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Aug 3, 2020 - 5:47:23 AM
879 posts since 8/30/2012

My understanding is that in the later years, Gibson mostly outsourced their banjo production and really only did final assembly in house.

Can anyone provide information on who was supplying these parts, or if there's a website that has this information? Which companies, which parts, and if possible what years.

Mostly interested in 1993 to end of production. Also slightly interested in 1987-1993.

Aug 3, 2020 - 6:18:36 AM

Emiel

Austria

9563 posts since 1/22/2003

Can't give you the years, but parts came from First Quality (FQM, FQMS) and Prucha (Czech Republic). Rims probably from Cooperman? Others may know more.

Aug 3, 2020 - 6:29:13 AM

KCJones

USA

879 posts since 8/30/2012

One thing I do know is the rings were supplied by Kulesh at one point. Rims and necks would be interesting to know.

One thing I wonder, are some of these suppliers under NDA?

Aug 3, 2020 - 6:44:33 AM
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4520 posts since 11/20/2004

Eric Sullivan could answer your questions. Supplying Gibson was a substantial part of his families' business for many years (First Quality Music).

Aug 3, 2020 - 7:33:09 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5262 posts since 10/12/2009

Stewart MacDonald at one time ((1980's?) supplied hardware, flanges, tension hoops, armrests, etc....

Aug 3, 2020 - 9:38:02 AM
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13255 posts since 10/30/2008
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There were plenty of subcontractors in the pre-war years too! Metal parts, inlaid fingerboards and peghead overlays, etc.

Aug 3, 2020 - 9:41:01 AM

rcc56

USA

3103 posts since 2/20/2016

Very true.

Soooo . . .
When is an all-original Gibson pre-war banjo not a Gibson??   devil

Aug 3, 2020 - 10:34:37 AM
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3275 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

Very true.

Soooo . . .
When is an all-original Gibson pre-war banjo not a Gibson??   devil


Haven't we thrashed this question to death several times?wink

Aug 3, 2020 - 11:11:52 AM
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rcc56

USA

3103 posts since 2/20/2016

Sorry, I couldn't resist . . .  

At least they made their own necks, rims, and resonators in the old days.

An interesting point of view is that if you want a brand new banjo that is identical to a late model Gibson, send Eric Sullivan a Kulesh tone ring and have him build a banjo around it.  Of course, he will put "Sullivan" on the peghead and fit and assemble it more carefully than the boys in Nashville did . . .  devil

Edited by - rcc56 on 08/03/2020 11:26:06

Aug 3, 2020 - 12:38:02 PM

13255 posts since 10/30/2008
Online Now

I'm sure Eric can build a banjo identical to the JD Crowe RB 75 and the Blackjack, and perhaps even the Granada, using all his own supply of parts. In the later 2000s the Kulesh tone ring was used less and less and the Sullivan "Crowe" ring was used more and more.

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