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Mar 30, 2024 - 7:27:03 AM
23 posts since 9/2/2009

I just purchased. Another banjo like I needed it. This one's a conversion. They say it's a Epiphone. RB250. With a gold tone TS250 Tone ring. And that may well be. But after looking at it I think. It's a a a Gold tone TS250 tenor. With an Epiphone. RB250 Neck on it. I don't expect to get this in for a few days or a week. My Thoughts are , is going to b A darker. Or brighter Tone than my. Epiphone./ Gibson. RB250. I really. Like the feel of this neck. And the tone of the banjo. Hopefully the one I'm purchasing. All have the same feel. Who knows? I'm sure there will be a difference in the tone. What are your thoughts?

Mar 30, 2024 - 8:30:06 AM

15226 posts since 6/2/2008

We were recently discussing this banjo here.

It's an Epiphone MB-250 (5-string neck, rim, flange, tone ring, hardware) with a Gold Tone TS250 (tenor) resonator.

No argument. Fact. End of discussion.

You're welcome.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 03/30/2024 08:31:41

Mar 30, 2024 - 8:39:23 AM

15226 posts since 6/2/2008

Note: It's Epiphone MB-250, not RB-250.

It has a multi-ply rim, two-piece flange, and "brass" tone ring (of unknown level of zinc to copper). If you already own a Gibson RB-250, I would expct this to sound not as good. But everyone's hearing is different and these MB (for "Master Built") 250s do sound very good for what they are.

I played a used one at my neighborhood music shop many years ago and thought it was great -- especially for the $350 asking price. The neck was a super comfortable soft "V" and the banjo had enough real banjo sound to be all the instrument someone might ever need.

Mar 30, 2024 - 8:41:07 AM

15226 posts since 6/2/2008

Also: It's not a conversion. It's simply had its resonator replaced.

Mar 30, 2024 - 9:07:36 AM

23 posts since 9/2/2009

Thanks, you're right. It's an mb

Mar 30, 2024 - 9:08:49 AM

23 posts since 9/2/2009

It appears. That you are familiar with this banjo? Are you the one that made the change? Or know who did?.

Mar 30, 2024 - 10:32:53 AM

15226 posts since 6/2/2008

No connection to this banjo. I only know it from the original discussion that I linked here and now your discussion.

What I brought to the earlier discussion was knowledge of the MB250 design, which made it clear to me this is an Epiphone banjo with a Gold Tone resonator and not a Gold Tone tenor banjo with an Epiphone 5-string neck. The current seller did not know what he had, so the time and reason for the resonator change may never be known. To my thinking, the most likely reasons are the original resonator was either damaged or lost. Or maybe the banjo was acquired in clearing out the estate of a person who owned multiple banjos, several of which had their resonators off, and this banjo got reassembled with the wrong resonator. Maybe someone somewhere has a Gold Tone tenor with an Epiphone resonator.

But probably that's not what happened. You're going to have to accept never knowing why your banjo has a mismatched or replaced resonator.

In the same way, I have to accept not knowing when a previous owner of my 70s RB250 converted it from multi-ply rim and two-piece flange to 3-ply rim and one-piece flange. The immediate previous owner - who probably did the conversion - died a few months before I acquired the banjo from an estate reseller. The reseller knew nothing about banjos and the owner's daughter did not answer my one letter to her, which I promised would be my only contact. So dead end.

Banjos can't talk, so many of them have stories we'll never know.

Mar 30, 2024 - 11:00:12 AM

23 posts since 9/2/2009

That's truly a story and a lot of possibilities. I will not know for sure until I get. This banjo. At that time I'll play it and I'll get back with you and let you know what I find. Thanks.

Mar 30, 2024 - 5:24:33 PM

15226 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by cheatinheart

That's truly a story and a lot of possibilities. I will not know for sure until I get this banjo. At that time I'll play it and I'll get back with you and let you know what I find. Thanks.

Well -- when you get it and play it, you'll definitely know how easily it plays and how good it sounds.

But since I know from the earlier conversation that the seller knows nothing about the history of this banjo, you're most likely never going to know why an Epiphone banjo has a Gold Tone resonator. And does it really matter?

One piece of background you may learn: If the banjo has a serial number, that should tell you where and when it was made. Scroll down to the section headed Serial Numbers and Factory Codes at the linked Wikipedia article to learn how to interpret Epiphone serial numbers. I think the two-piece flange Epiphones were made by Samick in Korea and maybe later in China. I could be wrong. The serial number might tell.

Good luck.

Mar 30, 2024 - 6:48:18 PM

3787 posts since 4/5/2006

Would it not require some work be done on the heel of the TPF neck to fit a OPF pot?

Mar 30, 2024 - 11:11:46 PM

23 posts since 9/2/2009

You're right, JD. I'm sure something had to be done. I'm not a Luther. And if I had done it. Well, I would the most probably needed a lot of super glue. Ken has come up with an awful lot of, Good ideas, And thoughts.
And from what he said. He knows a darn, Bit more than I do.
Thank you both. As I said before, when it comes in. I'll take some pictures. Maybe I'll even send you some. Sound bites. Now that's scary. Laughing out loud.
Now today's Easter. And I'm not going to spend the rest of my day on this. Laptop. So I most probably won't get back to you till. Maybe. Late this evening. Or tomorrow. I'm going over to my boys house. He's having the family over. And possibly do some picking.
I'm the only one that plays banjo. Well. I think I play a banjo. I think we have, Maybe. Five or six others. That have guitars. I have a couple granddaughters. That can Sing well, and a bunch of little ones that can do some stomping.
So take care of my friends. Have a safe holiday. And enjoy all the goodies. And for me. I'll do all the above. But I'm going to take time. To thank the Lord for the opportunity.
Keep picking.

Mar 31, 2024 - 6:29:27 AM
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15226 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by monstertone

Would it not require some work be done on the heel of the TPF neck to fit a OPF pot?

If you're asking about the Epiphone that's the subject of this discussion, it has the two-piece-flange it was built with. No change.

If you're asking about my banjo that I mentioned, yes its heel was modified to work with a rim cut for one piece flange. The only modification necessary was addition of wood to lengthen the lower lag area of the heel. Whoever did the modification did that part well. But they also unnecessarily -- and inartfully -- opened up the notch for the heel. Unnecessary because with the lower part of the heel lengthened the existing notch on a 70s Gibson neck is sufficient to clear the flange.

I had John Boulding patch and clean up the poor cut and reprofile the neck. He darkened the finish to hide that work and now the heel extension is essentially invisible.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 03/31/2024 06:34:09

Mar 31, 2024 - 7:20:57 AM
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15226 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by cheatinheart

You're right, JD. I'm sure something had to be done. 

No. Nothing had to be done to your banjo. JD is confusing/conflating my comment about the flange conversion of my banjo with the discussion of your banjo.

All that has changed on your banjo is the resonator. That's a removable/replaceable part. Swapping in a replacement Asian resonator requires no skilled work -- unless the wall lugs have to be moved to line up with the brackets (possible) or the neck notch needs to be enlarged (highly unlikely).

It was more likely a drop-in replacement.

Mar 31, 2024 - 5:09:58 PM
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23 posts since 9/2/2009

Ken I appreciate. All the help. And whether I have to do something.I won't know till Thursday. That's when they say I'll get it. And I'm reasonably sure you're right.

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