Mid 1930's Gibson Kel Kroydon KK-11 Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc.(-) condition. Made by Gibson, marketed under the "Kel Kroydon" brand. This is the same banjo that Gibson named "Style 11." All-orignal hardware in great condition, except for newer Presto tailpiece. Flange shows very litle warping.
Double-conversion - This banjo was originally a tenor with a bead, brass tone-ring on the 3-ply Maple rim. Now it is converted to 5-string with a radiused Ebony neck, with Bella Voce inlay. Also, the bead ring was removed, and the 3-ply Maple rim was cut to fit a Tennessee-20 flathead tonering. All of the work was done very well, new Waverly tuners with Ivoroid buttons were installed in the new neck. The color of this TB-11 was the dark blue color on the rim and resonator sidewall, and the neck color is a great match to the original color of the resonator and rim. The neck has a full profile with a 1 1/4" width at nut
This banjo is really setup well, it sounds and plays great.
Exc condition. Rare mahogany Style 4 from 1932, converted to 5-string in about 1994 with a neck by Greg Boyd. Almost all original parts.
Original pot metal 1-piece flange and pot metal tension hoop. Original Mahogany resonator with White/black/white bindings and 2 concentric circles. Binding along neck matches resonator bindings. Original 40-hole archtop tone ring. Original coordinator rods, L-brackets, hooks and nuts, and Grover Patent "Pancake" tuners with ivoroid buttons. Newer 5-Star fifth string tuner. Newer Presto tailpiece. Mahogany neck with fiddle peghead and 'Flying Eagle' inlay pattern.
Gibson changed their RB-4 banjos around 1930 or so. In 1920's they were almost always Mahogany neck and resonator with multiple white bindings and multiple white concentric circles. In the 1930's they were Walnut with multiple white bindings, but with wooden marquetry concentric circles in resonator back. Mostly you can find Hearts & Flowers inlays from the 1920's, but usually a Flying Eagle version on most 1930's versions. So this one is a little bit of a rarity, being serial numbered from early 1930's and having the 1-pc pot metal flange and pot metal tension hoop usually seen in 1930's, but having the Mahogany throwback to 1920's... (Did I lose you?)...
This is a very nice banjo and is very collectible because of its condition, its rarity and also because of its great sound.
$12,950.00 w/ HC
1932 Gibson RB-1 Banjo 'In Stock'
Excellent condition. Original mid-1930's Gibson 5-string banjo with 3-ply Maple rim, pot metal tension hoop and one-piece flange. Comes with original hardshell case. Case is in good shape but missing handle.
Simple appointments made this an affordable banjo for the 1930's. It is built very similar to all major Gibson "Mastertone" banjos, except this banjo has a bead brass ring under the head instead of a heavy flathead tone ring. As a consequence, these banjos are much lighter than full Mastertone-styles, but people readily agree that the sound is fabulous and is very close to those same pre-War Mastertones. This great sound is causing many banjophiles to realize the importance of the rim is at least as great as the tone ring. These banjos are full of resonance and physically vibrate in your hands while you're playing them. Many people comment that they cannot tell the banjo does not have a major tone ring when they hear it played at a festival or a jam.
Plain maple construction: neck and resonator, stained darkly. Cream bindings on top and back of resonator and along neck. Flat Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard with gull wing inlays. Fiddle peghead with old-style Gibson script inlay and flourish. Original dog-ear Grover tuners and original friction peg for 5th. Single co-rod construction inside. Presto tailpiece installed on banjo and working fine. Newer master-quality hide head. Some natural hand wear through finish on back of neck and some random scratches on resonator. Original pot metal flange and tension hoop are both in fine shape.
Banjo sounds and plays great.
Discussion of tuners: most people agree that these simple bead ring Gibsons sound wonderful. But many people are scared of the tuners because they were cheap for the period and the friction 5th tuner can drive people crazy. It is a very easy thing to change the 5th string tuner to a nice geared 5th such as a Schaller. The dog-eared Grovers on the peghead work fine, but work better if you're patient to learn their feel first. The point is, don't ignore this banjo by fear of the tuners.
$10,950.00 w/ OHC
c 1930 Gibson TB-3 Conversion Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc (-) condition. Very nice and clean pot, with original archtop rim cut and fitted with bonafide pre-War flathead unplated tone ring. Serial number 158-18. Original finish on rim and resonator. Comes with what appears to be a period original Gibson Plectrum neck that has been widened into a 5-string neck. This job was done painstakingly by removing existing fingerboard and glueing Mahogany as "wings" on left and right side of period neck. Old Gibson "Wreath" pattern fingerboard was cut into blocks containing the inlays; these blocks were inset into the new fingerboard to preserve the original inlay as well as the old Brazilian Rosewood around the inlays. Not trying to be redundant, but I'll reiterate below:
We are not sure when or how the neck came to this banjo. We don't know when it was converted from Plectrum, or who did the job, but it was a very involved process. Remember, a plectrum neck is exactly the same thing as a 5-string neck as far as scale length and number of frets. The only difference is no fifth string. This conversion was done by removing the fingerboard, adding mahogany to the left and right side of neck, and then installing a new fingerboard. The new fingerboard has old original inlays in the original fingerboard wood at 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, fret positions. The inlay at 22nd fret is newer. At a casual glance, it looks like an original fingerboard. Cosmetically, the work was done such that it appears an original 5-string neck at first inspection, with bindings matching the original bindings of resonator quite well. Wood color and grain are also a good match. Old repaired cracking at heel. Some areas of belt buckle wear on back of resonator. Antique'd cream bindings along fingerboard and along top and back of resonator. Antique'd concentric circles in back of resonator. Original Grover Pat. Pancake tuners in peghead with friction 5th string, all with original screws and original ivoroid buttons. Original one-piece flange is in great shape, slightly bowing upward but no signs of cracking and no bad bends. Banjo comes with what appears to be all original hardware. Currently has old 5th string Presto installed. Coordinator rods, resonator hardware, hooks & nuts and pot metal tension hoop are all original and all in good shape. Frets have only very light wear. Armrest looks like pre-War "new old stock" but could be original to the banjo.
The unplated pre-War flathead tone ring has been authenticated by several knowledgeable people and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from Curtis McPeake.
The tone of this banjo is very strong, with great timbre and resonance. It has that beautiful "Brrr" sort of Growl. Comes in a modern era Gibson Hard Case.
$52,500.00 w/ 1990s Gibson HC
1928 Gibson TB-3 Conversion Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc. (+) condition. Hardware appears to be 100% original with one exception. The tension hoop appears to be pot metal and is usually associated with banjos from the 1930s, so it could have been replaced. Beautiful condition original 3-ply maple rim with no-hole archtop ring. Two-piece tube and plate flange. Original Presto tailpiece and armrest. Neck is probably a first-quality neck blank finished out by previous owner of banjo, using original Grover Patent offset tuners and a period friction peg for 5th. *The friction peg works great. Frets show no wear. Neck appears to have varnish finish. Resonator in great shape with just cursory amount of scratches and dings. Beautiful cream binding around top and back edge of resonator.
The banjo plays and sounds great.
Comes with a period 1960s hard shell case with handle in good shape.
$4,750.00 w/ HC
1927 Gibson TB-4 "No Hole" Conversion - Frank Neat 5-str Neck Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc. condition. Almost no sign of playing on the frets. Some scratching on back of resonator and sidewalls. Appears to be all original hardware, except newer tailpiece replacement. Excellent conversion and setup with 5 railroad spikes at 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12th frets, for capoing in A, Bb, B, C, and D.
No-hole archtop from the peak of their construction. Mahogany banjo with multiple white-black-white bindings around top and back edge of resonator, with black line showing above, below, and on the sides. Wonderful 5-string neck by Frank Neat with hearts and flowers inlay and multiple binding along Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and multiple-bound heelcap. Very high-grade Krishot pre-War style "pancake" tuners, with Schaller 5th. Two-piece tube and plate flange,
This is a very fine sounding banjo. No-hole archtops are preferred by many over 40-hole archtops, because of the ability to reach a lower center of resonance and produce a strong presence. This banjo comes all set up with a great neck and tuners and good newer hardcase with 5 latches and leather handle. Also includes a period hardshell case, which has been previously marked "TB-5" and has a sticker identifying it as being in the Tsumura collection. This period case contains "extras". Original tenor neck is intact with original Grover Patent tuners. Original neck is in fine shape with hardly any fretwear. Also included is the original Oettinger-style 4-string tailpiece and old Elton armrest in great shape.
Banjo in great shape and sounds great.
$6,950.00 w/ Good HC
1957 Gibson Tom McKinney Parts Banjo "General Lee" Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc condition. Frets are nearly immaculate.
This banjo was made by Tom McKinney starting with a 1957 Gibson TB-100 or 150. The rim was cut and fitted with a Blaylock tone ring and a beautiful Silvio Ferretti mahogany neck with early Style 3 inlays. Resonator is of unknown origin. It could be from a 1940s or 50s Gibson. The resonator is maple and shows dark finish to match the neck. Cream bindings on top and back edge of resonator. Tuners are wonderful, with two Krishot "pancake" tuners at 1st and 4th, two Scruggs/Keith D-tuners at 2nd and 3rd, Schaller 5th. Nickel Presto tailpiece with Granada engraved. Solid pearl truss rod cover with Tom McKinney's initials THM engraved.
Several years ago, our friend Walt Timmerman was recording an album, and hired Tom McKinney as his banjo player for the project. Tom McKinney brought this General Lee banjo for the session and Walt was so impressed by it, he had to have it. The name "General Lee" is not named after the famous Confederate general, but rather is named after the car from the Dukes of Hazzard TV show. This is a professional banjo built by a professional banjo player that does deliver professional sound. It has no problems, and is ready for your next recording session.