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Jul 4, 2022 - 4:37:08 PM
4 posts since 10/7/2019

Any info on this banjolin would be appreciated. It has 11600-4 number stamped inside. Model number, year, original/not original parts etc. Many thanks in advance!




 

Jul 4, 2022 - 6:21:11 PM

392 posts since 2/11/2009

MB-1 with an added [broken?] internal resonator. Spann's book puts that FON squarely in 1922.

Jul 4, 2022 - 9:07:04 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

11475 posts since 6/29/2003

quote:
Originally posted by OldFrets

MB-1 with an added [broken?] internal resonator. Spann's book puts that FON squarely in 1922.


I love it when someone uses the word 'squarely' on an instrument that's round! wink

Jul 5, 2022 - 4:51:37 AM

9784 posts since 8/28/2013

As stated, MB1 (pre-Mastertone).

I have no Idea what that thing is inside. I suspect "aftermarket;" I've never seen anything like that in a Gibson pot.

Jul 5, 2022 - 6:38:17 AM

14836 posts since 10/30/2008

That baffle with the purty ripples in it, inside the pot, is a mystery. I wonder how on earth you'd get it in and OUT of there? Remove the lower coordinator rod? Not a Gibson part.

Kudos on having the original hard shell case with it though!

Gibson called it a Mandolin-Banjo (MB).

The bridge looks original, but from what I can make out of the tailpiece, that may not be original. Does it only have 4 (instead of 8) places to hook the strings? If so, it's not the correct Gibson part.

Jul 5, 2022 - 10:25:38 AM

9784 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

That baffle with the purty ripples in it, inside the pot, is a mystery. I wonder how on earth you'd get it in and OUT of there? Remove the lower coordinator rod? Not a Gibson part.

Kudos on having the original hard shell case with it though!

Gibson called it a Mandolin-Banjo (MB).

The bridge looks original, but from what I can make out of the tailpiece, that may not be original. Does it only have 4 (instead of 8) places to hook the strings? If so, it's not the correct Gibson part.


Not sure about the bridge, but the tailpiece is not original. As far as I recall, the MB 1 used what is usually referred to as a "cloud" mandolin tailpiece. Higher end early Gibsons used their own unique design with a cover engraved or stamped "Gibson."

Jul 5, 2022 - 4:11:56 PM

4 posts since 10/7/2019

Thanks all for your replies. Banjolin is still in the mail and I should receive it soon. Will inspect it more closely and post more pics

Jul 5, 2022 - 5:12:08 PM

rcc56

USA

4324 posts since 2/20/2016
Online Now

Not that it matters much, but according to my references, the style 1's from that period had shoes and brackets rather than hooks through the tube flange.

There was an uncataloged model offered in flyers that more closesly resembles your instrument. In some flyers it was called style 2, in others it was called the "Melody Model."

My tenor is one of those uncataloged instruments.  It has a bound trap door resonator and hooks through the flange. It's not a very powerful instrument, but it's fun to play tunes on.

Edited by - rcc56 on 07/05/2022 17:14:18

Jul 6, 2022 - 12:28:11 AM

4 posts since 10/7/2019

OK, got the instrument and here are more photos. The tailpiece is certainly a home-brewed one. The resonator's wood looks exactly the same tone as the rim, so it makes me wonder if it has been there from the start. The shape might have some acoustic idea behind it perhaps? Anyway, I have cleaned the instrument, tighten up the head (thankfully the adjusting key was there) and put a fresh set of strings on. Gee, the old pal can sing. It sounds nice and crispy, just as expected from an old Gibson banjo. The action is a bit too high to my liking. I guess I need to find a lower bridge, as I don't want vandalizing the original one. There are couple of small cracks on the side of the fretboard (can be glued easily) and a couple of frets ideally to be changed, but apart from that it is in a surprisingly good condition for an exactly 100 years old instrument. If it was a proper mandolin I'd say it was a "Loar Era" one. I guess it doesn't apply to banjos though. Since I mostly play bowlback I'd be interested in a swap for a higher end bowlback mandolin potentially. PM me if interested. Thanks again, everyone.








Jul 6, 2022 - 12:50:22 PM
like this

12263 posts since 10/27/2006

I think the tailpiece is original. It's a Waverly "cloud" cover like Gibson used. But let's just say heavily modified. We're looking at the cover (Style 3 and up were engraved but not the 1). The tailpiece body that went on should be this:

 


 


 

Edited by - mikehalloran on 07/06/2022 12:51:20

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