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Jun 4, 2024 - 6:53:23 AM
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dfstd

USA

78 posts since 2/5/2023

Epiphone has introduced their "Bluegrass Collection," which includes some new Gibson-inspired banjos and mandolins. They put up web pages and got Charlie Worsham and Wyatt Ellis to play them on a video. 

https://www.epiphone.com/en-US/Collection/bluegrass
 

https://youtu.be/XWmRwL9onKY

Jun 4, 2024 - 7:08:53 AM

134 posts since 11/14/2022

I thought Gold Tone trademarked Mastertone when Gibson failed to? I guess I’m mistaken, but remember that was a discussion on the boards.

Jun 4, 2024 - 7:10:16 AM
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1429 posts since 1/26/2011

The specs don’t say anything about a tone ring in either of the resonator models. I couldn’t tell in the video if there was one or not.

Jun 4, 2024 - 7:39:45 AM
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5847 posts since 5/29/2011

The two resonator models have tone rings, but the open back does not. At least that's what I can see from enlarging the pictures of the side view.

Jun 4, 2024 - 7:42:56 AM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6310 posts since 10/12/2009

Nice to see a production banjo hit the market that has a "fiddle-cut" headstock and a "classic" inlay pattern !


Edited by - RioStat on 06/04/2024 07:44:18

Jun 4, 2024 - 8:05:13 AM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013

These have even made it into the UK. The Classic at £929 is a competitive price to almost rival an RK-R35 from Thomann. The open back is more mysterious. It has a brass hoop tone ring but the rim might be multiply mahogany. It looks very similar to cheap mahogany rims on other banjos. If that's the case it's massively overpriced.

Jun 4, 2024 - 9:32:30 AM
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heavy5

USA

3115 posts since 11/3/2016

Seems suspiciously odd nothing is mentioned about the ring ? If it is the same used in other Asian banjos , u are paying for esthetics w/ a Mastertone label .
This copying may enhance BG & banjo playing & I wouldn't be surprised if someone will eventually offer a MOP packet of GIBSON w/ instructions to put in the pegheads of these mandolins & banjos .

Jun 4, 2024 - 10:21:59 AM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

Jun 4, 2024 - 10:29:46 AM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Is this this
banjohangout.org/topic/397563


It's one of this. It's rapidly gone from rumour to in the shops along with the other two.

Jun 4, 2024 - 10:32:05 AM
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2480 posts since 2/9/2007

That bowtie neck is IMO about as bad a choice as they could have made on that openback. Looks so unbalanced.

Jun 4, 2024 - 10:32:33 AM
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grich

USA

9433 posts since 10/24/2004

Goldtone does own the MASTERTONE trademark however rather that fight over it with Gibson who opposed them getting it Goldtone sign an agreement to let Gibson use it if they ever started making banjos again.
Goldtone didn't expect Gibson to use it on a new Epiphone banjo line
SURPRISE...
that least that's what my inside source told me

Jun 4, 2024 - 10:33:56 AM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by heavy5

Seems suspiciously odd nothing is mentioned about the ring ?


There are two possibilities. Like other guitar manufacturers Epiphone have little idea how to describe the important features of a banjo or it's some cheap pot ring and they are not letting on. It is certainly appears strange that they can mange to describe the brass hoop in the open back but there's no mention of the ring in the resonators.

Jun 4, 2024 - 10:55:27 AM
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5093 posts since 9/12/2016
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it would be of interest to me--to see the factory --work hours--and living conditions--that facilitate these prices--not that I would not buy one--but I would still like to see their world

Jun 4, 2024 - 11:01:36 AM

cecil36

USA

209 posts since 4/1/2009

The MB 250 Epi had a tone ring and they never showed it listed in the adds

Jun 4, 2024 - 11:41:55 AM

3638 posts since 12/31/2005

Let's assume the tone ring is made of melted paper clips and Pop Tarts wrappers, what do you think about the sound?

Jun 4, 2024 - 12:11:28 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

28088 posts since 6/25/2005

There would be a legal question as to whether “Mastertone” could even be copyrighted after years of use by Gibson and copyists. It may well be that it would be ruled to be in the public domain. That’s the legal fight Goldtone wants to avoid.

Jun 4, 2024 - 12:37:50 PM

8361 posts since 9/21/2007
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

There would be a legal question as to whether “Mastertone” could even be copyrighted after years of use by Gibson and copyists. It may well be that it would be ruled to be in the public domain. That’s the legal fight Goldtone wants to avoid.


Common mistake... "copyright" and "trademark" are two distinct and different things. 

Jun 4, 2024 - 1:17:17 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

28088 posts since 6/25/2005

Thanks, Joel.

Jun 5, 2024 - 7:00:37 AM

KCJones

USA

3115 posts since 8/30/2012

Seems like it's just an MB-250 with new aesthetics.

The entire thing is an exercise in marketing. If it had a good tone ring in it, or any other good components, they'd say so. The hardware looks exactly like the hardware on all the other rebadged PacRim imports, that armrest engraving is a dead giveaway. The tone isn't impressive, if the video is anything to go by. 

You can probably find this same banjo under a different label for about $300 on Amazon.

Edited by - KCJones on 06/05/2024 07:13:53

Jun 5, 2024 - 7:09:27 AM

RB3

USA

2051 posts since 4/12/2004
Online Now

Does anyone here know for sure what the relationship is between Gibson and Epiphone? When I do a Google search on the issue, I get a variety of explanations.

Jun 5, 2024 - 7:31:21 AM

3560 posts since 4/7/2010

Gibson bought the Epiphone company in 1957 and moved all production to Kalamazoo in 1960. In 1970 Japanese manufactured fretted instruments were imported with the Epiphone brand name. As with almost all asian made instruments imported to the US, they have followed the low cost labor from Japan, to South Korea, and finally to China.

Of course there are more details you can explore, but that's the scoop in a pistachio nut shell.

Bob Smakula

Jun 5, 2024 - 8:32:09 AM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

30325 posts since 8/3/2003

Duplicate thread. Go here: banjohangout.org/topic/397563

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