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Dec 1, 2020 - 5:58:17 PM
45 posts since 3/22/2019

Why did Gibson move the Mastertone inlay block further up the neck away from the pot on the RB3 wreath banjos?

The pics I’ve seen for the Style 5 wreath banjos and they appear to have the Mastertone block in the familiar spot at the base of the neck like other Mastertone banjos.

Any reason Gibson moved the Mastertone inlay block on the RB3 wreath banjos?

Just curious.


Dec 1, 2020 - 6:39:46 PM
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5374 posts since 10/12/2009

Maybe because it became more common to have inlay at the 15th fret......insted of moving inlay, they moved the Mastertone block.

Dec 2, 2020 - 6:34:33 AM

3430 posts since 4/27/2004

It is my understanding that the most likely answer is that the "Wreath" style 3s were using left-over inlay sets from the discontinued TB-5. Without creating a new inlay, Gibson had to place the "Mastertone" block at the 15th fret so the fretboard wouldn't have too many blank spots. Probably, no one REALLY knows for sure!

Dec 2, 2020 - 8:53:20 AM

504 posts since 2/21/2005

My guess is that the inlay patterns Gibson used were designed for the shorter tenor banjo fingerboard. When inlaying the longer PB and RB boards, the problem was solved in a variety of ways. With the flying eagle pattern, the solution was to repeat 2 of the inlays and turn them upside down. With hearts and flowers, the solution was usually to leave the 15th fret blank. (The same applied to the 20s style 3 inlays.) Another option was moving the Mastertone block to the 15th fret. For some reason, that’s what was applied to the wreath pattern. I think Jim Mills has an example of a hearts and flowers PB 4 with a 15th fret Mastertone block as well.

Dec 2, 2020 - 4:31:52 PM

45 posts since 3/22/2019

Thanks everyone for the replies - much appreciated!!!

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