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SOLD For Sale: SOLD: SOLD- Gibson - 1930 TB3 Archtop Conversion (OPF) - Very Nice Example (VIDEO)

Posted By: Smelly Old Gibby (+60) | Rate Member
 Member 10+ Years  Returns allowed with money back refund

$9,200 USD

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This VERY nice 1930 TB3 conversion has a full thickness rim with one-piece flange (OPF) construction. The wood and metal on the pot on this banjo are truly in fantastic condition, and the combination of mahogany and original 40-hole archtop tone ring give this banjo a powerful, balanced and sweet tone. Besides the prewar OPF Granada, the OPF Style 3 (and the later 75 version) are the most coveted and collected by prewar enthusiasts. This is a great example for the collector and player alike. This instrument comes with a 2014 appraisal from Jim Mills.

The Pot:

Everything on this pot is original and stock… as Jim Mills says, “Every nut, bolt, hook and screw.” The full-thickness 3-ply rim retains uncut and displays the original Mastertone label. The finish is original on the resonator and this banjo has not been over-sprayed at all. There are a few little button indentations and small scratches, but this resonator is in great shape. When I have conversion necks made I have the heel of the new neck narrowed slightly, so none of the prewar material needs to be removed from the neck notch of the resonator. The one-piece flange is relatively flat but has some slight pull at the neck (very typical), but this flange is solid. The original one-piece armrest shows a little brassing, but the rest of the metal (tension hoop, hooks/nuts, tailpiece ,etc) are all original and are in excellent condition.

The Neck:

The conversion neck was made to prewar spec by Richie Dotson. The fingerboard was done in Brazilian rosewood with a “Wreath” pattern. The headstock overlay is pear wood and is paper thin (just like the 1930s) and is a tricky thing to pull-off. The wreath inlays are all hand cut and look correct. All five tuner buttons are prewar ivoried… Even the truss rod cover and screws are prewar on this conversion neck. Richie is a tremendous luthier, and he does a lot of work for Jim Mills, Turtle Hill and others. Really top notch.

The conversion neck has original 1920s Grover “Pancake” Tuners. These are my favorite tuner and have a 2:1 ratio. The original tuners for this model banjo are Grover 1930s “pancakes, and they are still attached to the original tenor neck that is included with the sale.


There is an error in the video, noting this banjo as 1932. This banjo is, in fact, from 1930, and the documentation from Jim Mills validates this. Sorry for the confusion.

The Price

I am pricing this banjo at $9200. The price includes the converted banjo, tenor neck with extra tuners, and vintage Lifton (orange-lined) 5-string hardshell case. This banjo comes with an appraisal (2014 - $10,500) and certification from Jim Mills. I am currently seeing these banjos listed from $8,500 - $11,000 currently. I think that in this condition I have priced it well.


The shipping costs will be whatever the actual shipping costs are with insurance. Because of the rosewood fingerboard, there is no international shipping on this item.

Thanks for looking and please check-out my other instruments for sale:

1934 TB11 (OPF) Conversion (

Late 1800's Vintage The New Washburn Latest Model Cremonatone Bowl Back Mandolin (

Kasuga Bowtie Masterclone 5-String Banjo - 1970s (Made in Japan) (


United States, PA


actual shipping and insurance, USA only

Payment Methods:

Check/Money Order, Cash (in person)

Payment Option Notes:

personal checks accepted, but must clear before shipping.

Return Policy:

Returns accepted. Buyer must contact seller within 2 days to arrange return. Refund will be given as Money Back. Buyer pays return shipping.

Additional return policy details: buyer pays shipping both ways.

Condition of Item(s):

Used - Excellent Condition

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