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Oct 22, 2021 - 9:41:11 AM
2376 posts since 9/25/2006

Hello all,

I just got what I think is my 1927 PB-4 with no hole arch top tone ring. It has a five string neck with Flying Eagle inlays. The number on the inside of the rim and chalked into the resonator is 8880-6, indicating a late 1927 date but…

As I was taking it apart, I noticed something very interesting. A different number, 8215-5 was stamped into the rim where the neck joins the pot. Having owned a few ball bearings, I knew that those numbers were often stamped in this spot.

According to records, 8880-6 left the factory as a 1927 PB-4. Lot 8215 was from early 1926 and included both GB and RB style 4 Ball Bearings.

I’ll bet if I took the tone ring off, I’d find that the holes drilled in the rim for the Ball Bearing springs has been plugged.

My guess is that an order came for a 1927 PB-4 and the workers went to the shelves and grabbed a leftover 1926 pot, and then stamped the number 8880-6 inside the rim and chalked it into the resonator and sent it out the door with a PB-4 neck.

I don’t have the original neck, so I don’t know.

I’m flirting with the idea that perhaps, I hope, this could have also been intended for an RB. Funny thing is the neck binding is aged just about the same as the binding on the resonator. Also, the neck has different tuners now but I can see where the “pancake tuners” were originally on this neck or perhaps brought over from the previous PB neck. However, the thickness of the headstock, as well as the thickness of the binding have me questioning that this is an original RB neck.

I’ve owned a few pre-war RBs and the neck on this one is similar but I wouldn’t hang my hat on that. I do believe it left the factory as a PB-4 but this is interesting to say the least.

Thoughts?

Oct 23, 2021 - 7:10 AM
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beegee

USA

22516 posts since 7/6/2005

My 1928 Granada has the same thing: A square patch in the rim stamped with a different number around the patch, FON 8921-3

Oct 23, 2021 - 2:47:18 PM
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O.D.

USA

3622 posts since 10/29/2003

My orphaned pot had the f.o.n. stamped in the normal location ,the same number ink stamped on top ,under the ring
The no hole ring was stamped with a slightly differant number and that number was penciled on the rim at the neck joint.
I used to have pics on my home page

Everett

Edited by - O.D. on 10/23/2021 14:48:10

Oct 26, 2021 - 5:55 AM
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358 posts since 2/14/2013
Online Now

Hi Frankie,
I've owned quite a number of original 5-string necks, and examined many more. If you could post some detailed pics, particularly of the truss rod pocket, the end of the heel (neck removed), side view of heel, back of headstock including volute, and side view of headstock/volute, I could at least tell if it's possible that it's a 5-string neck!

--Eric

Oct 26, 2021 - 5:55:22 AM

358 posts since 2/14/2013
Online Now

Oh yeah, also a closeup of one or more inlays

Oct 26, 2021 - 10:16:51 AM

12704 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by O.D.

My orphaned pot had the f.o.n. stamped in the normal location ,the same number ink stamped on top ,under the ring
The no hole ring was stamped with a slightly differant number and that number was penciled on the rim at the neck joint.
I used to have pics on my home page

Everett


LOL Everett ...... what is a "slightly " different number?

Oct 26, 2021 - 10:32:27 AM

O.D.

USA

3622 posts since 10/29/2003

The rim stamped 0329
The ring stamped 0335 penciled on rim at neck joint location.
I have pics, don't feel like re posting them
A few responders to a previous on this reported seeing the same on other banjos from that time

Thanks for the interest

Everett

I could have used a better description.  As  , close  but different  number .

Edited by - O.D. on 10/26/2021 10:39:40

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:09:31 PM

110 posts since 3/10/2006

StudioKing, take a look at look at the pictures on revellfa's Media page. He's got a fair number of pictures of this banjo on there. Based on those pictures, I don't think this is an original five-string. At the very least, we know the Mastertone block is not prewar. The tension hoop is also not spaced for an RB neck (not saying all RB's had a matching tension hoop, this is Gibson we're talking about). With regards to the tuners, I think Frankie hit it on the heard that they were brought over from the original neck to this conversion neck. Just my two cents...

Oct 26, 2021 - 2:53:03 PM

2376 posts since 9/25/2006

quote:
Originally posted by StudioKing

Hi Frankie,
I've owned quite a number of original 5-string necks, and examined many more. If you could post some detailed pics, particularly of the truss rod pocket, the end of the heel (neck removed), side view of heel, back of headstock including volute, and side view of headstock/volute, I could at least tell if it's possible that it's a 5-string neck!

--Eric


I really appreciate that. Given the feedback already received here it seems unlikely that it's an RB.  I only thought it might be because according to Earnest site an RB did go out of the 8215 batch and I saw where a 4 left with flying Eagle inlay about the same tone. Again, interesting...

Oct 26, 2021 - 3:22:16 PM
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358 posts since 2/14/2013
Online Now

Hi revellfa , I’m afraid your right mind n that I s not a prewar neck… I saw the pics. Still what a cool banjo, and I do think your theory about the two numbers is spot-on

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