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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: When exactly did the Greg Rich era begin at Gibson?


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/395102

CaseyJones - Posted - 01/11/2024:  18:02:49


Hi fellow pickers, I am wondering about a 1987 Gibson Earl Scruggs model and how to identify if it was made under Greg Rich. I have read he started at Gibson in 1987, but when? I’m assuming things didn’t immediately change the minute he walked in the door, so is a 1987 Gibson banjo still hit or miss? I’m actually very curious about this era, so any info is much appreciated.
Also, what did Greg Rich do at Gibson to improve the quality of their banjos?
All info is much appreciated.
Thank you in advance

Brian Murphy - Posted - 01/11/2024:  18:56:49


Alot of the answers are from this first-person account of Doug Hutchens. As I understand it, he switched parts vendors from StewMac to Bill Sullivan with the Scruggs model after they started on the vintage lines (RB-3 etc.) and upgraded the RB-250.  hawthorne.fastie.com/banjo/hutchens.php


Edited by - Brian Murphy on 01/11/2024 18:59:44

CaseyJones - Posted - 01/11/2024:  22:57:53


Brian, thank you! That article is great and really shed some light on the subject for me

The Old Timer - Posted - 01/13/2024:  08:06:15


If your 87 Scruggs has honey-colored finish, and a "smaller" cramped looking peghead, that's NOT the "improved" redesign by Mr. Rich.

The improved redesign has a dark brown sunburst finish, a correct sized (larger) peghead, better laid out fingerboard inlays, and tone ring with Kulesh stamps in it.

Post a photo and you'll get immediate responses.

Brian Murphy - Posted - 01/13/2024:  08:53:43


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer

If your 87 Scruggs has honey-colored finish, and a "smaller" cramped looking peghead, that's NOT the "improved" redesign by Mr. Rich.



The improved redesign has a dark brown sunburst finish, a correct sized (larger) peghead, better laid out fingerboard inlays, and tone ring with Kulesh stamps in it.



Post a photo and you'll get immediate responses.






I don't think the Scruggs was redesigned until after 1987.  Article indicates 1989.  

CaseyJones - Posted - 01/14/2024:  11:54:39


According to the article Brian kindly shared with us, it sounds like they finally came up with a prototype that Earl liked in spring of 1989 and the last of the original, yellow run was serial number: 1141.
The 1987 Gibson Earl Scruggs banjo that I was inquiring about was not one I owned. It was one I was looking at and considering buying online

CaseyJones - Posted - 01/14/2024:  12:38:07


I wasn’t inquiring about a banjo I own. It is one I was looking at online and considering buying.
I recently played a 1985 Gibson Earl Scruggs model and I really like the way it looks. I love the color of it. But the sound didn’t grab me. It didn’t sound bad or anything, it just didn’t jump out at me. So I was wondering if that 1987 I saw on the internet machine maybe had that same color I like, but with a different sound.
According to that article Brian so kindly shared with us, we didn’t get a redesigned Earl Scruggs model until after the spring of 1989. The last of the old ones was serial number: 1141.

CaseyJones - Posted - 01/14/2024:  12:41:32


Sorry, I don’t mean to say the same thing twice. I thought I accidentally erased the first post

rcc56 - Posted - 01/14/2024:  17:16:10


According to my worn out Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, Gibson began their re-designs with the introduction of the RB-3 re-issue in 1988. They also re-designed the Scruggs model around the same time. Other models were introduced or updated later.


Edited by - rcc56 on 01/14/2024 17:17:05

mikehalloran - Posted - 01/22/2024:  18:21:31


If Greg ever wants to finish the book, I have a lot more detail.



 

J.Albert - Posted - 01/24/2024:  13:29:56


If one is shopping for an ESS, the last of the "original" (more "yellow-ish", with the out-of-proportion peghead) models was serial 1141, in 1989.



After that, they were of the later design (that more closely resembled the original Granada in shape and coloration).



(thanks to Doug Hutchens for this info posted some years ago).



Also, the last label that Earl signed personally was #1984.

After that, the labels are "machine signed".



The serial numbers go up to around 511x, perhaps a little higher.

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