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  • 1960s Gibson Mastertone Banjo w/ '30s Neck

1960s Gibson Mastertone Banjo w/ '30s Neck

1960s Gibson Mastertone Banjo w/ '30s Neck

This is one for the books. A genuine piece of early 1960s folkie/bluegrass banjo exuberance, writ large. Very large. Put together in the early 1960s, this banjo came to me from a member of one of those “folk groups” inspired by the Kingston Trio, a few of which groups also had top-40 hits, this group having been The Highwaymen with “Michael Row The Boat Ashore”. Heard ad infinitum on AM radio in 1961 “Michael" eventually, incredibly, achieved #1 status, and they had another hit with “Cotton Fields” in 1962. The banjo itself is a typical composite of the day, with an early '60s Gibson Mastertone rim with some of the best features of their 1960s variations: flat-head tone ring, full thickness laminated rim, cast one-piece flange, all original. The tailpiece is a mega-fancy Oettinger-type with five separate “fingers”, each one with its own adjustment screw. Total overkill but hey, real nice to have. The neck is a story in itself and took a bit of Sherlock-Holmesian detective work to figure out. Under it all is a real, genuine 1930s Gibson RB-1 5-string neck, extremely rare, that has been, um, modified. Its shape and overall contour are thankfully all quite intact and original, though it's been “dressed up some” over the years. The peghead’s mother-of-pearl script Gibson logo is still right there, and the frets and fingerboard binding are, incredibly, original. A few of the fingerboard inlays appear to be original, and have been supplemented, to say the least, by a whole lot more. On every fret. There is evidence on the peghead of a set of what passed for Scruggs Tuners of the day having been there and later removed, holes filled in, and the neck refinished at some time or other. The truss rod cover, with its white border, is typical 1960s, either to “dress it up" some more or because the original got losted. And lastly, to no one's surprise, Grover Rotomatic guitar tuning machines, finest at the time and de rigeur for everyone, everywhere, when you wanted everyone to know how hip you really were. 1960s banjo exuberance indeed, full-bore, once again raising its head, magnificently. There is a small area on one side of the heel where some finish has been rubbed off, no idea why but it's cosmetic only. OK, now down to brass tacks. It's a truly GREAT banjo, all the way home, all day long and half the night. It sounds like every great bluegrass Mastertone you've ever heard, loud and full as all get-out, plays smooth as grits 'n gravy, and no one who’s ever seen you with it will ever forget you. Comes with a recent high-class Gibson hard shell case. $2295 

w/hsc

$2295.00
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