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Feb 11, 2019 - 11:57:39 PM

sandrus

Norway

5 posts since 4/3/2009

Hello, I bought a used 2008 Gibson RB-3 from Mandolin Brothers a few years back. I got into reading about the tone rings from that era and came to the conclusion this banjo likely had one of the Mystery PM tone rings. However, I had the resonator off and noticed it was engraved with Gibson USA on the top side on the bridge side (see pic). Were the mystery rings engraved? or is it possible this is a Kulesh? The banjo sounds pretty good now, so I'm not inclined to separate the tone ring from the rim and have a look underneath. thanks, Scott

 

Edited by - sandrus on 02/11/2019 23:59:33

Feb 12, 2019 - 8:00:42 AM

10223 posts since 2/12/2011

If it is a 20 hole it is probably a Kulesh.

Feb 12, 2019 - 10:35:12 AM
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1057 posts since 3/27/2008

Hey @sandrus,

I have a 1998 Gibson Earl Scruggs 49 Classic, and it has a Kulesh ring on it (they really are powerful and clear).

I believe that it had some kind of serial number on it that indicated that it was made by Kulesh...

When I have the chance, I'll remove the resonator and look at the rim...

Feb 12, 2019 - 11:43:38 AM
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1057 posts since 3/27/2008

Here are photos of the Kulesh tone ring that is on my 1998 Gibson ES 49 Classic (taken in 2017)...

As I understand was regular practice by Kulesh, the tone ring has both the stamped Kulesh symbol (left of the serial number in the photos) as well as a stamped numeric serial number.

I took these photos in 2017 when Mike Munford was setting up the banjo (and he felt that we needed to remove the tone ring because the fit was too tight on the rim).

It sounded extraordinary after Mike did this and completed his setup.

In the case of my banjo, the Kulesh stamp and serial number was not visible unless the ring was removed.

There was NOT a Gibson stamp on this ring (as in your ring).

But, I know that Gibson was not regular in some of its practices, so I don't think that this means that your ring is definitively not a Kulesh.


Feb 12, 2019 - 12:09:35 PM
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sandrus

Norway

5 posts since 4/3/2009

thanks for taking time to post @KD Banjer. Its really just curiosity driving this inquiry.

Feb 12, 2019 - 1:13:46 PM
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1057 posts since 3/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sandrus

thanks for taking time to post @KD Banjer. Its really just curiosity driving this inquiry.


You're very welcome, Scott.

Whatever tone ring it might be, I'm sure it's a great sounding banjo and I'm sure you enjoy it, and that's what's important.

By the way, my wife travels to Norway once a year for her business (she runs mindfulness workshops).

Also... How is the market for banjos in Norway and Europe?

Are there many bluegrass shows throughout the year?

I know that there is some bluegrass shows/ interest in the UK, but I really don't know about Norway and the rest of Europe.

(Perhaps we should start a new thread on this topic)

Edited by - KD Banjer on 02/12/2019 13:18:30

Feb 12, 2019 - 6:52:59 PM
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35 posts since 5/26/2006

I know Gibson did odd things, but I've never seen a ring with the block "Gibson USA" under the tailpiece that wasn't a Kulesh. The mystery rings are name wise, unmarked, and the Crowe/Sullivan rings are stamped in script "Gibson" under the inside ledge, and a serial.

Feb 12, 2019 - 7:11:26 PM
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7097 posts since 1/7/2005
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quote:
Originally posted by KD Banjer
quote:
Originally posted by sandrus

thanks for taking time to post @KD Banjer. Its really just curiosity driving this inquiry.


 

Also... How is the market for banjos in Norway and Europe?

Are there many bluegrass shows throughout the year?

I know that there is some bluegrass shows/ interest in the UK, but I really don't know about Norway and the rest of Europe.

(Perhaps we should start a new thread on this topic)


One of my favorite 'bluegrass' movies is The Broken Circle Breakdown. It's a Belgian film and has some fine sound tracks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeJg4VA_kkw

DD

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