This is a gorgeous 1980 Gibson RB-250 banjo that is all original other than the bridge, which was swapped out for a Snuffy Smith bridge - quite a nice upgrade. This banjo sat in its case in a closet unplayed until very recently, so it is essentially a 43-year old, brand new Gibson banjo. I've played it for less than an hour, so it has no fret wear or buckle rash. It's just as it came from Gibson in 1980. It's gorgeous, it looks and plays like a brand new banjo, and comes with all original parts and its original hard shell case.
The neck and resonator are original Gibson mahogany, the fretboard is ebony, with the classic RB-250 inlay pattern, and it has the original Gibson maple shell, tube and plate flange, and Gibson 20-hole flathead tone ring. The tailpiece, tuners, armrest and other parts are all original. Everything, including all the nickel parts, are in like new condition. The case is also original and in excellent condition other than a bit of pitting on the metal latches, which typically happens over time.
Full disclosure - this banjo had one flaw when recently acquired, which has been repaired. When I purchased it locally, the tube portion of the flange had broken in one spot due to a corroded seam. This location on the tube was subsequently welded back together (see photo) and now functions and plays perfectly normally. If you have any questions about this repair, luthier Darren Drew did the work and is willing to speak to any prospective buyer about it.
Darren, who has worked for Greg Rich (of Gibson manufacturing fame) for several years, is a very skilled and experienced luthier. Greg was also consulted on the repair, after which the banjo was also professionally set up by Darren, including consistent drum dial head tension.
This banjo is beautiful and sounds incredible, very loud and sweet. In fact, it has noticeably more volume than my 1995 Gibson RB-3, which is definitely saying something. All the finish and hardware look brand new. The neck and fretboard are clean, the frets show absolutely no wear and are clean all the way down. It looks great, sounds great, and plays great. If you're looking for an original Gibson banjo in great condition, this is it.
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Returns accepted. Buyer must contact seller within 2 days to arrange return. Refund will be given as Money Back. Buyer pays return shipping.
Condition of Item(s):
Used - Mint Condition
'1984 Gold Star GF100HF' 7 min
'Europe- 2 piece flange' 29 min
'Two Paige banjo capos' 38 min
'Europe - Tone ring' 40 min
'Rickett's Hornpipe' 46 min
'Scruggs-Ruben capo' 47 min
'Rickett's Hornpipe' 52 min