2003 Gibson RB-6 Flathead Checkerboard- SOLD


Out of stock


This fine 2003 Gibson RB-6 Flathead banjo with Checkerboard bindings is one of Gibson’s highest regarded banjo models as well as one of the rarer models to see. The RB-6 is quite a bit more ornate than even the Granada, with expert elaborate engravings seen on Presto Tailpiece, Tone Ring, Tension Hoop, Armrest and 0ne-pc Flange. Historically, Style 6 banjos were made with highest grades of figured Maple and they were elaborately finished with a technique they called “Argentine Grey Sunburst”. This beautiful Maple figure, shown off by the equally beautiful finish, and further framed by the gold engraved parts and the checkerboard bindings, is a thing to behold.

The Neck:
The excellent Maple neck has an Ebony peghead veneer bound with the checkerboard binding around the edge and ornate pearl inlays fill the center, underneath the Gibson script logo inlaid at top. Beneath this overlay are multiple layers of Ebony/Maple/Ebony. Truss rod access is situated just above the bone nut. The flat Gabon Ebony fingerboard has a fancier version of “Hearts & Flowers” pearl inlays and checkerboard bindings along the face of fingerboard and along the sides. The player’s side of neck has large dark side dots for position markers. Large Heelcap with same checkerboard celluloid, only with the black/white presented as stripes, instead of blocks (see photo). The same Ebony/Maple/Ebony multi-layers can be seen under the heelcap. Cream binding is seen around edge of heelcap and along corner of fingerboard edges.
The tuners are Gold Waverly for 1st and 4th strings, Gold Keith D-tuners for 2nd and 3rd strings and Gold Schaller 5th string tuner – all with pearloid style buttons.

The Pot:
The pot is quite wonderful on its own. It starts with the high quality 3-ply Maple rim, with pre-war style hand-crafted parts. The one-pc flange, 20-hole pre-war style Flat Head bell bronze tone ring, notched Tension Hoop, Armrest and Presto Tailpiece all show off the masterful engraving on these 5 gold plated parts. I don’t mean this engraving is “nice”… I mean it is exemplary! We know engraving and can quickly see how seriously this particular engraver worked. There is the most tasteful light shading here and there, right alongside deep gouge engraving and light stitching. Very much above most style 6 engravings. The other parts that aren’t engraved are all gold plated, as well.

Serial Number: 6030711
(Stamped into inner wall of Maple Rim).

The Resonator: 
The resonator has wonderful Maple figure showing through the beautiful sunburst, with multiple cream bindings seen around top and back edges and sides showing the Checkerboard marquetry.

The Sunburst Finish:
This finish is particularly nice compared to other RB-6’s. The highlights and hues of the reds, orange and amber tones with tobacco brown edges is masterfully done.

This is a fine banjo! It has a few scratches in the resonator (not thru the lacquer), and some fret wear in the first position.
Comes with good hard Case.