has no correct answer. I think for many years the Gibson banjo absolutely deserved it's reputation and it's honor. Yes, that has waxed and waned over the years, and to those who really follow and know banjos very well can explain that with a great deal of thought as to "why." It seems to me that to a degree, older guys and girls do "get" the Gibson mystique, but not as many of the younger generation. Many of this present generation play, with great success I may add, "other" brand name banjos and simply love them. There are for sure many other good banjos being built. For those who know about, love, and respect that 1st and 2nd generation of "bluegrass founding fathers," we realize and see that the majority did in fact play the old Gibson banjos, mandolins, and also the Martin guitars. It is NOT AN ACCIDENT that they did so. Those folks consciously decided THOSE instruments expressed what they wanted to say with their music! Those instruments fit the music, and they sounded great, and were at least as readily available as any other brand of instrument, regardless of whether it was more or less expensive than other brands available to them. I feel that that fact alone makes a MIGHTY POWERFUL STATEMENT indeed. NUFF' SAID!

steve davis - Posted - 12/29/2023:  15:18:44


I don't believe the rb-100 doesn't has a 3 pound tonering.

GStump - Posted - 12/29/2023:  15:21:37


I might also add those instruments can, and do, command a price maybe (?) a bit more than a lot of folks want to spend. I also see that many other brands of banjo can, and do, fetch just as much as the comparable Gibson! Folks will spend 4 or 5 grand on that new Huber, Stelling, Prucha, Nechville, or whatever - perhaps not realizing they can in fact buy a newer Gibson, or in many cases, a prewar conversion Gibson banjo, for the same amount of money! Yes, I also realize that a very decent new or used banjo can be bought for half that! Here's another way of looking at this subject - WILL the instrument you buy fetch as much as you paid for it, when you sell it 5, 10, 20, or 30 years down the road, and you had the use of it for all those years? So if one buys a very good quality instrument, almost without fail the answer will be yes it will! I also think that if one is going to have and use that banjo for many years, it really doesn't matter whether you spend 2000 bucks or 5000 bucks; YOU or your family will recoup the money when it's sold. I REALIZE that many folks simply don't have 5000 bucks, and if all you can pay is 2000 bucks, there IS NO SHAME IN THAT!

Will Frady - Posted - 12/29/2023:  18:24:12


There is just “something “ about playing a Gibson that garners some kind of respect in the bluegrass world. I’ve owned a few over the years. 100’s, 250’s, 3’s, and I wound up selling them all. I don’t regret selling any of them. I currently have a 34 style 11 conversion but I’m too afraid take it to many jams . I have several quality banjos from well know makers that are just as good if not better than any Gibson Ive owned . God willing I’ll have another Gibson some day. There’s just something about a Gibson !

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 12/29/2023:  20:12:13


I have 2 electric Gibson Guitars and 3 Gibson jers. I have 3 Martin acoustics. I play a GT Twanger jer, Fender Tele, Gibson SG and Epiphone acoustic the most.

Truth be told, one of my Gibson jers is better than the Twanger but its too expensive to drive daily. I also like the les Paul sound but way to heavy for an electric imho so it sleeps in its case.

gbisignani - Posted - 12/29/2023:  20:38:57


I've never had a great urge to own a Gibson but I'm also not a bluegrass player. I own a couple of banjos, mostly open backs. A couple of years ago I saw an RB-170 for a reasonable price and bought it. I enjoy playing it but it doesn't compare soundwise to a couple of other open backs I own. I have to say though that it never goes out of tune ! I find that rare for a banjo.

Culloden - Posted - 12/29/2023:  22:26:17


quote:

Originally posted by NotABanjoYoda

I have 2 electric Gibson Guitars and 3 Gibson jers. I have 3 Martin acoustics. I play a GT Twanger jer, Fender Tele, Gibson SG and Epiphone acoustic the most.



Truth be told, one of my Gibson jers is better than the Twanger but its too expensive to drive daily. I also like the les Paul sound but way to heavy for an electric imho so it sleeps in its case.






Sometimes pro players who have collector's item instruments will record with their old banjos but travel with a newer one. Bill Emerson played a Fender Artist on the road with the Country Gentlemen instead of his old RB4. Eddie Adcock also played an Epiphone banjo with them on the road. Today Ron Block plays a Huber banjo with Alison Krauss and Union Station instead of his old Granada.

LouZee Picker - Posted - 12/30/2023:  05:32:02


quote:

Originally posted by GStump

Well, here we go! This is a question which really has no correct answer. I think for many years the Gibson banjo absolutely deserved it's reputation and it's honor. Yes, that has waxed and waned over the years, and to those who really follow and know banjos very well can explain that with a great deal of thought as to "why." It seems to me that to a degree, older guys and girls do "get" the Gibson mystique, but not as many of the younger generation. Many of this present generation play, with great success I may add, "other" brand name banjos and simply love them. There are for sure many other good banjos being built. For those who know about, love, and respect that 1st and 2nd generation of "bluegrass founding fathers," we realize and see that the majority did in fact play the old Gibson banjos, mandolins, and also the Martin guitars. It is NOT AN ACCIDENT that they did so. Those folks consciously decided THOSE instruments expressed what they wanted to say with their music! Those instruments fit the music, and they sounded great, and were at least as readily available as any other brand of instrument, regardless of whether it was more or less expensive than other brands available to them. I feel that that fact alone makes a MIGHTY POWERFUL STATEMENT indeed. NUFF' SAID!






NUFF' SAID & WELL SAID ! yes Play what you like to play and play what you can afford without putting your family in debt !  This is a very old & worn out topic.wink

Bronx banjo - Posted - 12/30/2023:  06:02:27


When the mandolin craze was swept away by the new tenor banjo craze in the early years of the 20th century, Gibson came out with its most expensive mandolin. It took several years before Gibson had a banjo that could compete with other brands. When the tenor banjo craze tanked by 1930, Gibson kept making banjos. When Gibson came out with their top tension banjo in 1937, they expect it to “wake up” the banjo market. It didn’t. Gibson could have capitalized on the bluegrass market in the 1960s and 70s, it didn’t. For a company that seems to have done everything wrong and was always behind the curve, it has gained reverence in recent times. Maybe it’s due to staying power

Bronx banjo - Posted - 12/30/2023:  06:06:30


…and the fact that, by and large, their instruments were of good quality. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that famous people ie, Earl Scruggs, Les Paul played them.

TN Time - Posted - 12/30/2023:  06:51:31


quote:

Originally posted by LouZee Picker

quote:

Originally posted by GStump

Well, here we go! This is a question which really has no correct answer. I think for many years the Gibson banjo absolutely deserved it's reputation and it's honor. Yes, that has waxed and waned over the years, and to those who really follow and know banjos very well can explain that with a great deal of thought as to "why." It seems to me that to a degree, older guys and girls do "get" the Gibson mystique, but not as many of the younger generation. Many of this present generation play, with great success I may add, "other" brand name banjos and simply love them. There are for sure many other good banjos being built. For those who know about, love, and respect that 1st and 2nd generation of "bluegrass founding fathers," we realize and see that the majority did in fact play the old Gibson banjos, mandolins, and also the Martin guitars. It is NOT AN ACCIDENT that they did so. Those folks consciously decided THOSE instruments expressed what they wanted to say with their music! Those instruments fit the music, and they sounded great, and were at least as readily available as any other brand of instrument, regardless of whether it was more or less expensive than other brands available to them. I feel that that fact alone makes a MIGHTY POWERFUL STATEMENT indeed. NUFF' SAID!






NUFF' SAID & WELL SAID ! yes Play what you like to play and play what you can afford without putting your family in debt !  This is a very old & worn out topic.wink






So Brian, it seems to me that you are saying that I should not have posted my post on such a "worn out" topic. Well, it is not worn out to me. I thought I had worded my post so that it it was free from controversy and would not rub anyone the wrong way. I guess I didn't. It really is not "NUFF' SAID" as I am saying more. I suppose that every time, before one makes a post, then he or she should go back to the archives and make sure they are not adding anything to "a very old & worn out topic." If that were true, then there would be no need of a forum. Anytime a banjo thought came to mind, we could just look it up in the archives and not have to post anything. There was a post a little while back where someone wanted to know "where is everybody," and was saying that many folks have stopped posting and that it seems it was the same members who post most often. Well, maybe they are tired of being shot down by making an innocent post when all they wanted was some information from experienced members who think that the post is adding to "a very old and worn out topic." So what. Some topics are worth being posted multiple times. BTW, Brian, it was your Aztec bridge that brought my old terrible sounding RB-100 back to life. I'm sure that there have been many posts about improving (I see them almost everyday) the sound of an old Gibson, a Gibson RB-100, and other makes and models in general. I don't recall anyone charging those posters with the crime of adding to "a very old and worn out topic."



Robert

LouZee Picker - Posted - 12/30/2023:  08:13:44


quote:

Originally posted by TN Time

quote:

Originally posted by LouZee Picker

quote:

Originally posted by GStump

Well, here we go! This is a question which really has no correct answer. I think for many years the Gibson banjo absolutely deserved it's reputation and it's honor. Yes, that has waxed and waned over the years, and to those who really follow and know banjos very well can explain that with a great deal of thought as to "why." It seems to me that to a degree, older guys and girls do "get" the Gibson mystique, but not as many of the younger generation. Many of this present generation play, with great success I may add, "other" brand name banjos and simply love them. There are for sure many other good banjos being built. For those who know about, love, and respect that 1st and 2nd generation of "bluegrass founding fathers," we realize and see that the majority did in fact play the old Gibson banjos, mandolins, and also the Martin guitars. It is NOT AN ACCIDENT that they did so. Those folks consciously decided THOSE instruments expressed what they wanted to say with their music! Those instruments fit the music, and they sounded great, and were at least as readily available as any other brand of instrument, regardless of whether it was more or less expensive than other brands available to them. I feel that that fact alone makes a MIGHTY POWERFUL STATEMENT indeed. NUFF' SAID!






NUFF' SAID & WELL SAID ! yes Play what you like to play and play what you can afford without putting your family in debt !  This is a very old & worn out topic.wink






So Brian, it seems to me that you are saying that I should not have posted my post on such a "worn out" topic. Well, it is not worn out to me. I thought I had worded my post so that it it was free from controversy and would not rub anyone the wrong way. I guess I didn't. It really is not "NUFF' SAID" as I am saying more. I suppose that every time, before one makes a post, then he or she should go back to the archives and make sure they are not adding anything to "a very old & worn out topic." If that were true, then there would be no need of a forum. Anytime a banjo thought came to mind, we could just look it up in the archives and not have to post anything. There was a post a little while back where someone wanted to know "where is everybody," and was saying that many folks have stopped posting and that it seems it was the same members who post most often. Well, maybe they are tired of being shot down by making an innocent post when all they wanted was some information from experienced members who think that the post is adding to "a very old and worn out topic." So what. Some topics are worth being posted multiple times. BTW, Brian, it was your Aztec bridge that brought my old terrible sounding RB-100 back to life. I'm sure that there have been many posts about improving (I see them almost everyday) the sound of an old Gibson, a Gibson RB-100, and other makes and models in general. I don't recall anyone charging those posters with the crime of adding to "a very old and worn out topic."



Robert






Robert, I'm sorry if I offended you, I was not pointing my finger at you at all, there was absolutely nothing wrong with your original post. My post is referring to what these topics have almost always turn into! 



"Only old people are buying old banjos, those banjos will never be worth what was paid for them down the road, the prewar tone is a "MYTH" it goes on & on, that's just a few.



The main reason that I don't post that much anymore is because some statements can be taken the wrong way, such as my previous post.  I like talking to people on the phone or in person.  You can get a much better read on an individual that way, that seems to be a thing of the passed.



P.S. The last thing that I want to do Robert, is hurt the feelings of a previous very satisfied bridge customer or piss somebody off.  hopefully down the road the posters will stay on the original topic. :) and some on this thread have. 



 



 

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 12/30/2023:  09:32:12


quote:

Originally posted by Culloden

quote:

Originally posted by NotABanjoYoda

I have 2 electric Gibson Guitars and 3 Gibson jers. I have 3 Martin acoustics. I play a GT Twanger jer, Fender Tele, Gibson SG and Epiphone acoustic the most.



Truth be told, one of my Gibson jers is better than the Twanger but its too expensive to drive daily. I also like the les Paul sound but way to heavy for an electric imho so it sleeps in its case.






Sometimes pro players who have collector's item instruments will record with their old banjos but travel with a newer one. Bill Emerson played a Fender Artist on the road with the Country Gentlemen instead of his old RB4. Eddie Adcock also played an Epiphone banjo with them on the road. Today Ron Block plays a Huber banjo with Alison Krauss and Union Station instead of his old Granada.






Definitely true for me.  I dont take my old Martins to any gigs ever.  I get paid for guitar but am integrating banjo into my sets a bit.  I play the Twanger onstage.  My gibsons wont ever see a bar crowd.  Our other guitar player does play his 62 strat on stage often.  But usually his newer prs.



 



 

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/30/2023:  11:07:50


O.k. here's a Gibson guitar story,
1975 Teaching in a typical music store here in Cincinnati , I here the boss yelling about something in the front showroom. I ask what's wrong, he's saying that the Gibson shipment came in and they charged him for a guitar he didn't order. I said so what just sell it to somebody like the rest of them. Nobody will buy it for a long time and I'll have my money tied up in it. I said what the heck is it and he says I've never even seen one, it's from the custom shop! We got out the glossy Gibson ordering book and looked up the model while he was saying if the box is opened he can't send it back. In those days all my buddies had Les Pauls and I had decided I need something different so I said to the boss, I'll take at cost to get it off your hands. He said that's fine with him and I said how much would that be out the door. His answer was $720 dollars, I mumbled !@#$%^ and eventually agreed. I played out with it for 30 years and eventually need money to adopt a baby since my wife and I were incapable having a child. That guitar provided thousands of dollars toward that goal and when I look at my daughter now, I'm so happy that I got past the !@#$% and bought that rare Gisbon.




steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2023:  12:55:32


quote:

Originally posted by steve davis

I don't believe the rb-100 doesn't has a 3 pound tonering.






I of course meant to have typed "I don't believe the Gibson 100 has a 3 pound tonering."



That has a lot to do with the tone and power.



When I see someone playing a Gibson or other high-end banjo I think "They can afford a nice instrument.Hope they love it."I never think of the resale value of a banjo.I played whatever one I had at the time because it was the best banjo I could afford at the time.



When I found my tb-2 (low miles) I hoped that Jimmy Cox could make a strong 5 string from it.When I played it for the first time in Jim's shop I instantly knew it was all the banjo I needed for the rest of my life.I couldn't care less about what it's worth monetarily.It's my forever banjo.



It says "Gibson" on the peghead and Mastertone in the neck block because Gibson wouldn't let Jimmy put "Cox" in the neck which was my first choice.


Edited by - steve davis on 12/30/2023 13:05:21

TN Time - Posted - 12/30/2023:  13:31:31


quote:

Originally posted by steve davis

quote:

Originally posted by steve davis

I don't believe the rb-100 doesn't has a 3 pound tonering.






I of course meant to have typed "I don't believe the Gibson 100 has a 3 pound tonering."



That has a lot to do with the tone and power.



When I see someone playing a Gibson or other high-end banjo I think "They can afford a nice instrument.Hope they love it."I never think of the resale value of a banjo.I played whatever one I had at the time because it was the best banjo I could afford at the time.



When I found my tb-2 (low miles) I hoped that Jimmy Cox could make a strong 5 string from it.When I played it for the first time in Jim's shop I instantly knew it was all the banjo I needed for the rest of my life.I couldn't care less about what it's worth monetarily.It's my forever banjo.



It says "Gibson" on the peghead and Mastertone in the neck block because Gibson wouldn't let Jimmy put "Cox" in the neck which was my first choice.






Steve,



I liked your first version better. I'm going to accept it as praise for the RB-100.



Robert

TN Time - Posted - 12/30/2023:  13:35:29


Brian,
I will always praise your Aztec bridge. I have used and tried many of the current available bridges, including many from the boutique makers. Many of them are very good, but for some reason the Aztec bridge does seem to have a slight edge (I can't explain what it is) in sound over the best of the others. No harm intended. We are still friends.
Robert

monstertone - Posted - 12/30/2023:  14:05:31


quote:

Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

O.k. here's a Gibson guitar story,

1975 Teaching in a typical music store here in Cincinnati , I here the boss yelling about something in the front showroom. I ask what's wrong, he's saying that the Gibson shipment came in and they charged him for a guitar he didn't order. I said so what just sell it to somebody like the rest of them. Nobody will buy it for a long time and I'll have my money tied up in it. I said what the heck is it and he says I've never even seen one, it's from the custom shop! We got out the glossy Gibson ordering book and looked up the model while he was saying if the box is opened he can't send it back. In those days all my buddies had Les Pauls and I had decided I need something different so I said to the boss, I'll take at cost to get it off your hands. He said that's fine with him and I said how much would that be out the door. His answer was $720 dollars, I mumbled !@#$%^ and eventually agreed. I played out with it for 30 years and eventually need money to adopt a baby since my wife and I were incapable having a child. That guitar provided thousands of dollars toward that goal and when I look at my daughter now, I'm so happy that I got past the !@#$% and bought that rare Gibson.






Now that's a story!



Over the years, there has been considerable effort, not to mention expense, put forth towards attempts to duplicate prewar Gibson Mastertone banjos. Regardless of one's personal opinion, that alone should be enough to validate the high esteem in which they are held.



Eddy Peabody chose to play a Vega top tension, Vega-Vox. Earl Scruggs chose a Gibson Mastertone, Granada. Different strokes for different folks. I have passed on several opportunities to own a prewar Gibson Mastertone myself. Not due to lack of funds, but priorities.



The younger generations are rather clueless on many things. Don't get me started.



 


Edited by - monstertone on 12/30/2023 14:13:11

wrench13 - Posted - 12/30/2023:  22:08:22


You young spuds, get offa my lawn!

Bronx banjo - Posted - 12/31/2023:  06:48:46


The younger generation is probably less hooked on the Gibson name. There are so many great new banjos being made and so many famous players are playing Deerings, Stellings, Pruchas, Hubers etc. that the Gibson mystique doesn’t have the same power it had back when there were no alternatives. When I see a prewar flathead for sale at $90,000 and it hasn’t moved in 2 years, it tells me that banjo players are just not interested. Of course there will always be collectors but I think they’re a minority of purchasers.

DHutchens - Posted - 12/31/2023:  07:13:35


>>>Bill Emerson played a Fender Artist on the road with the Country Gentlemen >>>instead of his old RB4.

One timeline correction here. Bill played the Fender during the time of Emerson & Waldron and until August of 71 with the Gentlemen when he purchased the Style 4 looking banjo which consisted of a RB100 pot and a Steve Ryan ring from Rual Yarbough at Roy Martin's Lavonia Georgia festival. I never saw Bill with the Fender on stage again.

One side note Bill had been gifted the Fender by Elmer Harr from around the Tricities area of Tn. Elmer also gave Jimmy Martin the guitar that Jimmy played from that point on with his name in the fingerboard. Elmer also gifter another young banjo player a Fender Concertone....I won't mention his name as I don't know if he would want me to indentify him.

steve davis - Posted - 12/31/2023:  07:38:10


Banjos that were better than Gibsons started showing up in the 70s.
It didn't take long for great builders to get noticed.
One of my banjo regrets is not buying a Michael Allison banjo when I was living in R.I. in the late 70s.

Mark Douglas - Posted - 12/31/2023:  09:19:57


quote:

Originally posted by LouZee Picker

quote:

 



NUFF' SAID & WELL SAID ! yes Play what you like to play and play what you can afford without putting your family in debt !  This is a very old & worn out topic.wink






 



I beg to differ.....



What's old and worn out is the constant and perpetual replay of the same drama on here month....after month.....after month.



There is absolutely nothing on here to challenge your thinking anymore. Everything has been watered down to the point it's almost like taking Valium!



Nobody posts on here anymore because:



1. There's always a member who doesn't like the topic.



2. There's always someone who gets bent out of shape because a product or picker they like has been seemingly disparaged.



3. Some members use it for a business platform and never post for fear of offending someone and that could be bad for business.



4. Some novice pickers post stuff that makes absolutely no sense... But nobody can call them out or correct them because they will be offended and take their marbles and go home.



.....and the list goes on.



This forum is no longer a place where the free exchange ideas occurs. It has become the epitome of the Pink Floyd song......



"Comfortably Numb"!



'nuff said......LOL



 



 



 

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 12/31/2023:  09:42:44


^^^^ both forgot and didnt forget number 5. Ergo.

Anectode

"If your bored because others dont entertain you, youll be perpetually bored"

Corollary

"People who are bored a lot are boring"

Mark Douglas - Posted - 12/31/2023:  09:54:46


quote:

Originally posted by NotABanjoYoda

^^^^ both forgot and didnt forget number 5. Ergo.



Anectode



"If your bored because others dont entertain you, youll be perpetually bored"



Corollary



"People who are bored a lot are boring"






 



Yeah.... however some of us pickers come on here and hope to find something stimulating once in a while!



I'll even take the newbie asking what gauge strings is best for melodic banjo.... LOL.



 



 



 

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 12/31/2023:  10:21:00


Mark Douglas

Right on....So i have some electric fans I was going to recycle....do you think I could use the copper windings for the 1 and 5 on the jer?

Old Hickory - Posted - 12/31/2023:  10:33:11


quote:

Originally posted by DHutchens

One side note Bill had been gifted the Fender by Elmer Harr from around the Tricities area of Tn. Elmer also gave Jimmy Martin the guitar that Jimmy played from that point on with his name in the fingerboard. Elmer also gifter another young banjo player a Fender Concertone....I won't mention his name as I don't know if he would want me to indentify him.






Some people were very fortunate to have Elmer as a friend!

banjoez - Posted - 12/31/2023:  10:34:10


"I know there are some players who will have and play nothing but a Gibson, some just collect them, some may have one in their mix of banjos and are not carried away by the mystique, and there are some who do not care for them at all. Where do you fit in with the Gibson world?

Robert"



To answer your question, many seasoned players find what they like and really don't care what's on the head stock these days. Lots and lots of different banjos acquired and sold to find the "one" (or two or three....hehe).  Sometimes it's a "Gibson" of some sort, sometimes it's not. If it makes them happy so be it, that's really all that matters. I've had many Gibson banjos and to me they are just that, banjos. I'm not a collector so my only interest is how they play and perform. 



Collectors on the other hand do care because they are dealing with a lot of money to invest in a real Gibson. But.....what is a REAL Gibson? That's a whole can of worms right there and not something that needs to be covered in this post (it's been discussed many, many times before). 



Been on both sides and to be honest I could care less what someone else plays, I know what I like. Enjoy your RB100.


Edited by - banjoez on 12/31/2023 10:53:03

Owen - Posted - 12/31/2023:  12:47:32


Mark: "... Nobody posts on here anymore  <snip>  4. Some novice pickers post stuff that makes absolutely no sense... But nobody can call them out or correct them.  <snip> "Comfortably Numb"!



To provide a bit of inane banter [and I offer up a Canadian "Sorry" for my propensity to go off-topic]...



Nobody posts:   ....reminds me of Yogi: "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."



Novice pickers:  ....As a novice I used to ask questions, but found that for the most part the answers (?) were w-a-y beyond my ken.



Comfortably numb: ... In my first year of teaching one of the more experienced teachers had 3 of us rookies over to his place to watch the Gray Cup game ... as is typical, lots of food and drink.  At some point he deemed it advisable to give us young'uns some "advice" on choosing a wife.  He was on the L.R. couch and his wife in the kitchen ... directly through the wall opening (?).  His advice??  You want a wife that's "pleasantly dumb."   [She gave him a quick "If looks could kill ... ," but he didn't appear too much the worse for wear at school the next day.]



Now back to regular programming [and fwiw, for me, Gibson is just another brand].

phb - Posted - 01/02/2024:  06:20:48


How I feel about the Gibson brand? When I played electric guitar, I was a Gibsonite. My first electric guitar was an Epiphone Les Paul, later on, when I had earned some money of my own, I bought a Gibson Nighthawk Custom. Admittedly I have a soft spot for the Telecaster but other than that have always been rather anti-Fender. There are hundreds of very fine electric guitar brands but for me it's Gibson all the way. Strangely this never transferred to banjos. I'd sure like to have a good Gibson banjo but I wouldn't want to pay the price nor make the effort to separate the wheat from the chaff myself. I'd be too worried about ending up with a not so good banjo if I bought one just for the name on the peghead. I prefer being on the safe side and either buy moderately priced decent quality banjos (Recording King, Gold Tone or such) or a quality banjo from a renowned non-industrial brand (I'm considering a Prucha due to the easier handling of EU-internal over transatlantic purchases). When it comes to banjos, it doesn't feel too bad to not have the Gibson logo on the peghead.

Dale Diehl - Posted - 01/05/2024:  14:33:54


I enjoy playing my Gibson. Its a pretty good banjo, a Scruggs Standard, 2000, I think. I have thought at times, I'll sell it and get one of those cheaper, "just as good as a Gibson" new banjos. Then I think, I would always regret it. So I keep playing it. I suppose, when I leave this earth, some one else will have to decide about selling it or keeping it. P.S. I wasn't stuck on a Gibson when I bought it. I was playing it in the store, it sounded amazing, when my wife said, "You should buy it. It sounds really nice." She does not like the banjo, or bluegrass. She does have a very good ear.

steve davis - Posted - 01/06/2024:  08:16:37


quote:

Originally posted by Mark Douglas

quote:

Originally posted by LouZee Picker

quote:

 



NUFF' SAID & WELL SAID ! yes Play what you like to play and play what you can afford without putting your family in debt !  This is a very old & worn out topic.wink






 



I beg to differ.....



What's old and worn out is the constant and perpetual replay of the same drama on here month....after month.....after month.



There is absolutely nothing on here to challenge your thinking anymore. Everything has been watered down to the point it's almost like taking Valium!



Nobody posts on here anymore because:



1. There's always a member who doesn't like the topic.



2. There's always someone who gets bent out of shape because a product or picker they like has been seemingly disparaged.



3. Some members use it for a business platform and never post for fear of offending someone and that could be bad for business.



4. Some novice pickers post stuff that makes absolutely no sense... But nobody can call them out or correct them because they will be offended and take their marbles and go home.



.....and the list goes on.



This forum is no longer a place where the free exchange ideas occurs. It has become the epitome of the Pink Floyd song......



"Comfortably Numb"!



'nuff said......LOL



 



 



 






I think forums aren't as popular as they used to be.



 

banjoak - Posted - 01/06/2024:  16:16:38


quote:

Originally posted by TN Time

Gibson banjos get lots of respect in the banjo world and the Gibson name gets lots of respect in the world in general. Many pros play Gibson instruments; i.e., banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, and mandolins.



It seems that the average person, when seeing the Gibson logo on the peg head of an instrument, no matter what model or quality, just assumes that the player "has arrived" so to speak.



I know there are some players who will have and play nothing but a Gibson, some just collect them, some may have one in their mix of banjos and are not carried away by the mystique, and there are some who do not care for them at all. Where do you fit in with the Gibson world?

Robert






Probably only a small percentage of people make that assumption, not the average person, IMO don't make that assumption of "arrived"; especially as listeners.



When seeing a person with Gibson logo (or any other); it really only reflects person has arrived with a instrument they had the means to acquire; generally available to anyone to purchase with money. It's not as if need to audition or meet some other qualification; of skill, or fame, or personal connections; nor even knowledgeable about history, or quality/value; to be approved to own a Gibson. 



Bit of adage in sound world, live or on recording; "listeners don't care about your equipment", (mics, amps, preamps, speaker, pedals... nor instrument) as to brand, logo, label inside, exotics, tone wood, vintage, boutique, or how much it's worth. Buying  for reason to show/impress others, IMO is not good use of resources, and pretty moot, short-lived. Even there was some initial impressive or ooh aah, it's pretty short lived... once player starts playing music; it's about using ears not  eyes.



I suppose there is of course the psychological/placebo aspect; worry about what others might think about instrument (positive/negative) might affect their experience for the player. If with others or alone, logo makes them feel better/confident... so might enjoy their experience better;possibly might translate to performing better?



The other side of coin, is perhaps raised/lowered expectations. If show up with a perceived high value quality instrument, high expectations and can't blame the instrument. Yet with assumed lesser respected instrument, low expectations to meet or exceed, maybe even impressed can get it any decent sound. laugh



Where do you fit in with the Gibson world?



I wouldn't pay extra for a name. The maker, and model can play a somewhat role when just " initially looking" for an instrument; simply to narrow the field of what spend time checking out; gravitate a slight bit toward more known reputation vs "what that?" But after that, I mostly ignore it logo/label; bottom line still comes down to individual instrument (or other equip) degree has qualities after; in playability and sound ... does what needs to for given context; (some aspects of durability, potential problems later); and if what I would be willing to pay (can get into diminishing return). Often mentioned about depreciation/appreciation value over time... I try not much worry about that; as it doesn't account for more important aspects.



.

TN Time - Posted - 01/06/2024:  17:55:09


quote:

Originally posted by banjoak

quote:

Originally posted by TN Time

Gibson banjos get lots of respect in the banjo world and the Gibson name gets lots of respect in the world in general. Many pros play Gibson instruments; i.e., banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, and mandolins.



It seems that the average person, when seeing the Gibson logo on the peg head of an instrument, no matter what model or quality, just assumes that the player "has arrived" so to speak.



I know there are some players who will have and play nothing but a Gibson, some just collect them, some may have one in their mix of banjos and are not carried away by the mystique, and there are some who do not care for them at all. Where do you fit in with the Gibson world?

Robert






Probably only a small percentage of people make that assumption, not the average person, IMO don't make that assumption of "arrived"; especially as listeners.



When seeing a person with Gibson logo (or any other); it really only reflects person has arrived with a instrument they had the means to acquire; generally available to anyone to purchase with money. It's not as if need to audition or meet some other qualification; of skill, or fame, or personal connections; nor even knowledgeable about history, or quality/value; to be approved to own a Gibson. 



Bit of adage in sound world, live or on recording; "listeners don't care about your equipment", (mics, amps, preamps, speaker, pedals... nor instrument) as to brand, logo, label inside, exotics, tone wood, vintage, boutique, or how much it's worth. Buying  for reason to show/impress others, IMO is not good use of resources, and pretty moot, short-lived. Even there was some initial impressive or ooh aah, it's pretty short lived... once player starts playing music; it's about using ears not  eyes.



I suppose there is of course the psychological/placebo aspect; worry about what others might think about instrument (positive/negative) might affect their experience for the player. If with others or alone, logo makes them feel better/confident... so might enjoy their experience better;possibly might translate to performing better?



The other side of coin, is perhaps raised/lowered expectations. If show up with a perceived high value quality instrument, high expectations and can't blame the instrument. Yet with assumed lesser respected instrument, low expectations to meet or exceed, maybe even impressed can get it any decent sound. laugh



Where do you fit in with the Gibson world?



I wouldn't pay extra for a name. The maker, and model can play a somewhat role when just " initially looking" for an instrument; simply to narrow the field of what spend time checking out; gravitate a slight bit toward more known reputation vs "what that?" But after that, I mostly ignore it logo/label; bottom line still comes down to individual instrument (or other equip) degree has qualities after; in playability and sound ... does what needs to for given context; (some aspects of durability, potential problems later); and if what I would be willing to pay (can get into diminishing return). Often mentioned about depreciation/appreciation value over time... I try not much worry about that; as it doesn't account for more important aspects.



.






I just can't agree with what you have written. I still hold with my original statements as that is what has been my experience. It seems to me you are stating mostly opinion not based on much fact or experience. But, one has the right to his/her opinion, I suppose.



Robert

steve davis - Posted - 01/07/2024:  06:46:29


There are good reasons why most resonator banjos made since the 60s use Gibson-type construction and decoration.

Gibson figured it all out many years ago and most banjos made are variations if not downright copies.


Edited by - steve davis on 01/07/2024 06:48:24

KCJones - Posted - 01/07/2024:  12:02:26


With all the great builders out there, the only thing Gibson has nowadays is nostalgia and collector speculation. There's no reason to buy one, the competion offers products for less money in every regard.

ChunoTheDog - Posted - 01/07/2024:  16:16:59


I really like playing my 1928 TB3 archtop with its Richie Dotson 5 string neck.

I also really enjoy playing my 2006 Gold Star flathead (although I hate the thick sticky lacquer finish on the neck).

Depends on the day/mood.

Lots and lots of amazing banjos out there.

steve davis - Posted - 01/08/2024:  08:46:35


Any banjo with a 3 ply rim and well fitted 3 pound tonering and neck is going to sound fine.
I like the sound of my '29 rim and resonator.
The fit of my new 5 string neck is exceptionally important to the overall sound.

Fit of the heel was very important to Jimmy Cox.

TN Time - Posted - 01/08/2024:  17:09:45


quote:

Originally posted by KCJones

With all the great builders out there, the only thing Gibson has nowadays is nostalgia and collector speculation. There's no reason to buy one, the competion offers products for less money in every regard.






I guess you fit in with Group #4, the group that does not care for them at all. That is all well and good as long as you admit that your statements are only your opinions. But, you seem to be implying that your statements are facts. I would concede that your first statement is a fact; i.e., there are lots of great builders out there. I even own a banjo made for me by one of the great builders. "The only thing Gibson has nowadays is nostalgia and collector speculation?" I don't think so. Gibson has lots going for it "nowadays." For the most part (depending on the year), quality, a great sound, good resale value, and generally reasonable prices. "There is no reason to buy one?" Once again, I don't think so. If a person wants one, then that is reason enough along with the other attributes I mentioned above. The "competition" is largely Gibson clones if that tells you anything. I agree once again that there are lots of good banjos out there by some great small makers, sometimes "for less money" and sometimes for a lot more money. Everyone is free to buy what they want. My statements too are largely opinion, but the "G" Mystique is alive and well.



Robert

KCJones - Posted - 01/08/2024:  17:41:35


They're not "clones", because most are actually built well.

When people say things like, "they're great if you get a good one" about a company, it's not a good product.

It's the same thing as classic cars. Sure they're great, when they work. Old folks love them because it reminds them of their youth. But you basically have to be a mechanic to keep them running and they perform poorly compared to modern competition.

TN Time - Posted - 01/08/2024:  18:07:09


quote:

Originally posted by KCJones

They're not "clones", because most are actually built well.



When people say things like, "they're great if you get a good one" about a company, it's not a good product.



It's the same thing as classic cars. Sure they're great, when they work. Old folks love them because it reminds them of their youth. But you basically have to be a mechanic to keep them running and they perform poorly compared to modern competition.






Once again thanks for your opinions. You have really added a lot to this discussion. wink



Robert

TN Time - Posted - 01/09/2024:  07:44:00


Earl and J.D. played Gibson Mastertones for a reason. 'Nuff said.

Robert


Edited by - TN Time on 01/09/2024 07:44:34

steve davis - Posted - 01/09/2024:  08:19:05


When Earl and JD got their banjos there were only a few hundred original flatheads on 3 ply rims.

The other choices were Bacon,Ludwig,Vega,Orpheum and Paramount.

All fine instruments,but only those few Gibsons had that specific,three pound tonering voice.



Nowadays that specific three pound tonering voice numbers in the tens of thousands.


Edited by - steve davis on 01/09/2024 08:21:01

TN Time - Posted - 01/09/2024:  11:42:58


quote:

Originally posted by steve davis

When Earl and JD got their banjos there were only a few hundred original flatheads on 3 ply rims.

The other choices were Bacon,Ludwig,Vega,Orpheum and Paramount.

All fine instruments,but only those few Gibsons had that specific,three pound tonering voice.



Nowadays that specific three pound tonering voice numbers in the tens of thousands.






I believe you are correct Steve, but years later, when they could have played any banjo they wanted, they still played Gibsons.



Robert

steve davis - Posted - 01/10/2024:  08:11:58


Gibson have had their highs and lows.Through the 60s and 70s Gibson rested on their laurels and found ways to cut corners.

I suppose the Gibson name,being the most famous name in guitars,mandolins and banjos for so long,has sold the most instruments,but that doesn't mean they are always "Top Dog".

Parts are parts and all have the potential for great sound if they are fitted correctly.



There are no "secrets" to a Gibson instrument sounding the way it does.


Edited by - steve davis on 01/10/2024 08:12:39

LouZee Picker - Posted - 01/10/2024:  09:54:35


quote:

Originally posted by steve davis



There are no "secrets" to a Gibson instrument sounding the way it does.






I beg to differ, evidently there is a "secret" to the prewar Gibson Flathead banjos that were manufactured starting in 1929.



Luthiers have  been trying to distinctly copy the tone of those banjos for decades & still haven't hit the nail on the right on the head. Their new banjos may/do have certain nuances of the prewar tone. But I haven't played a new banjo that sounds exactly like a great sounding, well set up Prewar Gibson banjo.

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