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May 4, 2021 - 8:23:51 AM
78 posts since 1/20/2014

I have a Gibson open back banjo that I believe is an RB-180 although I find no verification of that. I do however have a number on the headstock of 700621. I find the Gibson numbering to be quite confusing. What and when was this banjo made. Thanks.

May 4, 2021 - 9:00:55 AM

1648 posts since 4/13/2017

We need pictures in order to determine exactly what model it is, but with that serial number, it's seems like between 1968 and 1970.

May 4, 2021 - 9:04:36 AM

3725 posts since 5/29/2011
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If it is an RB180 then it will look like this. The RB180 had a Mastertone ring which was not very popular with the long neck crowd. The lighter weight RB175 was a lot more popular. The RB180 was only made from 1961 to 1968. I could not find the exact serial number but, from the closest number I could find I would guess 1967 or 1968. Don't take that for gospel, it's an educated guess.


 

Edited by - Culloden on 05/04/2021 09:06:02

May 6, 2021 - 7:02:56 AM

78 posts since 1/20/2014

OK now I have been told I definitely do not own an RB-180. Here are some photos maybe someone can identify as I wish to sell it and do not want to misrepresent.


May 6, 2021 - 7:24:45 AM
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11817 posts since 1/15/2005

RB-170

May 6, 2021 - 10:43:21 AM

3725 posts since 5/29/2011
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RB170 was the regulation length open backed banjo with 22 frets. It used to be something of a sleeper but seems to have attracted a following in recent years. It is well suited to old time playing.
RB175 was the long necked version of the RB170 which was much more popular than the RB180 I pictured above and was frequently used during the folk boom.
The RB180 was a bit of a disappointment to the folk crowd with its weight and mass.

May 7, 2021 - 8:00:39 AM

11817 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

RB170 was the regulation length open backed banjo with 22 frets. It used to be something of a sleeper but seems to have attracted a following in recent years. It is well suited to old time playing.
RB175 was the long necked version of the RB170 which was much more popular than the RB180 I pictured above and was frequently used during the folk boom.
The RB180 was a bit of a disappointment to the folk crowd with its weight and mass.


Mark ..... didn't the 180 have neck binding (in addition to a tone ring)?

May 7, 2021 - 8:26:54 AM

3731 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

RB170 was the regulation length open backed banjo with 22 frets. It used to be something of a sleeper but seems to have attracted a following in recent years. It is well suited to old time playing.
RB175 was the long necked version of the RB170 which was much more popular than the RB180 I pictured above and was frequently used during the folk boom.
The RB180 was a bit of a disappointment to the folk crowd with its weight and mass.


What made the 180 heavier? Tone ring?

May 7, 2021 - 8:43:30 AM
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3725 posts since 5/29/2011
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John, the RB180 did have neck binding.
Ira, the Mastertone style ring made the banjo much heavier than the RB175 and the RB170 which both used the small brass hoop. From what I have gleaned, the heavy tone ring not only added a lot of mass to the banjo but also produced a lot of sustain that was not favored by the folk banjoists of the time.

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