Posted by Enviroguy on Monday, February 19, 2007
February 19, 2007
A couple of times now, I have been able to wrap my hands around a pre-war Gibson. The latest was a 1935 RB2 conversion with a neck made by Bruce Dowd of Toronto (a GREAT luthier, IMHO). This banjo kicked butt. I think I must have now heard the right number and types of banjos, because I think I have got a real sense of that pre-war sound now, and I would like to own a banjo with that capability. To me, quite a bit of the "sound" was actually "feel". You feel it in your left hand and in your solar plexus (gut). You owners out there know what I mean.
I was just perusing Charlie Cushman's site www.charliecushman.com and he's got some good info on the topic. I also have seen Huber's promotional stuff on their fine instruments, and the consensus seems to be that, yes, a new banjo of the right quality has the potential to sound as great as a prewar Gibson, although it may take some years for the seasoning factor to kick in.
The impression made by me of the '35 Gibson was so strong, that I do believe I will go on a quest for a similar instrument. Now, regarding the limiting factor of money... hmmm. I could probably scrape up enough for one of the conversions, or an unconverted prewar TB that I could get a neck made for. I think I'd rather hear the finished product though. Not many pre-wars that I know of up here in Canada (that are for sale), so I may have to take a road trip to the U.S.
This could be an expensive trip...
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