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May 21, 2022 - 3:09:47 PM

terry oc

Ireland

12 posts since 3/12/2019

hi, can anyone help me. i am thinking of buying a banjo. they say its a gibson rb-e they think its pre war. number 9411, there is no mastertone logo on the fretboard only the headstock. thankyou. regards. terry

May 21, 2022 - 3:15:23 PM

terry oc

Ireland

12 posts since 3/12/2019

sorry that number on headstock is 9411-1 thanks

May 21, 2022 - 3:24:24 PM

rcc56

USA

4228 posts since 2/20/2016

We would need to see extensive pictures to authenticate the banjo.
Front, back, side, closeups of the front and back of the neck and peghead, and pictures of the inside of the rim from several angles with the resonator removed, and pictures of any stamped numbers and labels.

May 21, 2022 - 4:20:02 PM

1197 posts since 7/25/2006

9411 means 1929 . should be a fatrim, first generation flange if mastertone or hoop ring banjo.  You need to have in hand to know what your looking at.

May 21, 2022 - 4:25:34 PM

272 posts since 4/12/2008

earnestbanjo.com/wp/gibson-rb-...e-9411-1/



This is that serial number banjo on gregearnest



Proof is in the pictures if this is not the banjo you are looking at then

RUN FORREST RUN !

May 21, 2022 - 5:01:32 PM

1197 posts since 7/25/2006

You would be wise to have a laptop to compare pictures with banjo in hand. Strange things happen over time.

May 21, 2022 - 7:24:14 PM

14764 posts since 10/30/2008

They say it's an "rb-e"? Did you mean RB-3?

As said above the FON you list is from 1929. A neck with MASTERTONE in the peghead dates from 1925. So at best it's a mismatch, but...

1920s Gibson never had numbers stamped in the back of the peghead, they were only stamped inside the rim. So that's not even a 1920s Gibson neck...

Sounds like you're being offered a mismatched banjo or perhaps someone tried to copy a Gibson. The pot is more important than the neck, as far as originality and value. Almost ALL pre-war 5 string Gibsons had repro necks on them, because so few 5 strings were made, originally.

If you can't get photos, walk away.

May 22, 2022 - 2:21:08 AM

terry oc

Ireland

12 posts since 3/12/2019

thankyou for the info, i have ask for photo's. will send as soon as i can. how do i tell the pot is genuine gibson. nowhere on the banjo has it got mastertone, just gibson on the headstock, back soon. and thankyou very much

May 22, 2022 - 5:07:20 AM

2330 posts since 1/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by terry oc

thankyou for the info, i have ask for photo's. will send as soon as i can. how do i tell the pot is genuine gibson. nowhere on the banjo has it got mastertone, just gibson on the headstock, back soon. and thankyou very much


If it's not the same banjo in the link above to earnestbanjo.com with the same number, then it's not real. The one on Greg earnest site is and Gibson didn't repeat numbers.

May 22, 2022 - 5:14:55 AM

terry oc

Ireland

12 posts since 3/12/2019

quote:Hi Bob, Thank you for yor advice. I'll attach a photo. Let me know what you think thank you. Terry
Originally posted by Bob Rodgers

You would be wise to have a laptop to compare pictures with banjo in hand. Strange things happen over time.


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May 22, 2022 - 7:38:11 AM

beegee

USA

22962 posts since 7/6/2005

I think it is a parts banjo: Inlay pattern is not right, resonator has a curly maple interior. A number on the back or the peghead is an anomaly. I appears to be a decent reproduction, but I seriously doubt it ever saw any part of the Gibson organization. If the price is right, it is probably a decent player. There's no way to be sure of the origin of the hardware.

May 22, 2022 - 7:41:09 AM

296 posts since 11/16/2011

quote:
Originally posted by kyleb
quote:
Originally posted by terry oc

thankyou for the info, i have ask for photo's. will send as soon as i can. how do i tell the pot is genuine gibson. nowhere on the banjo has it got mastertone, just gibson on the headstock, back soon. and thankyou very much


If it's not the same banjo in the link above to earnestbanjo.com with the same number, then it's not real. The one on Greg earnest site is and Gibson didn't repeat numbers.


Or it is the same banjo and the one on the GE site is not real or at least highly suspect.

Referring to 9411-1 on the GE site....  9411 batch is F5 mandolins, according to Spann's book, or the book is in error.  The owner describes hardware as being replaced and the banjo, possibly entirely, has been refinished.  The fange is not a Doehler flange.  The label is a reproduction.  The FON in the resonator doesn't look right, the "4" especially is not right,   And... who knows what else...

May 22, 2022 - 10:35:52 AM

rcc56

USA

4228 posts since 2/20/2016

Hello Terry,

If the pictures on your home page are of the banjo you are asking about, none of the parts that I can see look like pre-war Gibson to me.

The pictures are not sufficient to say much about the rim, but on the outside chance it has anything to do with Gibson [and I don't believe that it does], it has been heavily reworked and therefore has no significant antique value.

In the US, a banjo such as this might be worth somewhere between $1000 and no more than $1600 or $1700 USD, depending on its condition, the quality of the workmanship, and the sound.

It might or might not be a pretty good banjo. But it's not a pre-war Gibson.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Addendum for others reading this thread:  Some of the late top-tension banjos made circa 1940 did have numbers on the peghead.  But a number on a style 3 peghead would be an anomaly and highly suspect.

Edited by - rcc56 on 05/22/2022 10:46:59

May 22, 2022 - 11:27:47 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1482 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

They say it's an "rb-e"? Did you mean RB-3?

As said above the FON you list is from 1929. A neck with MASTERTONE in the peghead dates from 1925. So at best it's a mismatch, but...

1920s Gibson never had numbers stamped in the back of the peghead, they were only stamped inside the rim. So that's not even a 1920s Gibson neck...

Sounds like you're being offered a mismatched banjo or perhaps someone tried to copy a Gibson. The pot is more important than the neck, as far as originality and value. Almost ALL pre-war 5 string Gibsons had repro necks on them, because so few 5 strings were made, originally.

If you can't get photos, walk away.


1920s Mastertones had the entire FON in the rim and the number following the dash stamped at the inner neck heel.

May 23, 2022 - 8:32:20 AM

2330 posts since 1/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

They say it's an "rb-e"? Did you mean RB-3?

As said above the FON you list is from 1929. A neck with MASTERTONE in the peghead dates from 1925. So at best it's a mismatch, but...

1920s Gibson never had numbers stamped in the back of the peghead, they were only stamped inside the rim. So that's not even a 1920s Gibson neck...

Sounds like you're being offered a mismatched banjo or perhaps someone tried to copy a Gibson. The pot is more important than the neck, as far as originality and value. Almost ALL pre-war 5 string Gibsons had repro necks on them, because so few 5 strings were made, originally.

If you can't get photos, walk away.


1920s Mastertones had the entire FON in the rim and the number following the dash stamped at the inner neck heel.


ive got 2 20s tb 3s, neither have a stamp, both have the fon number penciled in.

May 23, 2022 - 8:54:34 AM
likes this

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1482 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by kyleb
quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

They say it's an "rb-e"? Did you mean RB-3?

As said above the FON you list is from 1929. A neck with MASTERTONE in the peghead dates from 1925. So at best it's a mismatch, but...

1920s Gibson never had numbers stamped in the back of the peghead, they were only stamped inside the rim. So that's not even a 1920s Gibson neck...

Sounds like you're being offered a mismatched banjo or perhaps someone tried to copy a Gibson. The pot is more important than the neck, as far as originality and value. Almost ALL pre-war 5 string Gibsons had repro necks on them, because so few 5 strings were made, originally.

If you can't get photos, walk away.


1920s Mastertones had the entire FON in the rim and the number following the dash stamped at the inner neck heel.


ive got 2 20s tb 3s, neither have a stamp, both have the fon number penciled in.


Yours would be the exception, not the rule.

Look closer, the stamps are very very light on the tenor necks where the heel makes contact with the pot.

May 23, 2022 - 10:41:35 AM

2330 posts since 1/4/2009

I will thanks for the tip!

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