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2009 Gibson RB 1 Mastertone #5 of 15?

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Aug 18, 2019 - 7:26:15 AM
12095 posts since 10/30/2008

So this is on eBay this morning.

I don't remember any advertising about a Gibson Mastertone RB 1 run of just 15. I do remember the RB 1 "DeLuxe" that had a tone ring, but not this. Comments?

ebay.com/itm/293191627670?ul_noapp=true

Aug 18, 2019 - 8:00 AM

10038 posts since 6/2/2008

I remember seeing it on the Gibson website near the end. In particular the seagull inlay that wasn't the same as the pre-war original. But don't recall anything about the limited run.

At $2,026 shipped, someone got a good deal.

Aug 18, 2019 - 11:05:17 AM

1896 posts since 1/10/2004

I remember it, think it was discussed here. It was a bit of a head scratcher why this was an RB-1. I don't remember it being that limited, but given the dwindling production at the time it's possible.  One of the last "special" banjo runs Gibson ever did.

Aug 18, 2019 - 2:10:19 PM

431 posts since 5/19/2018
Online Now

Nice banjos. Kind of a strange aspect of an interpretation of a RB-1. But close enough to have the look.

A good friend of mine picked one of those up a few years ago, and that one also was very inexpensive. I had no idea they only made 15. Makes it one of the rarest post war Gibson’s made.

Aug 18, 2019 - 2:58:08 PM

12095 posts since 10/30/2008

Thanks everyone. I guess I just missed this one in all the excitement about the Christmas banjo and the Super Earl.

Aug 19, 2019 - 10:54:54 PM

799 posts since 3/1/2006

I remember these rolled out with the RB-75VL (also a 15 piece run) banjos that year. I almost bought one then because I love that inlay but to be fair they just an RB-3 with a different pattern. I opted for the 75. If memory serves all of these limited run banjos featured the Crowe ring.

Aug 20, 2019 - 5:27:23 AM

799 posts since 3/1/2006

My memory is faulty apparently. These re-reissue RB-1 featured the standard Tonering.

Aug 20, 2019 - 5:37:46 AM

2170 posts since 1/16/2013

A mahogany RB-1 with concentric rings on the resonator and a tone ring?? Seems odd. No "Gibson USA" on the flange either.

Edited by - 9470 Granada on 08/20/2019 05:41:30

Aug 20, 2019 - 5:58:05 AM

799 posts since 3/1/2006

There were actually a few instances where flanges without Gibson USA made it on to banjo. All of the cases I am aware of were on Nickel plates banjos.

Aug 20, 2019 - 6:35:56 AM

2170 posts since 1/16/2013

quote:
Originally posted by TheBanjoStore

There were actually a few instances where flanges without Gibson USA made it on to banjo. All of the cases I am aware of were on Nickel plates banjos.


That's exactly right. Gibson used some RK flanges for a "bit"... But all the other "inconsistencies" about an RB-1 like this make me wonder...

Aug 20, 2019 - 6:41:29 AM

799 posts since 3/1/2006

Are there more? I remember this model coming out but to call it an RB-1 was a stretch. It was really an RB-3 with a different inlay pattern. Everything else lines up with that 2009 Re-reissue of 15 pieces.

Aug 20, 2019 - 7:05:59 AM

799 posts since 3/1/2006

I hope that didn’t come across snarky, I meant it in the spirit of curiosity.

Aug 20, 2019 - 7:22:36 AM

2170 posts since 1/16/2013

quote:
Originally posted by TheBanjoStore

I hope that didn’t come across snarky, I meant it in the spirit of curiosity.


Hey Adam, no worries at all. I love trying to get to the bottom of a "Gibson Mystery".

I've been talking to 2 guys that were at the source of Gibson during this time and this banjo is not adding up. I'll admit right off the mark, I think its a parts banjo. BUT It may turn out that Gibson made some off-the-wall RB-1/RB-3/Baucom model necked thing...

I was told that the neck was NOT genuine gibson due to several things... and the pot for an RB-1 doesn't add up...

The "jury" is still out haha..

-Jim

Aug 20, 2019 - 9:30 AM
likes this

799 posts since 3/1/2006

I am only going from memory, but I remember this banjo pretty well. I looked at it a lot on the Janet Davis site before it became available. I intended on buying one through The Mandolin Store, but when I saw that it was just a 3 with a different inlay pattern, and significantly more expensive ($5110 I think), I elected to buy that RB-75VL. I've only seen 1 of these Style 1 banjos in person, but for the life of me I can't remember who had it. I'll keep digging. I wound up buying it. I suppose I'll know more when it arrives.

Aug 20, 2019 - 9:52:31 AM

2170 posts since 1/16/2013

quote:
Originally posted by TheBanjoStore

I am only going from memory, but I remember this banjo pretty well. I looked at it a lot on the Janet Davis site before it became available. I intended on buying one through The Mandolin Store, but when I saw that it was just a 3 with a different inlay pattern, and significantly more expensive ($5110 I think), I elected to buy that RB-75VL. I've only seen 1 of these Style 1 banjos in person, but for the life of me I can't remember who had it. I'll keep digging. I wound up buying it. I suppose I'll know more when it arrives.


Congrats! That's a great price regardless of the outcome. You mentioned Janet Davis and I picked one up that had been there as well years ago. It too was a bit of a custom..but after some digging I found everything to be legit. Obviously near the end of production Gibson was offering many models and custom limited runs etc.

Aug 21, 2019 - 6:24:30 AM

2170 posts since 1/16/2013

quote:
Originally posted by TheBanjoStore

I am only going from memory, but I remember this banjo pretty well. I looked at it a lot on the Janet Davis site before it became available. I intended on buying one through The Mandolin Store, but when I saw that it was just a 3 with a different inlay pattern, and significantly more expensive ($5110 I think), I elected to buy that RB-75VL. I've only seen 1 of these Style 1 banjos in person, but for the life of me I can't remember who had it. I'll keep digging. I wound up buying it. I suppose I'll know more when it arrives.


After a little more research this is a Terry Baucom inlay. I'm looking at the original drawings at my desk of the Baucom inlay from Sept. 2003. It's very possible that these fret boards and peghead overlays were used since the Baucom model "fell through".

Maybe much like the Jim Mills "Mack Crow" that didn't happen although a few "custom" gold mahogany's made it out. Obviously the Mack Crow "morphed" into the "Blackjack"...

I would not be surprised if this banjo has the Gibson "Crowe" ring...which would be great!

Aug 21, 2019 - 8:32:18 AM

12095 posts since 10/30/2008

It sold for $2026!! Someone got a good buy, I hope.

Aug 22, 2019 - 10:06:26 PM

Ebanjo

USA

2080 posts since 1/15/2007

9470 Granada is right. Those banjos were what was supposed to be a Terry Baucom model (I think I even saw Terry play one on a show with Doyle during his second stint with Quicksilver). I also remember Jackson Music in Winston-Salem, N.C. having one in their store.

Eric Ellis

Edited by - Ebanjo on 08/22/2019 22:06:58

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