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Apr 13, 2024 - 1:42:50 PM
1 posts since 3/21/2011

The seller doesn't know to much about it and says there are no markings


Edited by - Bill Rogers on 04/13/2024 19:05:40

Apr 13, 2024 - 1:47:40 PM

5728 posts since 5/29/2011

No, the banjo is not an authentic Gibson. It is an Asian-made banjo sometimes referred to as a Master Clone. In this case, someone has crudely inlaid the name Gibson on it. Some Master Clones are very good banjos, but I have reservations about this one.
The tuners are probably worth as much as the entire banjo.

Apr 13, 2024 - 4:02:42 PM
like this
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6287 posts since 10/12/2009

I've never been to Kalamazoo MI and neither has banjo !

Culloden nailed it, as to what it actually is.

Apr 13, 2024 - 4:11:39 PM

rcc56

USA

5103 posts since 2/20/2016

To add to the consensus, no, it's not a Gibson product.

Apr 13, 2024 - 4:25:37 PM

2441 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

No, the banjo is not an authentic Gibson. It is an Asian-made banjo sometimes referred to as a Master Clone. In this case, someone has crudely inlaid the name Gibson on it. Some Master Clones are very good banjos, but I have reservations about this one.
The tuners are probably worth as much as the entire banjo.


For sure, it's not a Gibson, but I'm curious as to what about it makes you so definitely tag it as an Asian factory-made masterclone, rather than (say) domestic home-made?  I'd want (at least) to see it from the back, with the resonator off.

Apr 13, 2024 - 4:50:38 PM

2441 posts since 2/9/2007

This thread should be moved to the "Collectors Corner" forum.

Apr 14, 2024 - 6:00:34 AM

5728 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert
quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

No, the banjo is not an authentic Gibson. It is an Asian-made banjo sometimes referred to as a Master Clone. In this case, someone has crudely inlaid the name Gibson on it. Some Master Clones are very good banjos, but I have reservations about this one.
The tuners are probably worth as much as the entire banjo.


For sure, it's not a Gibson, but I'm curious as to what about it makes you so definitely tag it as an Asian factory-made masterclone, rather than (say) domestic home-made?  I'd want (at least) to see it from the back, with the resonator off.


Experience. I have handled a few dozen banjos very much like this one over the years that were made in Japan or Korea. This design was pretty popular in the 70's and early 80's. Since most production has moved to China the design has changed a bit.

Apr 14, 2024 - 9:39:14 AM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

What suggests Asian to me is the laminated blond neck, matching blond resonator, and possibly fable fake carving.

What suggests non-Asian to me is the two-screw truss rod cover. Asian banjos (except maybe the well-done Gold Star and Recording King instruments) typically have three-screw truss rod covers with straight-line bases. They're roughly triangular.

Then, again, someone with the skill (using the term loosely here) to add the Gibson inlay and maybe change or add the overlay would also have the skill to add wood inside the truss rod channel behind the nut to provide a place for the American-style centered screw.

What I've never seen is the resonator binding. So that says neither Asian nor American to me. But that's also something that someone could have changed.

So I'm guessing either an Asian Masterclone that's been altered or a home-built parts project with Asian parts. I don't think anyone built the neck or resonator in a home workshop.

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