I just picked up this rb1 from a guitar center (online), and paid 1199.00 for it. I grabbed it because its serial number puts it at 1964 and saw (in pics} that it had that it had a good brown rim. On closer examination I found it is brown but thin. Alls right and good otherwise. Ive read that Gibson had thicker brown rims before the black ones? That so? And, can do these as good have a good tone when set up well? I bought it because after 4 back surgeries id like a light "Gibson". Any thoughts?
Edited by - bulldog bob on 09/25/2023 11:06:46
Why would you care? Is it playable? Is it lightweight? If you like the way it sounds, play it.
If it's set up well and sounds good, play it.
I've never seen a thin brown rim on an RB100 before but, as I always say, nothing was absolute with Gibson. If everything else about it suits you, that's all that matters in the long run. RB100s had about the easiest playing necks I have ever had my hands on.
You have a fine, playable instrument. Enjoy it.
That is odd. Never seen a thin rim RB-100 in brown.
Looks almost like a refinished RB-OO rim, but most likely not.
If it plays and sounds well, 1199 is a great price for a 1964 Gibson anything.
Its original. I posted pics on the prewar Gibson Banjo Facebook page and someone posted these pictures of his 1964 model 100 with a serial number similar to mine. It definitely is not a 5/8 3 ply rim, but also does not look like the multiply plywood black rims used from around 1965 on. It looks like perhaps 7 maple plys with brown stained veneer? I read somewhere here that Gibson used something like this on rb-250s before the black rims? Im curious to see what kind of sound I can get out of it with the 1/4" brass hoop.
If anybody has any experience with these Id be curious to hear what they thought.
Probably just fine if you're going to use a tone hoop.
Not so fine if you want to install a bluegrass flat head tone RING.
Thanks. I already have a few Pre-war Gibson arch tops, so this one is all about being lightweight. Too old and too many lumbar fusions!
1/4" brass hoops CAN sound really good. You just won't know until you try it and start tinkering. We here can't really guess what you'll be happy with.
Drop a brass hoop in that, and you will have a banjo that will most likely sound great and not kill your back.
I love to play my Mastertones, but if I’m going to play for a while, my Sub-MAstertones fit the bill. Not having an extra 2-3 pounds to heft makes a huge difference on ones back.
Good score! Love Guitar center for that exact reason.
Originally posted by bulldog bob
Its original. I posted pics on the prewar Gibson Banjo Facebook page and someone posted these pictures of his 1964 model 100 with a serial number similar to mine. It definitely is not a 5/8 3 ply rim, but also does not look like the multiply plywood black rims used from around 1965 on. It looks like perhaps 7 maple plys with brown stained veneer?
This thread made me curious about a later '64 RB250 which happens to be apart for cleaning. The rim is brown and definitely three ply. The thickness below the flange is 0.585" +/-. or slightly less than prewar which can be as low as 0.600" (post fat rims). Any measurements on the thin brown rims mentioned?
I have a later 60's thin black rim around somewhere but don't recall it being more than 3-ply.
Looks like a couple of '30s Kalamazoo rims I once owned. Both had 1/4" nickel plated steel hoops. I'd clean off the rust, turn them upside down and rub a beeswax candle over the top so that the head wouldn't stick. Both banjos, a plectrum and a 5-string, are still in use and sound great.
As many have atested to over the years, Gibson didn't like to throw perfectly good parts away. Floor sweeps are far more common than people think.
It is thin as suspected, and measures .47 (+-) just under the flange.
Before I tore it down I did a quick setup with a new presto , and better bridge. It sounded surprisingly good, even with an old smooth 5 star head on it. I have the neck being dressed and new frets too, and its getting a bone 5th string nut and new Gotoh tuners. A quick polish, new head, and then s new bridge should get it about where I want it.
if a hoop banjo is good enough for craig smith,,its good enough for us mortals...
I have complete faith in hoop banjos, I had a KK-11 that was amazing, its the rim on this particular rb-100 that has me wondering.
I have a mint TB100 ( 1964) that has a thick brown rin - looking for a rb neck
Ha! I have a 64 rb-100 and im looking for a thick brown rim!
I also have a 1964 RB-100 with the brown " Thin Rim". You will see some of each thickness in 1964 and usually nickel plated parts. Since the 100's from 1965 have the "black thin rims" and chrome plated metal parts. I am convinced that Gibson switched over to the thinner rims in the later part of 1964 but still stayed with the brown finish and then switched to the "black" finish on the same rims at the time that they went to the chrome plating. I was a little kid in 64 and knew nothing of banjos, but if you think about it, 64 was also the last year of real "silver" in our coins also. I am thinking that the economy was likely changing a lot at that time and Gibson was trying to cut production costs.
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