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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Greg Rich era Gibson Banjos

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larry p - Posted - 09/03/2007:  14:26:43

I have a friend that bought quiet a few Mastertones from me when I was a dealer for Gibson during the 'Greg Rich era', and now he's in a situation that calls on him to sell 3 or 4 of them..We were blest in those days to be able to pick out most of the banjos we offered at the factory, so every banjo in this friends collection is the 'pick of the litter', in mint (or near mint condition), and 100% original with all the paperwork etc..
My question is this; in todays banjo market are the banjos from the 'Greg Rich era' considered to be more collectable and if so are they bringing a premium over a more recent Gibson issue banjos? I may be assisting in the sale of these instruments and would appreciate any insight...

Larry Perkins

Edited by - larry p on 09/04/2007 10:36:46

eli renfro - Posted - 09/03/2007:  15:04:10

Larry, I can't add squat to your knowledge of these things, but .... I have seen several ads here on the hangout for various Gibsons that included "Greg Rich era" in the description. Don't know if they brought any more $ than some of the newer ones, but they didn't seem to last long. I'd say if someone like you is attesting to the sound/tone then they would probably bring a premium. Good luck. You are one of my favorite Scruggs style pickers .

"That ain't no part of bluegrass music. That ain't no part of nothin'." - Bill Monroe

El Dobro - Posted - 09/03/2007:  15:11:11

I would imagine that their prices went up simply for the fact that Gibson raised their new prices. Their current used prices will probably be close to what they went for new.


Mike Casey - Posted - 09/03/2007:  21:56:50

Some time ago Bob Day would post on this site. He took over the operation right after Greg Rich left Gibson. I haven't heard from Bob in awhile, but he had some very interesting things to add to the Gibson banjo story. If you look up those historical posts I believe it would help you determine if the values should be more or the same.

Mike Casey
and The Assembly Line Grinders

larry p - Posted - 09/04/2007:  11:08:10

thanks Mike- yes sir, I remember Bob Day and his work at Gibson well- Bob-(along with Nick Kimmons and Ed Webber) worked very hard to maintain the highest level of product quality standards and customer service begun during the Greg Rich, Jim Triggs, Doug Hutchins era..
no doubt Bob knows what was going on in those days at Gibson..
Thanks ElDobro-sounds like that would make a good starting place..
thanks Eli Renfro, and I'll bet you could add a considerable amount to what I know about such stuff...I, like you have noticed the phrase 'Greg Rich' era banjo in a few item descriptions here and am just curious to know how that effects sales and pricing.
I do know that the work Greg and all the aforementioned gentlemen were doing at Gibson back then was exemplary, and it's always a real treat to meet someone now that has a banjo we had a hand in getting together all those years ago. I recently saw one of the five Granadas that we specially built then (that are numbered 9584-10 through 9584-15); copper flashed, triple gold plated, extraordinary curly maple, Brazilian rosewood fretboard, pearl nut, special adapters that fit over the Planet tuners that make them look like the old '2-band' tuners, pearl buttons, and a tension 5th string peg...
from across the room this banjo looked like a pre-war Granada, and soundwise don't take a backseat to many (if any) from any era...

Larry Perkins

larry p - Posted - 09/04/2007:  14:31:30

what a most pleasant suprise- I went to check out the aforementioned Greg Rich era banjos;they're all beautiful, mint or near mint, and there is one of the 5 9584-20 series we did back then in the bunch- Custom Shop, Earl Scruggs 49 classic, one of five built in that series that came with a gold plated tonering and nickel plated harware....also in the bunch is one of the first RB-4s, RB-3 Reno, a beautiful Granada, an absolutely mint condition 1989 Martin D-45 with scalloped bracing, and a F-5L 08-14-89 signed by Steve Carlson and a stunning example of what those guys were doing back then...

Larry Perkins

Edited by - larry p on 09/04/2007 15:24:55

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