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Jun 21, 2021 - 4:13:39 PM
12240 posts since 1/15/2005

Does anyone have a general idea of the Granada values that were made just prior to Greg working at Gibson. I am not sure the exact date of when Greg's started coming out, but it seems like everything about the pre-Rich era was a little more clunky .... particularly the neck.

Jun 21, 2021 - 5:07:15 PM

Alex Z

USA

4376 posts since 12/7/2006

One question is:   Was the Granada re-introduced before Mr. Rich joined Gibson?  

Jun 21, 2021 - 5:38:19 PM
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14083 posts since 10/30/2008

It's my understanding that only the Scruggs and RB 250 were in the line immediately prior to Mr. Rich arriving. They may well have been "conceptualizing" the reissue line. I'm not aware of pre-Rich Granadas.

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:39:46 PM
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rcc56

USA

3623 posts since 2/20/2016

According to my dog-eared copy of Gruhn's Guide, the Granada was reintroduced in 1986, which I believe pre-dates Mr. Rich's tenure with Gibson.

As far as whether the market value is any different than that of later examples, I suppose that depends on who is selling it. A few years ago, the "Greg Rich" era did not command higher market prices. In the last couple of years, certain sellers have tried to raise prices on Rich era banjos, with limited success. One seller is trying to corner the market by buying every Gibson banjo that they can find that was made after Henry J. et. al. purchased Gibson from Norlin in January, 1986 until production ceased in 2009; and then attempting to resell them at inflated prices, also with limited success.  We call this market manipulation.

By the way, anyone who does not care for market manipulation can help to hinder it by neither buying from nor selling to the folks who engage in it.  It's not too hard to figure out who the culprits are in the banjo world.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/21/2021 18:51:53

Jun 21, 2021 - 7:08:43 PM

12240 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

According to my dog-eared copy of Gruhn's Guide, the Granada was reintroduced in 1986, which I believe pre-dates Mr. Rich's tenure with Gibson.

As far as whether the market value is any different than that of later examples, I suppose that depends on who is selling it. A few years ago, the "Greg Rich" era did not command higher market prices. In the last couple of years, certain sellers have tried to raise prices on Rich era banjos, with limited success. One seller is trying to corner the market by buying every Gibson banjo that they can find that was made after Henry J. et. al. purchased Gibson from Norlin in January, 1986 until production ceased in 2009; and then attempting to resell them at inflated prices, also with limited success.  We call this market manipulation.

By the way, anyone who does not care for market manipulation can help to hinder it by neither buying from nor selling to the folks who engage in it.  It's not too hard to figure out who the culprits are in the banjo world.


Bob, I am pretty sure you are correct.  I have seen Granadas from what I thought was from the middle to late 80's that were nice banjos, but just different than when Greg started making them.  First, the neck is just a little bigger from a feel standpoint.  The inlays just seem to have a littler more "meat" on them and are not as delicate as the Rich era banjos.  I just can't recall other differences except to say it was not nearly as "graceful".  You very rarely see them for sale, so thus my question as to approximate value.  I would think fairly significantly less than the Rich era, but don't know how much.

Jun 22, 2021 - 4:28:25 AM
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2167 posts since 1/4/2009

"Rich era" banjos are not just sought after because of market manipulation, they are also higher quality than other gibsons so since the prewar days. They should command more money than the crap produced in the 70s and early 80s. I'm not saying they aren't inflated but they aren't the same insturments as the ones produced before that era.

Jun 22, 2021 - 4:45:19 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

I'm curious, did this thread emerge because of this ad? ....

banjohangout.org/classified/87828

... for a 1987 Greg Rich Granada. If the 1986 Gibson catalog showed Granadas, it's not a stretch to think Gibson was re-introducing them in the '87 line-up. So maybe Rich's were the first out again.

Isn't Greg a member of BHO still, or has he been banned again LOL!!!! Unless he died and I didn't hear about it, maybe just email him and ask?

(I guess I wonder why this example has a Frank Neat neck on it. Greg's necks are fantastic so maybe it broke or something?)

I think that any banjo Greg had a hand in will be of higher quality that anything Gibson produced during the crap era right before he returned. Just my opinion, but I was there in the 70s and 80s and was pretty disappointed with what Gibson was producing at the time.

As far as value, I think the "Greg Rich" premium is maybe a little overstated but then, if it were MY banjo to sell, I'd probably tap into that hype too. Value is set by when it sells, and hype often works.

So if there ARE Granadas that were produced just before before the Rich era, then I would think to take whatever value a Rich era-one sells for, and take off the Greg Rich premium (whatever that means) and there ya go. Or, take an RB250 for that period, and add on a Granada premium. So, somewhere in between, I'd put my guess in the $3.5k to $4.5k range pre-Rich. But that's just a general guess, just my opinion.

Edited by - banjoy on 06/22/2021 05:00:31

Jun 22, 2021 - 5:49:57 AM
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1430 posts since 10/5/2006

Nick Kimmons assembled banjos at Gibson in this era and began keeping a private handwritten log of his work.
In July of 1987 production was RB-250s and Earl Scruggs banjos, but the following are listed at the end:

Prototype Granadas
1. 8707-01 - Blake Williams/ Bill Monroe
2. 8707-02 - Allen Shelton/Jim and Jesse
3. 8707-03 - Greg Rich

The first production Granada was 8708-01 H&F on 9/3/1987

Edited by - Oldtwanger on 06/22/2021 05:54:06

Jun 22, 2021 - 8:17:28 AM

14083 posts since 10/30/2008

Thank you Frank.

Jun 22, 2021 - 9:37:27 AM

2167 posts since 1/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

I'm curious, did this thread emerge because of this ad? ....

banjohangout.org/classified/87828

... for a 1987 Greg Rich Granada. If the 1986 Gibson catalog showed Granadas, it's not a stretch to think Gibson was re-introducing them in the '87 line-up. So maybe Rich's were the first out again.

Isn't Greg a member of BHO still, or has he been banned again LOL!!!! Unless he died and I didn't hear about it, maybe just email him and ask?

(I guess I wonder why this example has a Frank Neat neck on it. Greg's necks are fantastic so maybe it broke or something?)

I think that any banjo Greg had a hand in will be of higher quality that anything Gibson produced during the crap era right before he returned. Just my opinion, but I was there in the 70s and 80s and was pretty disappointed with what Gibson was producing at the time.

As far as value, I think the "Greg Rich" premium is maybe a little overstated but then, if it were MY banjo to sell, I'd probably tap into that hype too. Value is set by when it sells, and hype often works.

So if there ARE Granadas that were produced just before before the Rich era, then I would think to take whatever value a Rich era-one sells for, and take off the Greg Rich premium (whatever that means) and there ya go. Or, take an RB250 for that period, and add on a Granada premium. So, somewhere in between, I'd put my guess in the $3.5k to $4.5k range pre-Rich. But that's just a general guess, just my opinion.


Hes alive and well, though i think hes currently back in facebook jail.

Jun 22, 2021 - 10:07:32 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

kyleb

Cool, thanks for the update. I had corresponded with Greg a few years ago and just found his email address and cell phone number, so I just now emailed him to ask. If anyone would have a definitive answer, he would.

If I hear back I'll post his reply here.

Jun 22, 2021 - 1:45:33 PM
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banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

Okay, Greg Rich responded to my email and asked me to call him, so I did. I just got off the phone with him, had a nice 10 minute conversation about this very topic. He's a very interesting, personable character and fun to talk to and he welcomed me to call him any time with any questions about him or banjos in general. I've saved his number to my cell phone.

Greg confirms that before he arrived at Gibson in 1987, there was only ONE prototype Granada made, and he didn't make it and it had nothing to do with him. He said it was poorly made, a total POS, and that's one of the reasons Gibson hired him, to fix all this mess. He thinks that Jack Hicks acquired that prototype and may still have it, he wasn't sure.

So, there are no pre-Greg Rich era Gibsons, except that one. Right from the horse's mouth. So you can't put a value on something that doesn't exist.

Jun 22, 2021 - 2:02:30 PM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

I got sidetracked and the edit time window passed ... I mean to say there are no pre-Greg Rich era GRANADAS, my bad.

Jun 23, 2021 - 5:09:42 AM

1430 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

Okay, Greg Rich responded to my email and asked me to call him, so I did. I just got off the phone with him, had a nice 10 minute conversation about this very topic. He's a very interesting, personable character and fun to talk to and he welcomed me to call him any time with any questions about him or banjos in general. I've saved his number to my cell phone.

Greg confirms that before he arrived at Gibson in 1987, there was only ONE prototype Granada made, and he didn't make it and it had nothing to do with him. He said it was poorly made, a total POS, and that's one of the reasons Gibson hired him, to fix all this mess. He thinks that Jack Hicks acquired that prototype and may still have it, he wasn't sure.

So, there are no pre-Greg Rich era Gibsons, except that one. Right from the horse's mouth. So you can't put a value on something that doesn't exist.


As I interpret the notes that I have, Granada (older model) Prototype 8707-01 was built by Charlie Derrington in June or July 1987 and on November 4, 1987 was sold to Bobby Hicks.
Also, on November 4, 1987, Granada prototype 8707-03 was shipped to MMI Music.  This prototype originally went to Greg Rich, was returned by Greg and replaced on Nov 25 by Granada 8711-16.

Jun 23, 2021 - 5:20:48 AM

12240 posts since 1/15/2005

Thanks everyone .... this is great information and exactly what I needed. No Frank (Banjoy), the reason for asking is not about the Granada in the classified ads, as that is the first time I have seen it. The main reason I ask is because I owned a great Granada that I bought from a friend about 15 years ago. The friend I bought it from wanted it back, and I did not want to sell it, but my wife "made" me sell it back to him ........ I was fine with it really. Another one that I handled a few years later was definitely not as good as the one I owned and hysar felt and looked a little different. The FON, I think placed it in the later 80's. I wonder if it took Greg a while to get everything "right" and or were the necks coming from First Quality and maybe there was a a change in the neck profiles early on ....... maybe a question for the Gregster!

Jun 23, 2021 - 5:27:06 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1260 posts since 10/15/2019

I heard an interview with Greg Rich where he was basically saying that the Gibson attempt at a Granada reissue were pretty terrible, nobody liked them, so that's why Gibson brought him in.

I think this is it.   Note, this "Steve Martin" is not the Steve Martin you think.  Gibson discussion starts around 15 minutes in.

https://www.unrealbluegrass.com/interviews_2020/Greg%20Rich_121320.mp3

Edited by - Eric A on 06/23/2021 05:38:03

Jun 23, 2021 - 6:01:15 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1260 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

I heard an interview with Greg Rich where he was basically saying that the Gibson attempt at a Granada reissue were pretty terrible, nobody liked them, so that's why Gibson brought him in.

I think this is it.   Note, this "Steve Martin" is not the Steve Martin you think.  Gibson discussion starts around 15 minutes in.

https://www.unrealbluegrass.com/interviews_2020/Greg%20Rich_121320.mp3


The story about Sonny Osborne checking it out starts around 19 minutes.  The story about analyzing Earl's tone ring starts around 28 minutes.

Jun 23, 2021 - 6:02:45 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Thanks everyone .... this is great information and exactly what I needed. No Frank (Banjoy), the reason for asking is not about the Granada in the classified ads, as that is the first time I have seen it. The main reason I ask is because I owned a great Granada that I bought from a friend about 15 years ago. The friend I bought it from wanted it back, and I did not want to sell it, but my wife "made" me sell it back to him ........ I was fine with it really. Another one that I handled a few years later was definitely not as good as the one I owned and hysar felt and looked a little different. The FON, I think placed it in the later 80's. I wonder if it took Greg a while to get everything "right" and or were the necks coming from First Quality and maybe there was a a change in the neck profiles early on ....... maybe a question for the Gregster!


Cool I don't think I ever saw your Granada. I'm curious when the First Quality necks entered the picture ... is that pre- or post- Greg arriving? I can't remember.

I had Bill Sullivan make two necks for me over the years, the first in 1978 which arrived roughed out and I shaped it and lacquered it myself ... and a replica of that neck, which he did totally to completion in 2001, and I tell ya that neck is super beefy, more than I would have opted for if we had discussed it before he made it. It takes a little getting used to. I think Bill just went with a beefier Gibson neck profile? I never did ask him.

Every Rich era banjo I have picked has what to me is the perfect neck profile, not too beefy, not too thin, just right. Not like my Sullivan neck. So I'm curious when and how long these First Quality parts were in the picture, which I thing was a long time...?

Sorry if this is thread drift too far off the beaten path ... it's all just interesting stuff!!

Jun 23, 2021 - 6:06:12 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

Greg also told me he's no longer on BHO and prefers to discuss banjos on his FaceBook page. I'm not on FaceBook. So I imagine that folks here who are, could also approach him directly via FB with banjo questions or conversations, and he told me he loves discussing banjos, and only banjos with anyone and everyone. If anyone even touches on other topics, like politics, he'll shut you out real quick, which I can certainly understand and respect.

Jun 23, 2021 - 8:05:34 AM

12240 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Thanks everyone .... this is great information and exactly what I needed. No Frank (Banjoy), the reason for asking is not about the Granada in the classified ads, as that is the first time I have seen it. The main reason I ask is because I owned a great Granada that I bought from a friend about 15 years ago. The friend I bought it from wanted it back, and I did not want to sell it, but my wife "made" me sell it back to him ........ I was fine with it really. Another one that I handled a few years later was definitely not as good as the one I owned and hysar felt and looked a little different. The FON, I think placed it in the later 80's. I wonder if it took Greg a while to get everything "right" and or were the necks coming from First Quality and maybe there was a a change in the neck profiles early on ....... maybe a question for the Gregster!


Cool I don't think I ever saw your Granada. I'm curious when the First Quality necks entered the picture ... is that pre- or post- Greg arriving? I can't remember.

I had Bill Sullivan make two necks for me over the years, the first in 1978 which arrived roughed out and I shaped it and lacquered it myself ... and a replica of that neck, which he did totally to completion in 2001, and I tell ya that neck is super beefy, more than I would have opted for if we had discussed it before he made it. It takes a little getting used to. I think Bill just went with a beefier Gibson neck profile? I never did ask him.

Every Rich era banjo I have picked has what to me is the perfect neck profile, not too beefy, not too thin, just right. Not like my Sullivan neck. So I'm curious when and how long these First Quality parts were in the picture, which I thing was a long time...?

Sorry if this is thread drift too far off the beaten path ... it's all just interesting stuff!!


No drift Frank ...... I think all of this is interesting.  Maybe someone familiar with First Quality as a supplier to Gibson will chime in.  I've also bought and finished several First Quality necks and the one on my TB-1 is too beefy for me.  I should have thinned it down, but just never took the time.  The smallest amount of extra material can make all of the difference in feel.

Jun 23, 2021 - 8:06:57 AM

12240 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

Greg also told me he's no longer on BHO and prefers to discuss banjos on his FaceBook page. I'm not on FaceBook. So I imagine that folks here who are, could also approach him directly via FB with banjo questions or conversations, and he told me he loves discussing banjos, and only banjos with anyone and everyone. If anyone even touches on other topics, like politics, he'll shut you out real quick, which I can certainly understand and respect.


I'm not on Facebook either, but Greg's "only banjo" is a good way to remain friends with everyonesmiley

Edited by - BanjoLink on 06/23/2021 08:07:21

Jun 23, 2021 - 12:50:50 PM

3481 posts since 4/27/2004

For those who may not know, or had heard, the necks on the 9584 batch of prewar Granadas........of which JDs, Sonny's and Earl's are from, also had rather beefy necks. That is why Earl took a wood rasp to his original neck. I can say from personal experience that these necks are a little larger than I like. I think the newer necks being produced in recent years have a better profile than the prewar necks. IMHO

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