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Jun 14, 2021 - 2:57:16 AM
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Bill H

USA

1648 posts since 11/7/2010

Recently I saw a banjo listed as a Gibson conversion for sale. The banjo had a replacement pot, after market tone ring and a reproduction neck. So essentially it has retained some hooks and the resonator. Calling it a Gibson style banjo or a parts banjo, sure. But what makes such a banjo a Gibson conversion? I don't quite understand the allure of the Gibson name that would allow this totally reproduction banjo to be designated as a Gibson.

Edited by - Bill H on 06/14/2021 02:58:13

Jun 14, 2021 - 3:54:49 AM
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1418 posts since 5/19/2018

Well....it’s at the point now that if it has Gibson strings on it, it’s a Gibson.

Jun 14, 2021 - 4:33:13 AM
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33 posts since 3/18/2019

Just using a tried and true sales tactic...it's called a lie.

Jun 14, 2021 - 5:42:22 AM
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4634 posts since 11/20/2004

I am usually pretty liberal with the term conversion, but that ad really stretched the term beyond reality in my opinion.

Jun 14, 2021 - 6:05:16 AM

beegee

USA

22431 posts since 7/6/2005

Band-Aid, Kleenex and other brand-names have become generic descriptions for commonly-used products. If your replace the suspension, engine, and transmission and replace all of the sheet metal on your Ford, do you still call it a Ford?

Jun 14, 2021 - 6:44:07 AM

banjoy

USA

9675 posts since 7/1/2006

It's magic. Just sprinkle a little Gibson magic fairy dust and *poof* it's a conversion.

The literal definition of "conversion" is to change something to something else. Well that sure takes the magic away but it sure is a literal application of the term. Another definition of "conversion" involves converting from one religion, to another. Wow, that seems to apply too is some weird way.

If I ever come across a spare old Gibson hook I can sprinkle some of that magic dust (and lots of unrelated parts) and convert it to a Gibson. Magic!!

I guess it's like cloning an entire living being from one cell from mucus or snot. It's just DNA, right?

POOF. Quite the trick!

Jun 14, 2021 - 6:47 AM

6804 posts since 9/5/2006

you got a bunch of hardware that may or may not be gibson,,,let this one slide

Jun 14, 2021 - 6:52:29 AM

11859 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H

Recently I saw a banjo listed as a Gibson conversion for sale. The banjo had a replacement pot, after market tone ring and a reproduction neck. So essentially it has retained some hooks and the resonator. Calling it a Gibson style banjo or a parts banjo, sure. But what makes such a banjo a Gibson conversion?


By the description you provided, absolutely nothing.

Jun 14, 2021 - 7:10:47 AM

1839 posts since 2/4/2013
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This reminds me of a classic joke on British sitcom Only Fools and Horses concerning a broom.

In banjo terms I've got a 1928 Gibson. It's just had the neck replaced a couple of times and it has a new rim and tone ring, tuners and pot hardware. The broom joke it far better though.

Jun 14, 2021 - 7:16:43 AM

6288 posts since 9/21/2007

I maintain that if a builder would keep a Gibson tenor neck on hand and bolt it to every rim assembly they make before they build the neck, then all the banjos they build would be Gibson conversions.

I don't see anything wrong with the ad. As long as it has at least one hook and nut from Gibson then it is a conversion-- this has more substantial parts than that.

People believe in holistic/alternative (to) medicine, psychic mediums, crystal powers, suspended silver magic potions, and astrology... why not magical Gibson conversions?

Jun 14, 2021 - 7:18:29 AM
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6288 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker

This reminds me of a classic joke on British sitcom Only Fools and Horses concerning a broom.

In banjo terms I've got a 1928 Gibson. It's just had the neck replaced a couple of times and it has a new rim and tone ring, tuners and pot hardware. The broom joke it far better though.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

Jun 14, 2021 - 7:32:09 AM

Alex Z

USA

4374 posts since 12/7/2006

"The banjo had a replacement pot, after market tone ring and a reproduction neck."

The point of calling it a "Gibson" conversion rather than, say, a "Stew-Mac" conversion (named for the replacement parts)  is that the owner can claim it has that "pre-war growl."  smiley

Jun 14, 2021 - 7:35:46 AM

banjoy

USA

9675 posts since 7/1/2006

I made my tongue-in-cheek post above not fully realizing a specific ad was being discussed. I thought it was just a generic question about ad hype in general.

Having said that, in answer to "why not magical Gibson conversions?" ... that's where conversion religion (or faith) comes into play ... so I'm not that far off after all !!

Nothing wrong with 'em I guess, since they seem so plentiful and lots of true believers.

It's Gibson aura, Gibson vibe, and I get it. I never said magic was a bad thing. It converts lots of things, especially among converts!

Edited by - banjoy on 06/14/2021 07:38:11

Jun 14, 2021 - 9:21:49 AM
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3837 posts since 5/29/2011

This reminds me of the story about a fellow selling the hatchet that George Washington used to chop down the cherry tree. The head had been replaced twice and the handle three times. But it was still the same hatchet.....

Jun 14, 2021 - 10:18:33 AM
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1839 posts since 2/4/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

This reminds me of the story about a fellow selling the hatchet that George Washington used to chop down the cherry tree. The head had been replaced twice and the handle three times. But it was still the same hatchet.....


Now I'm interested in the origin of the joke. Perhaps the ancient Greek philosophers also came up with the joke. Here's the Only Fools and Horses version.

https://youtu.be/56yN2zHtofM?t=92

Edited by - GrahamHawker on 06/14/2021 10:22:26

Jun 14, 2021 - 1:42:10 PM
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1418 posts since 5/19/2018

Only here would a question about a banjo dredge up the combination of Ancient History, Greek Philosophers, and contemporary British Humor to make a point.

All spot on.

Jun 15, 2021 - 12:18:03 AM
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phb

Germany

2824 posts since 11/8/2010

In Japan they traditionally rebuild all temples every few years from the ground up. The new temples look exactly like the old ones and the temples have been in the same place for hundreds of years. I guess that's good for maintaining the skills and craftmanship required to build temples.

Jun 15, 2021 - 12:34:43 AM
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phb

Germany

2824 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

Only here would a question about a banjo dredge up the combination of Ancient History, Greek Philosophers, and contemporary British Humor to make a point.


If this weren't an American-dominated forum, this combination would have led us to discuss soccer by now...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfduUFF_i1A

Jun 15, 2021 - 11:23:34 AM
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Bill H

USA

1648 posts since 11/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

Only here would a question about a banjo dredge up the combination of Ancient History, Greek Philosophers, and contemporary British Humor to make a point.

All spot on.


I'm reminded of the great, old Johnny Cash song, One Piece at a Time. Banjo is the only nstrument I can think that can be assembled from so many far-flung parts. Guitar, fiddle or mandolin is all or nothing once glued together. Banjo players require more depth and introspection to cope with the vastness of that reality.

Jun 20, 2021 - 7:37:14 AM
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3837 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H
quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

Only here would a question about a banjo dredge up the combination of Ancient History, Greek Philosophers, and contemporary British Humor to make a point.

All spot on.


I'm reminded of the great, old Johnny Cash song, One Piece at a Time. Banjo is the only nstrument I can think that can be assembled from so many far-flung parts. Guitar, fiddle or mandolin is all or nothing once glued together. Banjo players require more depth and introspection to cope with the vastness of that reality.


I built my Slingerland tenor banjo one piece at a time. It may not be all Slingerland parts but all are old parts and period correct for that banjo.

Jun 21, 2021 - 7:16:43 PM
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12233 posts since 1/15/2005

It's a banjo with a few Gibson parts ..... that's it. Chances are the parts were even bought by Gibson from a supplier, so in essence probably nothing Gibson about the banjo.

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