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Feb 23, 2024 - 5:45:34 AM

DSmoke

USA

1426 posts since 11/30/2015

There is a listing for a 1923 Gibson TB-3 on Reverb (link below) where the seller states that he sent it to Gibson 10 years ago for restoration. I'm only asking out of curiosity to determine just how much is wrong with this listing. I figured some of the Gibson fans here might like to see this.

reverb.com/item/79681291-gibson-tb3-1923

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 02/23/2024 08:22:28

Feb 23, 2024 - 5:56:59 AM
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Jbo1

USA

1323 posts since 5/19/2007

My understanding is that it was pretty hit or miss with Gibson doing "restorations" on their banjos. A friend of mine sent his vintage Florentine banjo to have a 5-string neck made. Gibson lost the original neck in the process. Wade Mainer's banjo was "restored" by having just about all the hardware, including the original tone ring, replaced. Earl's banjo had a somewhat similar fate, although he managed to keep the tone ring intact. And Bill Monroe's mandolin didn't fare much better, causing him to take a pen-knife (an Uncle Pen-knife?) to the Gibson name on the headstock.

Edited by - Jbo1 on 02/23/2024 05:58:37

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:24:18 AM

3522 posts since 4/7/2010

Factory service is not the same as restoration.

Though there are not enough pictures to tell, the only thing I can see that was "restored" is the new Presto 5-string tailpiece. Would be interesting to see the work order.

Bob Smakula
smakulafrettedinstruments.com

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:38:39 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6258 posts since 10/12/2009

I don't know if the banjo in the Reverb ad has, or has not, been restored by Gibson, but I do know that it wasn't built in 1923 like the ad states

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:42:25 AM
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DSmoke

USA

1426 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

I don't know if the banjo in the Reverb ad has, or has not, been restored by Gibson, but I do know that it wasn't built in 1923 like the ad states


That date is also on the tape with the old frets, which makes one really suspicious, lol.

Feb 23, 2024 - 9:27:48 AM

foxlawn

USA

31 posts since 9/27/2023

The Mastertone Inlay Looks Suspicious , I Think I Would Pass On This One.

Feb 23, 2024 - 12:42:23 PM

14931 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke

There is a listing for a 1923 Gibson TB-3 on Reverb (link below) where the seller states that he sent it to Gibson 10 years ago for restoration. I'm only asking out of curiosity to determine just how much is wrong with this listing. I figured some of the Gibson fans here might like to see this.

reverb.com/item/79681291-gibson-tb3-1923


Yep ..... that is not a 1923 Gibson (1925 or later depending on the tone ring) and since it has been ten years since the great flood, I doubt that it was refurbished by Gibson.  

Feb 23, 2024 - 1:28:34 PM

2772 posts since 1/4/2009

it looks like its got a new tailpeice, bridge ect, i would say its probably a 1927 or 28 since the two peice flange. If gibson did anything it was a new tailpeice and setup.

That said to answer your question, gibson worked on banjos over the years, theres a lot of famous stories where they butchered banjos and (and mandos) for famous pickers.

I have a 1926 style three neck with a factory bow tie fretboard on it. I dont know if they were doing factory repair or setup work in the 2000s however, but its possible, especcially if they were in nashville or had a connection.

Feb 23, 2024 - 4:29:36 PM
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2165 posts since 2/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Jbo1

My understanding is that it was pretty hit or miss with Gibson doing "restorations" on their banjos. A friend of mine sent his vintage Florentine banjo to have a 5-string neck made. Gibson lost the original neck in the process. Wade Mainer's banjo was "restored" by having just about all the hardware, including the original tone ring, replaced. Earl's banjo had a somewhat similar fate, although he managed to keep the tone ring intact. And Bill Monroe's mandolin didn't fare much better, causing him to take a pen-knife (an Uncle Pen-knife?) to the Gibson name on the headstock.


Story goes that Bill Monroe was mad at Gibson for taking too long in his opinion to do a re-fret. He thought he was entitled to a quicker turnaround because he thought he promoted the brand by playing a Gibson. When he got it back he scratched out the Gibson logo with a knife. Years later a woman smashed his mando to bits. Gibson restored it from toothpick sized shards back to perfect and playable condition. Seeing the before and after of this repair would lead me to think that Bill's mandolin fared pretty well in the Gibson restoration shop. 

Feb 24, 2024 - 11:43:15 AM

3015 posts since 4/16/2003

This looks to be a 1926 TB3.
Ball bearing, but the "mastertone" is NOT in the peghead, as it was on the 1925's.

The tailpiece is a replacement -- the original looks to be in a plastic bag inside the case.

Armrest may or may not be original.

The seller doesn't know what he has, but that doesn't detract from the instrument itself.

As to whether "Gibson" restored or repaired it... can't say.
However, I CAN say that whoever did the "restoration" appears to have done so in a "respectful manner". It looks good all-around.

Metalwork may have been re-plated. But there are instruments from this era in chrome plate that still look very good.

The asking price is WAY WAY too high, however.

Feb 24, 2024 - 7:46:06 PM
Players Union Member

rmcdow

USA

1393 posts since 11/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

I don't know if the banjo in the Reverb ad has, or has not, been restored by Gibson, but I do know that it wasn't built in 1923 like the ad states


FON 8206-6 ball bearing.  New photos were posted with the Gibson label and FON, where you can see the balls.

Feb 24, 2024 - 7:56:55 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6258 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow
quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

I don't know if the banjo in the Reverb ad has, or has not, been restored by Gibson, but I do know that it wasn't built in 1923 like the ad states


FON 8206-6 ball bearing.  New photos were posted with the Gibson label and FON, where you can see the balls.


So it's a 1926 ball-bearing. 
I own 8069-73, a 1925 bb

Edited by - RioStat on 02/24/2024 20:05:07

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