Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #9488-34

#9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 peghead    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 front    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 fingerboard    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 factory order numbers in resonator

#9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 pot    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 resonator back    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 inside pot    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 tailpiece and mute    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 in case

#9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 factory order number in rim    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 hardware    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 rods and rim    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 pot assembly upside down    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 original hardware    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 flange    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 flange underneath    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 flange detail    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 flange underneath detail    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone TB-3 tension hoop


post-conversion:

#9488-34 Gibson Mastertone banjo pot with five-string neck

#9488-34 Gibson Mastertone banjo five-string neck    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone banjo front with five-string neck

#9488-34 Gibson Mastertone banjo pot with five-string neck    #9488-34 Gibson Mastertone banjo pot with five-string neck

sound file:

No Mother or Dad


Style 3, the least expensive model in Gibson's prewar Mastertone line, was revamped in 1929.  The model's straight-grained maple changed to mahogany, two concentric rings of white/black/white purfling were added to the back of the resonator, the brass tube-and-plate flange was replaced by a one-piece cast metal flange, and the headstock shape and inlay patterns also changed.  #9488-34 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is from one of the first lots of style 3 instruments made in this new configuration.  When the banjo surfaced in 2015 the original hardware had been replaced but remained with the banjo (including the first-generation pot-metal one-piece flange); the majority of the photos above show the banjo with these replacement parts installed.  The original hardware included a chrome-plated rather than nickel-plated armrest.  The post-conversion photos show the banjo with the original hardware reinstalled, with the exception of a prewar nickel-plated armrest replacing the chrome-plated original.  The banjo is now equipped with a five-string neck by Frank Neat and a twenty-hole flathead tone ring by Bill Blaylock.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Lee Hymer.
 


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