Gibson PB-3 Mastertone #9580-5, the "B.E. Boyd"

in as-found condition:

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 front    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 peghead and first fret    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 peghead back    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 fingerboard    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 B.E. Boyd--Liscomb, Iowa    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 pot    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 pot

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 peghead    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 Mastertone label    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 armrest        #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 factory order number in resonator        #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 broken flange    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 factory order number on neck heel

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 inlay

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 resonator crack    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 metal    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 neck notch    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 factory order number at neck notch    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 flange break    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 plating

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 pot    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 Presto tailpiece    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 Presto tailpiece#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 resonator back    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 rim figure    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 factory order number in rim
 

after cleaning and installation of a replacement prewar flange and new five-string neck by Frank and Ricky Neat:

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string neck front    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string neck back    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 five-string neck peghead    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 plectrum and five-string pegheads    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string neck and plectrum peghead    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string neck and plectrum necks

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string and plectrum necks    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string neck    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 with five-string neck    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 resonator back with five-string neck    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 pot with five-string neck    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 pot with five-string neck

#9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 factory order number in rim with five-string neck    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 Mastertone decal    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 Presto tailpiece with five-string neck    #9580-5 Gibson Mastertone banjo PB-3 pot with five-string neck

"There is something about the plectrum Banjo that brings to the player a feeling of complete satisfaction", enthused an early 1930s Gibson catalog.  "Warm, glowing harmony--velvety chords--brilliant tones that are smooth, round and solid as the peal of an organ."  The same catalog declared the style 3 plectrum banjo to be "an outstanding value--eminently fitted for all musical purposes." 

#9580-5 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is a previously undocumented 1930 Mastertone plectrum which, until early in 2010, had spent its entire life in the small town of Liscomb, Iowa.  This banjo is one of a very small number of style 3 Mastertones from this period featuring the intricate "wreath" inlay pattern which had been standard on the gold-plated, engraved style 5 Mastertone of the 1920s.  Style 5 had just been discontinued and Gibson used up their surplus wreath inlays on these small runs of style 3 banjos.

I've created a separate page documenting the disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly of this banjo by luthier Mark Bramlett.

"As-found" photos courtesy of Tom Barnwell.

 


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