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Gibson Style 3 Banjo....Need help with a serial number

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May 23, 2020 - 1:46:04 PM
27 posts since 3/6/2019

I am looking to buy a Gibson Style 3 banjo. I am not sure the date of the banjo. I looks fairly new. The serial number is 184-3. The sticker on the inside rim says it was produced in Kalamazoo. I can't find the serial number anywhere.

Does this serial number look familiar to anyone?

Thanks for your help.

David

Edited by - dkframe on 05/23/2020 15:17:12

May 23, 2020 - 2:18:34 PM

rcc56

USA

2744 posts since 2/20/2016

Your subject heading says style 6, but your post says style 3. Which is it? A picture would be helpful.

The Kalamazoo plant was closed in 1984. Style 3 was not re-introduced until 1988, and style 6 was reintroduced in 1995. So something does not add up if it has a Kalamazoo label.

The only banjos that were being made in Kalamazoo in the 1980's were styles 250, 800, and perhaps a handful of the first Earl Scruggs model.

There were a handful of pre-war style 3 banjos that had serial numbers with that configuration.

Perhaps you have mis-identified the model.   Or the label could be false, or maybe the banjo wasn't made by Gibson at all, or perhaps the banjo is very old.

If you can post a picture of the front and back of the banjo, and one of the label, and we might be able to sort this out.

Edited by - rcc56 on 05/23/2020 14:26:50

May 23, 2020 - 2:27:01 PM
Players Union Member

dkframe

USA

27 posts since 3/6/2019

Thanks Bob,

Sorry, it is a mistype in the subject line. The owner said it is a style 3 (not 6).

I will try to get a picture and post it.

Thanks again.

May 23, 2020 - 2:28:40 PM
Players Union Member

dkframe

USA

27 posts since 3/6/2019

I am thinking the banjo was not made by Gibson.

May 23, 2020 - 3:16:30 PM

297 posts since 11/22/2004

If the banjo has a set of d tuners drilled in the peghead it is a Gibson copy of a RB3 that frank neat made in 2008.
Great banjo with a Blaylock ring but it was not made by Gibson.

May 23, 2020 - 3:23:51 PM
Players Union Member

dkframe

USA

27 posts since 3/6/2019

Hi Donnie,

Yes, that is the banjo.

I contacted Frank Neat and he said he did not make the banjo. It is a Neat neck, but the banjo was not made by Frank Neat.

May 23, 2020 - 6:23:50 PM

12813 posts since 10/30/2008

Joe Spann's big book of all things Gibson lists some 1936 Style 3 banjos with the prefix 186. No 184 is listed, there's gap after 183 which was an RB 1. Possible I suppose. Photos needed.

May 24, 2020 - 5:04:12 AM
Players Union Member

dkframe

USA

27 posts since 3/6/2019

Thanks Dick,

After digging into it a little more, I believe it wasn’t made by Gibson. It is a Gibson copy.

Thanks
David

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