Gibson RB-75 Mastertone #F906-3
After the top-tension models were introduced in 1937, only one conventional Mastertone remained in production--style 3 underwent some slight changes, its price was lowered from $100 to $75, and it was rechristened style 75.
This RB-75 features the much-sought-after combination of one-piece flange and high-profile twenty-hole flathead tone ring. The Presto tailpiece and mahogany resonator veneer with two concentric rings of white/black/white purfling on the back are consistent with catalog specifications for style 75. The catalog also specified a mahogany neck; however, this example, like other known banjos from lot #F906 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers), features a straight-grain maple neck. A number of different inlay patterns are seen on style 75 banjos; the double-cut peghead of this banjo features the "diamonds and squares" inlay pattern used on style 3 banjos of the 1920s.
#F906-3 was originally shipped to Volkwein Brothers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 23, 1941. The banjo was refinished and replated by Gibson a number of years ago; the fingerboard was replaced shortly thereafter by Jim Faulkner, who installed a rosewood fingerboard inlaid with the "leaves and bows" pattern. The original friction fifth-string peg has been replaced by a geared tuner but remains with the banjo. The one-piece flange is in excellent condition with very little warping or pull.
The happy new owner of #F906-3 has furnished two sound clips for your enjoyment:
Photos courtesy of an anonymous