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Dec 1, 2022 - 11:51:02 PM
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14 posts since 11/21/2020

1) identify gibson banjo. Best guess is a 1957 rb-100 (serial 7-5712-73)

2) Suggestions on restoration

Found this online for 20$, thinking to good to be true. Took the gamble and it looks to be a real gibson and old.. looking for a good Luthier in Los angeles to fix the broken headstock. And gonna pull of all the metal and give a simple cleaning, water on non scratch cloth. Would like to keep mostly original, but will need new nut and bridge. Any suggestions under taking this project? Thanks




 

Dec 2, 2022 - 5:09:17 AM

1216 posts since 7/25/2006

P M sent.

Dec 2, 2022 - 8:36:37 AM
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beegee

USA

23156 posts since 7/6/2005

Congratulations on a wortwhile purchase!

Dec 2, 2022 - 9:05:14 AM
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leehar

USA

193 posts since 2/18/2018

$20 is, no doubt, a great price. It does look like there must be several missing pieces of wood from that broken headstock which might make the repair more difficult. I know nothing about that kind of restoration. Would it be better to have a nice new neck made? You’re still WAY ahead of the game since the rest of the banjo only cost $20.

Dec 2, 2022 - 9:07:13 AM

leehar

USA

193 posts since 2/18/2018

Oops! I did not intend to attach that photo to my comment. Not sure what I did there.

Dec 2, 2022 - 9:10:49 AM
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1800 posts since 4/13/2017

If I'm reading the serial number correctly, it looks like a 1957 Gibson RB-100. Certainly worth $20, even being in that condition!

Dec 2, 2022 - 10:14:48 AM
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15129 posts since 10/30/2008

Typically that sort of headstock break is eminently repairable. I'm sure some of the luthiers here could do it for you. Since you've only go $20 in it, I'd keep the repairs as simple/cheap (but professional) as possible.

If you're going to get a new neck, you might as well put a tone ring it. But then you're going to have around $1500 more or less in it.  You could then sell this broken RB 100 neck to someone who would repair it or have it repaired to convert a TB 100 to 5 string.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 12/02/2022 10:16:45

Dec 2, 2022 - 10:20:37 AM
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RioStat

USA

5986 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Typically that sort of headstock break is eminently repairable. I'm sure some of the luthiers here could do it for you. Since you've only go $20 in it, I'd keep the repairs as simple/cheap (but professional) as possible.

If you're going to get a new neck, you might as well put a tone ring it. But then you're going to have around $1500 more or less in it.  You could then sell this broken RB 100 neck to someone who would repair it or have it repaired to convert a TB 100 to 5 string.


There's no reason to put a tone ring in it, new neck or not......

Edited by - RioStat on 12/02/2022 10:21:44

Dec 2, 2022 - 10:28:38 AM

Alex Z

USA

5108 posts since 12/7/2006
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Can't look at this as a financial proposition -- buy cheap, fix it expensively, sell for less than was put into it, make it up in volume.  smiley

If not a banjo you would play, then:

  a.  Could be a hobby project.  Learning.

  b.  Could be a modest fix to get the thing playable, then give away to school or young person to learn.

  c.  Could part it out, sell the salvageable parts for a couple hundred.  Let someone else do a or b.

  d.  Could sell as is at a profit, to those who say that $20 is underpriced.  

Dec 2, 2022 - 10:57:09 AM
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4676 posts since 5/29/2011

Giving it a cleaning with soap and water is a good start. Hopefully someone closer to you can recommend a good repairman near L.A.

Don't cut the rim, and don't have a Mastertone neck stuck on it. Mastertone copies are a dime a dozen. Old, unmolested RB100s are getting harder to find.

That tailpiece is easy to string with ball end strings. Don't give in to the temptation to replace it unless it breaks.


 

Dec 2, 2022 - 11:19:55 AM
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14 posts since 11/21/2020

My plan is to keep. Restoration as simple and easy as possible. Detailed cleaning, pulled the banjo apart. Pulled off metal and headstock. Replacing only missing pieces, bridge,nut, and 2 brackets.. 

I do intend to keep and repair headstock, most of it is there. I am confused this is a 5-string are rb-100 4 string?

Intentions are to get this banjo in good playing condition.


 

Dec 2, 2022 - 11:22:10 AM
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378 posts since 11/10/2022

I sure hope you played it before setting down that much cash! lol

Dec 2, 2022 - 11:23:56 AM
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bill t

USA

309 posts since 12/14/2012

A four string would be a TB-100 or a PB-100.

Tenor or plectrum banjo.

Edited by - bill t on 12/02/2022 11:25:56

Dec 2, 2022 - 12:14:41 PM
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RioStat

USA

5986 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by davidbanjo12

My plan is to keep. Restoration as simple and easy as possible. Detailed cleaning, pulled the banjo apart. Pulled off metal and headstock. Replacing only missing pieces, bridge,nut, and 2 brackets.. 

I do intend to keep and repair headstock, most of it is there. I am confused this is a 5-string are rb-100 4 string?

Intentions are to get this banjo in good playing condition.


TB - Tenor banjo

PB - Plectrum banjo

RB- Regular (5 string) banjo

Dec 2, 2022 - 4:48:57 PM
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TN Time

USA

452 posts since 12/6/2021

Keep us informed on what you do with the banjo. When it is restored, please post some photos.
Robert

Dec 2, 2022 - 5:39:54 PM
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15129 posts since 10/30/2008

RioStat there's no reason to put a tone ring in it, except that thousand of owners have done it, and someone was bound to advise the OP to do it.

Personally I would not put a tone ring in it.

Dec 3, 2022 - 1:32:26 AM
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14 posts since 11/21/2020

Cleaned up top half... tuning pegs cleaned up well. Tension hoop looks decent. Didn't realize I find a brass ring, it is tiny. Progress check




 

Dec 3, 2022 - 5:10:58 AM
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Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

There is more than one way to make an archtop.

The simplest is the round rod of brass.

The Lange Challenger had two flatbars rolled, one on the inside top ledge and the other on the outside top ledge.

I mentioned several years ago that it was a "feaux" archtop, somebody answered, no it was just an archtop.

The headstock is one of my favorites and I like the way it looks on stage. There is a balance in form that I find pleasing.

Thanks for restoring a playing instrument. Look how much you learned.


Edited by - Helix on 12/03/2022 05:11:45

Dec 4, 2022 - 9:26:22 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

2038 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

There is more than one way to make an archtop.

The simplest is the round rod of brass.

The Lange Challenger had two flatbars rolled, one on the inside top ledge and the other on the outside top ledge.

I mentioned several years ago that it was a "feaux" archtop, somebody answered, no it was just an archtop.

The headstock is one of my favorites and I like the way it looks on stage. There is a balance in form that I find pleasing.

Thanks for restoring a playing instrument. Look how much you learned.


That's no archtop

Dec 4, 2022 - 10:41:40 AM
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Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

ChunoTheDog Instead of telling us what it isn't, why don't you kindly explain for us others.

Dec 4, 2022 - 12:34:58 PM
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3062 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

Made to look like an archtop doesn’t make it an AT. This doesn’t meet the requirement, an aluminum AT tone ring. This is a Gibson. Post war at that makes it a cheap AT like banjo.

Dec 4, 2022 - 4:14:09 PM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

2038 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

ChunoTheDog Instead of telling us what it isn't, why don't you kindly explain for us others.


Cast raised head tone ring.

Brass hoop is a brass hoop. 

Not the same animal, but you already knew that. 

Dec 5, 2022 - 2:27:41 AM
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Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

Dear friend, I don't understand your impatience.

I even have two Cherry archtop woodies.
So you are saying they are not archtops
They have the characteristic triangular chamber.
The head in the picture shows an archtop configuration.
And there are different ways to make flatheads unless I am mistaken.

So an AT needs the official AT tone ring? Why?

Dec 5, 2022 - 3:00:16 AM

3062 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

What? Question Gibson? Question the Gibson purists? Post war, Gibson produced banjos differently from Pre War. Brass rods vs Aluminum cast tone ring are physically and sound different. Get a larger brass rod and it will be a flathead. The Aluminum tone ring was position fixed. This brass ring is moveable. All brass rings are moveable. Lighter also.

Every manufacturer calls their products what they want. For Gibson style banjos, Gibson went from cast tone rings to brass rods post war. Looks like an AT, but isn’t a pre war AT. This is a Gibson. This is what the OP asked a question about.

Dec 5, 2022 - 3:50:30 AM
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5082 posts since 11/20/2004

I believe the name Mastertone was the distinguishing factor between a cast brass full weight ring and woodies or hoops. Archtop or flathead is an adjective describing design shape.
And what Gibson had a cast aluminum ring mentioned above?

Dec 5, 2022 - 2:35:41 PM

3062 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

Surely, this was said in jest. Most TB, KB, and RB models could be ordered/built with an aluminum or brass cast ring. The aluminum was an Arch-top. The brass was a flattop.

Edited by - Aradobanjo on 12/05/2022 14:36:20

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