Nice pair of 00’s listed by an eBay seller. Priced as what I think is way too high, but I am a huge fan of the lowly Gibson RB-00.
I have zero association with the listing or the seller.
The $4500 5-string is the same price as an all-original 1940/41 I saw and played at Retrofret in Brooklyn almost exactly 7 years ago.
I think I saw one recently for $2800, which would be a great deal.
By that reckoning, $2150 for an original TB-00 is about right, since you could easily buy a used conversion neck for around $800 or less and have under $3000 invested. Based on prices he's shown lately, Ron Coleman could probably make an appropriately simple conversion neck at a price that would keep your investment under $3000, and certainly well under $4500.
Even though it's not correct to the model, I think what I'd so in converting one of these would be to give the neck some form of the RB-1 gull inlay. Still with the original Coke bottle peghead. Sunburst on straight grained maple.
Edited by - Old Hickory on 09/17/2021 12:49:16
Ken- I get it. Picking up a RB-00 is probably the most cost effective way to get your hands on a all original Pre-WWII 5 stringer. The one on eBay I’m pretty sure is a later year model, maybe made during the war given the tuners and a few other aspects.
One of the things I found interesting in that ad was the type of bracket wrench included with the banjo. I have never seen one like that before and am wondering if it was a Gibson supplied part that was scaled back due to the war effort.
That being said, very glad I picked up my RB-00 not all that long ago for half the amount the seller is asking. Seeing the price of some things lately, maybe he/she is spot on.
The one on eBay looks to be in exceptional condition.
It doesn't matter what I think, but I think $4500 is high. I expect Retrofret accepted something less for the one I saw in 2014 and this seller has signaled they'll accept less by posting it as "Make Offer" listing. I guess listing it at $4500 signals they're not likely to accept $2800. Or maybe any price beginning with a 3.
But the $2150 or offer TB-00 could conceivably go for $1900-$2000.
This is really making me crazy. I don't need another banjo. My own first neck build is sorely delayed. I have a second one in progress and wood for 4 more that will probably never become necks. Yet this TB-00 is one of the most tempting things I've seen in a while. I hope someone buys it quick and puts me out of my misery!
What do these things sound like? Comparable to a -1, -2, or -11?
You DO realize that for $4500 you can buy that 1880s Civil War banjo that has been on ebay forever,right? lol
Ira, I have a RB-00 and also a RB-1, used to have a RB-11 and all I can say is that they sound - Different- these have a thin rim on them. No tone ring at all. The rim, If I recall correctly, 1/2”. I have kept mine all original down to the skin head. I has a deep almost bass sound to it, and pretty strong definition on the treble side as you go up the neck. If you dig into it, it’s loud, and I mean loud.
I find it the perfect instrument for old style two finger picking and solo work. A very versatile instrument.
An added plus is they they are light.
'Nechville Phantom' 7 hrs