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Feb 29, 2024 - 8:33:32 AM



2985 posts since 11/3/2016

Noticed this on NH facebook --- kind of unusual , at least to me , TP looks similar to Ettinger ?

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 02/29/2024 11:03:10

Feb 29, 2024 - 8:37:07 AM
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Players Union Member



6257 posts since 10/12/2009

Doesn't appear to be much "Gibson" on that "Gibson" !

Feb 29, 2024 - 8:49:29 AM
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3522 posts since 4/7/2010

My first impression was that for $600, it is probably a decent banjo. Then I looked a little closer and saw the 5th tuner was between the 7th and 8th fret, in the wider part of the neck. With that carelessness, who knows what other craftsmanship surprises will be uncovered.

Bob Smakula

Feb 29, 2024 - 8:55:07 AM



2985 posts since 11/3/2016

Good one Bob !

Feb 29, 2024 - 10:35:17 AM
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3003 posts since 2/4/2013

Also for a "mastertone" it lacks a flathead tone ring and has shoes screwed through the rim for the hooks.

Edited by - GrahamHawker on 02/29/2024 10:35:33

Feb 29, 2024 - 10:45:48 AM
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713 posts since 6/6/2007

Yeah, but you’d have the only one like it in town.

Edited by - DH#52 on 02/29/2024 10:46:09

Feb 29, 2024 - 10:52:59 AM
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8189 posts since 9/21/2007

Perhaps a modified plectrum neck grafted to a generic rim?

Feb 29, 2024 - 11:03:47 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)


29958 posts since 8/3/2003

I have moved this topic to other banjo related. Only information on classified ads here on the Hangout can be posted in the Swap Shop.

Feb 29, 2024 - 11:13:26 AM

15019 posts since 6/2/2008
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Originally posted by Bob Smakula

. . . I looked a little closer and saw the 5th tuner was between the 7th and 8th fret, in the wider part of the neck. 

I've looked at photos, and placement of fifth string tuner between 7th and 8th frets appears to be the correct location for a long neck. If I understand correctly, they're tuned down to E and capoed at 3 to play in G tuning, turning the 8th fret into the 5th fret.

So that part is probably right. What I think is off or wrong is a long neck fretboard would also typically get wider between the 7th and 8th frets, not between 6th and 7th as on this one. Also look at the rear view and see that piece of wood added near the fifth string tuner.

So who knows what this is.

Others are right: Open back shoe-and-hook rim without a full weight tone ring isn't a Mastertone. Tone ring was the whole point of Mastertone.

Feb 29, 2024 - 11:59:57 AM



2985 posts since 11/3/2016

Originally posted by heavy5

Good one Bob !     but it is a 25 fret long neck ?   Out of curiosity I asked the seller about any decal or s/n in the pot ----- none , so I too feel it's definitely not a Gibson    

Seller is sticking his neck out on this one !

Edited by - heavy5 on 02/29/2024 12:06:32

Mar 1, 2024 - 1:53:55 PM

14931 posts since 1/15/2005

Yes ..... 5th string tuner is correct as it is a long neck banjo ...... but nothing Gibson about the neck and at firt the pot looked like an RB 170, but this pot has flat hooks. Hybrid of some sort.

Mar 1, 2024 - 2:45:18 PM

15641 posts since 10/30/2008

Gibson did make a Mastertone open back the RB-180. It had a flat head Mastertone tone ring but didn't look like the one in your photo.

Mar 1, 2024 - 3:05:06 PM
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Eric A


1870 posts since 10/15/2019

Those are not Gibson nuts either.


Mar 1, 2024 - 4:11:32 PM



5052 posts since 2/20/2016

And the rim does not look like Gibson work to me.
If any part of this banjo was made by or for Gibson, I don't see it.

Edited by - rcc56 on 03/01/2024 16:17:19

Mar 2, 2024 - 2:17:39 PM



2985 posts since 11/3/2016

Seller said it came from an estate sale in Concord ?

Mar 3, 2024 - 2:39:36 PM



10 posts since 9/29/2022

I don't post much, but I do pay attention to the posts I read here and look at the photos presented for future reference. That said, it sure looks rough where the fretboard meets the pot/tension hoop. Just my observation.

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