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For Sale: Gibson 1929 TB4 OPF Conversion

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Nov 9, 2019 - 9:48:54 AM



7040 posts since 4/19/2004


This is a 1929 TB4 conversion with a full thickness rim with one-piece flange (OPF) construction. The wood and metal on the pot on this banjo are in very good condition. The model 4 walnut neck and resonator gives the banjo both depth and clarity..somewhere between mahogany and maple. Very powerful with great big lower range and crystal clear highs. The banjo comes with the original tenor neck, the 40 hole archtop ring, and the original case. This instrument comes with a letter of appraisal from Steve Huber.

Here is a link to hear the banjo

The Pot:

The full-thickness 3-ply rim retains uncut and displays the original Mastertone label. The finish is original on the resonator, with some thin French polishing done over portions of the back to protect areas that had been worn. The grain of the walnut on the resonator is beautiful. The inlaid resonator rings are in excellent condition. There is a small 1" section on the resonator sidewall that appears to have been scuffed and repaired long ago, with a 1/2" portion of the top binding replaced. The inside of the resonator retains the original painted serial #. The bottom of the rim has a narrow channel at the bottom outer portion. This may have been the result of refitting the rim to a replacement flange? All metal on this banjo is nickle plated vs chrome, which reflects that this is a very early OPF 4..possible one of the very 1st when the model changed to walnut OPF vs the previous mahogany TPF (this is #1 in the 9466 series). There are several examples of this in this series. The one-piece flange is a replacement relatively flat but has some slight pull at the neck (very typical), but this flange is solid. The Doelar cast mark is visible. The original one-piece armrest shows a little brass showing through. The tension hoop has mild flaring, but is solid. The hooks are original with some of the plating worn off. Overall the nickle finish is in very good shape. The prewar Grover Pat Pending clamshell tailpiece is non-original..the banjo came with a regular prewar Presto which I will include. The clamshell is in usable shape, missing some of the string hooks on the inside, the spring is non functional. The rim on this banjo is UNCUT, and presently is fitted with a low profile 20 hole flathead ring. The original 40 hole archtop ring is included.

The Neck:

The walnut conversion neck was made to prewar spec by Arthur Hatfield. . The fingerboard is rosewood with a Flying Eagle pattern. The tuners are prewar 2 band Grovers on the 1st and 4th strings, with Keith tuners on the 2nd and 3rd strings. All the tuners including the 5th are fitted with prewar ivoroid tuner buttons. The truss rod cover is pearl.The fingerboard is in good shape with some minor wear at the the first few frets. The 1st 7 frets have wear. I will have the frets replaced if the buyer wishes. The original neck is in good condition. At some point someone had attempted to route out one of the lag bolts at the base of the neck.

The Price

I am pricing this banjo at $8200. The price includes the converted banjo, 40 hole archtop tone ring, tenor neck with extra tuners, drilled Presto tailpiece, original case. The banjo will be in a Recording King hard shell case, however I have had this banjo in an original Price fiberglass case which is available (extra). This banjo comes with an appraisal from Steve Huber in 2003, with a value then of $8000.

These banjos are increasingly rare, and uncut versions in this original condition are hard to find. I believe to have priced this accordingly.


The shipping costs will be whatever the actual shipping costs are with insurance depending on how the buyer wants it shipped. I will disassemble the banjo at the sellers request which I recommend.

Contact Info:

My home ph is 5196311448. Please call anytime to discuss the banjo


Edited by - lazyarcher on 11/12/2019 08:50:44

Nov 10, 2019 - 4:49:04 PM



2327 posts since 7/18/2007

That’s a great looking and sounding banjo.

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