Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #9489-72

#9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 front    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 back    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 peghead    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 lower frets    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 middle frets    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 upper frets    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 peghead back    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 neck repair

#9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 armrest    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 Presto tailpiece    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator angled

#9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator detail    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 Grover tuner    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 rim and neck heel    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot inside    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator bracket    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator screws

#9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 Mastertone decal in rim    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 factory order number in rim    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 hole in rim    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 factory order numbers in resonator    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 large factory order number in resonator    #9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 small factory order number in resonator

#9489-72 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 shipping 22 January 1948

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.  #9489-72 (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; it remains in original condition with the exception of a neck repair, replaced frets, and an old overspray on the resonator.  The banjo is equipped with a "Vibrato Tone-Master" mute-type armrest; the internal mute mechanics have been removed but there is a corresponding hole in the rim.

Gibson's factory shipping ledgers record the return of this banjo to the "Music Shop" (location unknown) on January 22, 1948 following an unspecified repair.

Photos courtesy of an anonymous owner.
 


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