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My 1925/26 TB-3/PB-4 converted to an RB-4

Posted by revellfa on Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This banjo has quite a history. It belonged to Charles Bakovich who was hailed as "The Banjo King of Seattle" (that also explains the "CB" on the truss rod.) He was the original owner of this 1926 TB-3. He made his living with this banjo as a Plectrum. His name and address is carved in the resonator and also inside the original rim.

He made many modifications to this banjo in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. As mentioned above he bought a 1925 PB-4 neck and resonator and added it to this banjo. He switched out many parts throughout the years but always used period pre-war Gibson parts. The thumbscrews are the early, rare 1925 thumbscrews. He also switched out the original grooved tension hoop for a notched one. The Tailpiece is a modern presto however. He even did some Gold plating to the banjo which is mostly worn off now but has a super cool appearance all these years later. It still has the original Ball-Bearing Tone Ring which I adore. They have a sound unlike any other.

The neck is one of the last that Bill Sullivan made before he died in 2008. I added the Nechville armrest. I also added a 1/2 inch bridge from David Cunningham here on the Hangout.

When Charles died in 1999 his widow had a music store sell his banjo. Brad Grizwold on the Hangout here bought it from her and I recently acquired it from him. I am only the third owner of this wonderful banjo. It is vibrant, articulate, powerful (but not overbearing), and has tons of reverb. 

What a story and what a banjer!

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