Gibson RB-00

       

The banjo pictured above is an original five-string RB-00; like many style 00 instruments, this banjo has no serial number or factory order number and so cannot be dated exactly.  Style 00 was introduced in 1935 and production continued through the early 1940s.  It was the least expensive banjo Gibson manufactured in the prewar period, with a list price of $30.00. 

This banjo conforms to standard catalog specifications for style 00, with maple neck and resonator, sunburst finish on the neck and back and sides of the resonator, binding on the back edge of the resonator only, nickel-plated hardware, one-piece pot metal flange, and dot inlays in a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.  The peghead shape is unique to style 00, and the Gibson logo is silkscreened in white rather than being inlaid in mother of pearl. 

Style 00 banjos are seen with both a standard 5/8 inch rim and with a 1/2 inch rim, and they did not have a tone ring.   This banjo had a 1/2 inch rim but is currently set up with a 5/8 inch rim and a Vintage Flathead tone ring by Steve Huber.

The tailpiece and tuners on this banjo have been replaced, but the original tuner buttons were used.  I owned this banjo from January 1992 to June 2000.
 


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