1930 PREWAR GIBSON TB 4 MASTERTONE BANJO #9553 44
This banjo is no longer for sale (sold on 2011-06-19)
Price : US $7,350.
1930 Gibson TB-4 Mastertone banjo #9553-44. Converted from a 4 string archtop banjo to a 5 string flathead banjo by Robin Smith around 1999. The banjo has a custom neck made by Robin Smith with a wide, slightly radiused fingerboard (i.e. 2'' at rim and 1 1/4'' at nut''). I asked Robin if he could make a neck like Bela Fleck's. Robin told me he called up Bela, Bela gave him the dimensions of his custom neck, and he made the neck to them. That is the story Robin told me. Either way, it plays great. The banjo is set-up with a 3/4'' Snuffy Smith bridge. The archtop conversion was done by Steve Huber. Steve cut the rim and installed one of his Vintage Flathead reproduction tone rings. The banjo is made of walnut. It has the original one-piece chrome plated flange and tension hoop. The chrome finish has some pitting (see photos). However, this is not uncommon for its age. It currently has an aftermarket 5 string Presto tailpiece installed on it. The original 4 string Presto tailpiece is included. You could punch it out for 5 strings. The banjo comes with a new TLK banjo case by Cedar Creek.
Overall, an excellent sounding, top-shelf quality prewar conversion. Finally, I sold the original 4 string hearts and flowers neck years ago on eBay. It is in the world somewhere. The banjo has spent its time in my smoke-free air conditioned home. %2
This banjo is sold (sold on 2011-06-19)
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