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Has anyone seen/played this old Granada conversion at Banjo Warehouse?

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Jun 20, 2021 - 3:27:38 PM
14082 posts since 10/30/2008

https://banjowarehouse.com/product/1929-gibson-granada-5-string-banjo/

Taking it exactly at face value, as described, including conversion tone ring, flange and neck, has anyone seen/played this banjo?

Atlanta is a plane fare away from me, so I'm not likely to just fly down there on a whim to look it over.

Does the newer RB 800 gold plated flange match the appearance of the gold elsewhere on the banjo, particularly the tension hoop and tone ring? Is the banjo 3 different colors of gold?  Any wear to the flange gold showing through nickel underneath?

Does it sound GOOD? I mean REAL GOOD?

I will appreciate constructive comments or private messages.

Thanks.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 06/20/2021 15:28:43

Jun 20, 2021 - 3:32:17 PM
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34 posts since 5/8/2021

I'd rather have an army of Fender Artists or a few Stanleytones than a 23 thousand dollar parts banjo with a cut up rim.

Jun 20, 2021 - 3:38:12 PM
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14082 posts since 10/30/2008

So I guess I won't be bidding against Struggle Bus. Good.

Jun 20, 2021 - 3:57:28 PM

34 posts since 5/8/2021

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

So I guess I won't be bidding against Struggle Bus. Good.


My trap as worked, that banjo is as good as mine! 

But seriously, besides strings, heads, bridges, and maybe tailpieces, I like when banjos are original. 

Jun 20, 2021 - 4:00:15 PM
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14082 posts since 10/30/2008

Yes, I'll buy that all original Granada when it comes up at $24,000, for sure.

Jun 20, 2021 - 4:12:40 PM

2516 posts since 10/17/2013

“This is definitely a really attractive banjo that is in really good shape considering it is nearly 100 years old!!”

 

No.

It is NOT nearly 100 years old. 

 

“The tailpiece is a Pre War Presto Tailpiece which is a better tailpiece for function than the clamshell that was on it originally.  The tension hoop, hooks and nuts and coordinator rods are all also pre war.  The neck was built by Steve Huber and was also fit by Steve Huber.  This is a smoking hot monster of a one piece flange banjo that has some fantastic conversion pieces and was fit by a master.  The banjo also includes a hardshell case.

This banjo is loud with a beautiful sound and is also a rare banjo.”

 

It is no longer a rare banjo.

 

“The shell is also in good condition overall.  It has been cut for the new tone ring.

This has a cut Gibson Mastertone label due to this now having a Huber HR30 tone ring

The flange is not original to the banjo and came off of a 1960’s RB800.  However that is a vintage Gibson Gold Plated flange so it is a great option to replace this flange and looks great.”

 

Seems to me like someone totally ruined the value of a banjo that should have been left completely original.

 I wouldn’t be paying the asking price. 

Jun 20, 2021 - 4:30:37 PM
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3839 posts since 5/29/2011

In addition to everything else that has been listed the Flying Eagle inlay turns me off.

Jun 20, 2021 - 4:35:28 PM
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34 posts since 5/8/2021

quote:
Originally posted by okbluegrassbanjopicker

“This is definitely a really attractive banjo that is in really good shape considering it is nearly 100 years old!!”

 

No.

It is NOT nearly 100 years old. 

 

“The tailpiece is a Pre War Presto Tailpiece which is a better tailpiece for function than the clamshell that was on it originally.  The tension hoop, hooks and nuts and coordinator rods are all also pre war.  The neck was built by Steve Huber and was also fit by Steve Huber.  This is a smoking hot monster of a one piece flange banjo that has some fantastic conversion pieces and was fit by a master.  The banjo also includes a hardshell case.

This banjo is loud with a beautiful sound and is also a rare banjo.”

 

It is no longer a rare banjo.

 

“The shell is also in good condition overall.  It has been cut for the new tone ring.

This has a cut Gibson Mastertone label due to this now having a Huber HR30 tone ring

The flange is not original to the banjo and came off of a 1960’s RB800.  However that is a vintage Gibson Gold Plated flange so it is a great option to replace this flange and looks great.”

 

Seems to me like someone totally ruined the value of a banjo that should have been left completely original.

 I wouldn’t be paying the asking price. 


It seems that this seller is really well respected in the banjo community, but based on their prices and descriptions, I just don't know. I think we can do better. 

Jun 20, 2021 - 4:44:16 PM
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2118 posts since 4/18/2006

Considering that a lot of these old granadas have pretty fragile flanges it’s understandable that it has a replacement. While it’s for sure over priced having a replacement flange (I know of all original opf granada’s that have sold for around that within the past few years, and even a couple for under 20k) I bet it would be a killer old Granada to have in the stable if you could get it for what it is worth with the replacement flange.

Edited by - banjo1930 on 06/20/2021 16:48:24

Jun 20, 2021 - 4:53:34 PM

rcc56

USA

3623 posts since 2/20/2016

If I were a good enough 3 finger picker to evaluate the instrument, I would look it over for you. But I'm a bare finger player who prefers open backs, so I'm not the right guy to evaluate the tone.

Just looking at the pictures, the plating on the flange appears to have a noticeably different color and sheen from the tension hoop.

Reading the description carefully, it states that the tension hoop, hooks, nuts, and co-rods are pre war, but does not indicate whether or not they are original to the banjo. If you are thinking about looking at the banjo, I would ask the seller to clarify that first before getting in the car or boarding a plane.

You could call Steve Huber, and ask him if he remembers the instrument.

Bear in mind that although for many years, the market attitude about originality for vintage Gibson banjos was much looser than for the rest of the fretted instrument market, that attitude is changing and the market is becoming much more particular.

I'll also mention that there are currently three style 6 lightweight flat heads in Nashville, and one of them is priced at 25K. There is also a style 6 archtop tenor at Fred Oster's Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia that is described as squeaky clean, priced at 12.5K, and another with some changed parts for 9K at Gruhn's.

Your call, Dick, but Banjo Warehouse will not accept a return on the banjo, prefers that the buyer pick it up in person, and states that if they do ship it they will not accept any liability for any damages incurred in shipping.

I will also mention that Banjo Warehouse no longer has an account with gbase, and their Reverb account is "not available at the moment." I do not know the reasons for this, but thought that I should mention it.

Sooo . . . my best suggestion is, if you really want an instrument in this price range, is to plan a 5 or 6 day road trip, look at the banjo in Philly, then head to Nashville to look at the style 6's, and then if you still want to, head to Atlanta and look at the Granada.  You'll either drive home with a banjo or with your wallet intact, and you'll know more about old Gibsons than you do now.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/20/2021 17:07:33

Jun 20, 2021 - 5:01:56 PM
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37 posts since 3/10/2009

WOW I bought a used 50's RB250 48 years ago for 500.00 and it sounds as good or better than a lot of these high dollar banjos I have seen and played.

Jun 20, 2021 - 5:31:26 PM

rcc56

USA

3623 posts since 2/20/2016

I'll also add that although my 3 finger playing skills are weak, I've played some of the old flat heads, including a couple of Granadas. Out of those instruments, the one that sounded the best to me was a style 6 heavyweight [one of 2 known to exist] with a 2 piece flange that went through McPeake's a decade or so back. Maybe it really was a particularly good instrument, or maybe it was because Curtis really knew how set up a Gibson to get the most out of it. I was with a better banjo player that day, and he brought the instrument home with him.

Curtis's statement about the banjo: "That banjo is not 'supposed to' sound like that." So much for predicting the sound of an instrument by the model or configuration. I'll also mention that no matter how many banjos went through Curtis's hands, he always preferred "Ole Betsy," even though he had an RB Granada.

Good luck, Dick.  I know you have plenty of experience with old Gibsons.  I would advise that you exercise extreme care with this one, and play it and the other available old Gibsons personally before you make any decisions.  

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/20/2021 17:37:32

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:17:31 AM

122 posts since 9/2/2014

I just looked at the flathead style 6 at Gruhns, and if I were shopping for a gold plated vintage Gibson, this is where I would go.
guitars.com/inventory/ja6705-1...astertone

A replaced flange is not a big deal, as several 1st generation flanges have had issues, and were replaced or repaired, BUT we are talking about a big dollar difference when it comes to a cut rim as well.

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:42:16 AM

122 posts since 9/2/2014

Not to mention the Gruhn ad for the style 6 flathead states "exceptionally fine sound!!!!!!"

Jun 21, 2021 - 5:43:17 AM

6169 posts since 10/13/2007

Dick, CAn Geoff send you a sound sample? Would that help you?
ken

Jun 21, 2021 - 10:47:32 AM
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14082 posts since 10/30/2008

Ken, no, my interest is more in the visual appeal as the first test.

Jun 21, 2021 - 11:39:10 AM

rcc56

USA

3623 posts since 2/20/2016

I suppose it depends on what is acceptable to you.

I see at least 2, perhaps 3 or more shades of gold on the outside of the banjo, and at least 2 sheens.
If you don't mind some variation, it might be ok for your needs. If you want uniformity, you might not be happy with this one.
There are clear no pics of the co-rods. You might ask for one or two.

Jun 21, 2021 - 12:47:06 PM
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2829 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

Robby Boone’s video of the first opf Granada was an arch top. If that one sounds good enough for Robby to blush, why cut for an HR-30 replacement?

In comparison to this Granada, Robby claimed that the current owner would only accept an obscene amount of money to relinquish his ownership. Is $23,000 obscene?  The comment thus far seem to say so. 
 

This "original" Granada (with a fine Frank Neat neck) was a TB. Yet, its value is consider the same as Earl's Granada. Funny world of pre-war it is indeed. 

Edited by - Aradobanjo on 06/21/2021 13:01:52

Jun 22, 2021 - 12:01:59 PM

2728 posts since 4/16/2003

I'd let that one "pass on by"...

In fact, I'd rather have an "intact" Rich-era Granada.
A more authentic "Gibson"...

Jun 24, 2021 - 3:24:07 AM
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tonwil

USA

789 posts since 8/28/2011

this is exactly why i play a Stelling.

Jun 24, 2021 - 6:31:07 AM
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lazyarcher

Canada

7120 posts since 4/19/2004

This banjo has the original resonator and rim.
The rim has been cut and the original 40 hole ring is gone.
The flange is a postwar replacement, the remaining metal is said to be prewar but ?? if its original Granada metal from this banjo.
The original ? tenor neck is gone and has a modern repro 5 string neck.
In reality, the only thing original and untouched is the resonator, possibly some of the metal.

Buying prewar banjos and paying the steep premium for me has been about the antique collectors value of the instrument. The more original it is, the more valuable...like most collector pieces be it instruments, art, guns, etc. Collect-ability.
Some buy prewar instruments for the sound, which can be distinct and desirable.
Others buy prewar banjos for the status and image.

This banjo is not a collector instrument. Its a pieced together instrument, so its value has to fall under the sound or the status/image of ownership. I believe, despite the rarity of OPF prewar Granadas, this one is overpriced by $6-8,000.

It all depends what you're buying it for.

Jun 24, 2021 - 8:25:18 AM

1122 posts since 7/25/2006

The Banjo Robby Boone was Picking 9470-1,, can,t be bought for the amt of money disclosed. I know the banjo, The owner, It is one clean Granada,, I have doubts you would find one cleaner. Frank Neat neck added, The Rest is Granada,,,

Jun 24, 2021 - 9:33:54 AM

1122 posts since 7/25/2006

quote:      Dave,  One reason these sellers are pricing instruments at these prices,  They are testing the market.  Some may have overpaid in the beginning. If my memory is correct , these prices peaked in 2006-2007.  I ask one person why are you paying these amounts for these old banjos,  Reply,, To drive up the prices,  I tried to warn him he was going to take a bath if not careful.  He took a BATH.  On 1 old Gibson flathead,  He wound up leaving over $50,000.00 on the table by not accepting a offer in Cash.  I had 8 banjos,  I saw the writing on the wall, I started selling as fast as possible. By the time the dust settled, I didn,t lose any money.  I considered myself  lucky. I was around when you could have a old gibson flathead for under a thousand dollars. I sold a 3 for $750.00.  Still have regrets ever selling that banjo.. Finally found a original RB flathead, Paid less the I sold the 3 for,,At my age,  I have lost interest in these old banjo. Still Have 2 laying under the bed, gathering dust,  I,m in those so cheap, People would think I,m Bragging,  Just consider myself Lucky,,,
Originally posted by lazyarcher

This banjo has the original resonator and rim.
The rim has been cut and the original 40 hole ring is gone.
The flange is a postwar replacement, the remaining metal is said to be prewar but ?? if its original Granada metal from this banjo.
The original ? tenor neck is gone and has a modern repro 5 string neck.
In reality, the only thing original and untouched is the resonator, possibly some of the metal.

Buying prewar banjos and paying the steep premium for me has been about the antique collectors value of the instrument. The more original it is, the more valuable...like most collector pieces be it instruments, art, guns, etc. Collect-ability.
Some buy prewar instruments for the sound, which can be distinct and desirable.
Others buy prewar banjos for the status and image.

This banjo is not a collector instrument. Its a pieced together instrument, so its value has to fall under the sound or the status/image of ownership. I believe, despite the rarity of OPF prewar Granadas, this one is overpriced by $6-8,000.

It all depends what you're buying it for.


Jun 24, 2021 - 2:48:40 PM

lazyarcher

Canada

7120 posts since 4/19/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Rodgers
quote:      Dave,  One reason these sellers are pricing instruments at these prices,  They are testing the market.  Some may have overpaid in the beginning. If my memory is correct , these prices peaked in 2006-2007.  I ask one person why are you paying these amounts for these old banjos,  Reply,, To drive up the prices,  I tried to warn him he was going to take a bath if not careful.  He took a BATH.  On 1 old Gibson flathead,  He wound up leaving over $50,000.00 on the table by not accepting a offer in Cash.  I had 8 banjos,  I saw the writing on the wall, I started selling as fast as possible. By the time the dust settled, I didn,t lose any money.  I considered myself  lucky. I was around when you could have a old gibson flathead for under a thousand dollars. I sold a 3 for $750.00.  Still have regrets ever selling that banjo.. Finally found a original RB flathead, Paid less the I sold the 3 for,,At my age,  I have lost interest in these old banjo. Still Have 2 laying under the bed, gathering dust,  I,m in those so cheap, People would think I,m Bragging,  Just consider myself Lucky,,,
Originally posted by lazyarcher

This banjo has the original resonator and rim.
The rim has been cut and the original 40 hole ring is gone.
The flange is a postwar replacement, the remaining metal is said to be prewar but ?? if its original Granada metal from this banjo.
The original ? tenor neck is gone and has a modern repro 5 string neck.
In reality, the only thing original and untouched is the resonator, possibly some of the metal.

Buying prewar banjos and paying the steep premium for me has been about the antique collectors value of the instrument. The more original it is, the more valuable...like most collector pieces be it instruments, art, guns, etc. Collect-ability.
Some buy prewar instruments for the sound, which can be distinct and desirable.
Others buy prewar banjos for the status and image.

This banjo is not a collector instrument. Its a pieced together instrument, so its value has to fall under the sound or the status/image of ownership. I believe, despite the rarity of OPF prewar Granadas, this one is overpriced by $6-8,000.

It all depends what you're buying it for.


 


Bob you're right on. Geoff at banjo warehouse is a great guy, knows banjos. Im sure he would entertain a reasonable offer..however, that banjo while Im sure a great player is just that. Never will be a collectors instrument...but what do i know?? Ive had a few and am out of that game. I have a great 1995 RB3 Wreath that I have almost zero into...

Edited by - lazyarcher on 06/24/2021 14:53:13

Jun 25, 2021 - 9:36:34 AM

1122 posts since 7/25/2006

quote:I have looked at the video of Robby Boone playing 9470-1.  What he was saying was it would take a obsene amount of money to buy this banjo. He did not say anything  about 23k money wise  The owner has turned down Way north of 23K for the banjo.  I,m not trying to make anyone look bad on a post. I know the owner was contacted regarding a offer.  He turned the offer down.  I would not feel right revealing the amt offered.  I,m just stating facts from rhe owners mouth.  Who know he has another Granada.  9470-1  may be for sale.  I could find with a ph call.   sorry if I offended anyone regarding this banjo,   Bob 
Originally posted by Aradobanjo

Hello,

Robby Boone’s video of the first opf Granada was an arch top. If that one sounds good enough for Robby to blush, why cut for an HR-30 replacement?

In comparison to this Granada, Robby claimed that the current owner would only accept an obscene amount of money to relinquish his ownership. Is $23,000 obscene?  The comment thus far seem to say so. 
 

This "original" Granada (with a fine Frank Neat neck) was a TB. Yet, its value is consider the same as Earl's Granada. Funny world of pre-war it is indeed. 


Jun 25, 2021 - 11:10:36 AM

rcc56

USA

3623 posts since 2/20/2016

Every time someone removes the tone ring from an arch top Mastertone, cuts the rim, and installs a modern tone ring, it potentially reduces the market value of the modified banjo and raises the value of the remaining unmodified banjos. A lot of folks don't seem to understand that.

For those who feel compelled to convert an arch top to a flat head, conversion rings are available that do not require any cutting. No, it's not exactly the same as an original flat head, but neither is an old cut rim with a full weight modern ring.

And there are some very fine new Mastertone style instruments being made, perhaps the best of this type that have been made since Gibson ceased production of the originals 80 years ago.

If arch tops grow in popularity, watch prices of the originals skyrocket.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/25/2021 11:12:04

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