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Jul 21, 2019 - 10:19:02 AM
33 posts since 3/8/2019

I can purchase this banjo for $1000 . The owner is not sure about the model number. Any ideas?

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:14:24 AM

8951 posts since 1/15/2005

Were you intending to attach some photos?

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:27 AM



2149 posts since 9/16/2007

He may have intended to, however they currently reside on his homepage.

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:42:30 AM
like this

12192 posts since 10/30/2008

It's someone's approximation of a Gibson Earl Scruggs model or RB 4, sort of, IMHO.

Can't say anything about the authenticity of the pot, but the cut of the peghead is not Gibson factory, and the resonator wood/marquetry isn't correct for a Gibson Earl Scruggs, or any Gibson I can think of.

So, if you think $1000 is a good buy for a real Gibson, I don't think it's real based on the photos.

It may be a perfectly acceptable $1000 banjo is you LIKE the way it plays, sounds and feels. Only you can tell that.

It would take a dozen more photos, close-ups, to say any more.

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:32:23 PM

33 posts since 3/8/2019

Originally posted by mbanza

He may have intended to, however they currently reside on his homepage.

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:34:39 PM

33 posts since 3/8/2019

It looks a pretty old hearts and flowers ped head

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:36:39 PM

33 posts since 3/8/2019

Can someone please explain put pictures on this topic? I keep uploading and they never appear here

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:42:51 PM

33 posts since 3/8/2019

The peg head looks just like any other Gibson hearts and flowers that I've seen.

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:47:34 PM



21340 posts since 7/6/2005

Not a Gibson neck. Most likely a parts banjo

Jul 21, 2019 - 1:53:06 PM

33 posts since 3/8/2019

How can you tell it's not Gibson?

Jul 21, 2019 - 3:46:48 PM

3145 posts since 12/6/2009

Jul 21, 2019 - 4:10:50 PM

12192 posts since 10/30/2008

It's easier to say "it's not Gibson" than to conclusively say "it's a Gibson". It takes a lot of looking at banjos to develop the "feel" for the things that scream out "NOT GIBSON". I make no claim to authority, but I can see the obvious stuff. For REALLY good Gibson knock-offs, you need to pay real authorities to authenticate the banjo. It has long been said that the best banjo makers can make Gibson knock-offs that will fool almost every expert.

SO MANY banjos have been made to the Gibson pattern, done very poorly AND very well, that there are undoubtedly more non-Gibsons in existence than real Gibsons, at least in certain model configurations. And let me say, most of the knock offs are made "with respect" to the Gibson's successful design. Like the Strad violin has been copied for century "with respect". Yes, sometimes a builder is trying to fool buyers, especially buyers who don't know everything to look for. The "Gibson" in the peghead is often enough to get an unsuspecting buyer to fork over their money.

Banjo makers who mark the banjo with their personal mark, no matter how perfect a Gibson copy it is, generally earn the highest level of respect. Even if they put "Gibson" in the peghead -- they often put their personal mark somewhere else in the banjo to show they're not trying to fool anybody.

1) The outline shape of the peghead of this banjo is "wrong". Too pointy in some places, wrong proportions, etc. Which is unusual, because it's easy to get a correct pattern for a Gibson look-alike. This maker didn't even bother with that.

2. The wood in the resonator, and the two circles of inlaid marquetry in the resonator, together don't align with any historic models of "real" Gibsons. Now it may be a perfectly nice resonator, but it just doesn't look familiar.

Go to Greg Earnest's website of photos of pre-war Gibson banjos. Look at every single one of the hundreds of photos (many banjos include photos of 5 string conversion necks). Understand the levels of consistency (and inconsistency) in the various models over the years from 1925 to 1944. THEN study photos of Gibson's best work since 1987 when they tried VERY hard to replicate the pre-war look, feel and sound.

Best of all, closely inspect EVERY Gibson banjo you ever encounter and ask tons of questions.

Jul 21, 2019 - 6:43:13 PM
Players Union Member



4956 posts since 10/12/2009

Originally posted by Banjo Bones 76

How can you tell it's not Gibson?

Did you read OldTimers post up above?

Here's a real Gibson double-cut headstock, can you see the differences?

Edited by - RioStat on 07/21/2019 18:48:24

Jul 22, 2019 - 2:18:40 PM

2338 posts since 4/16/2003

OP asked:
"How can you tell it's not Gibson?"

Knowledge and experience.

That's not "a Gibson", but it looks to be an ok "Gibson copy".
If it's made well (can't tell because your pics aren't detailed enough), in good-enough condition, sounds good and plays easily... it could be worth $1,000.

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