Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #9551-17

#9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 five-string neck back    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 five-string neck and upper frets    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 rim    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 factory order number in rim

#9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator back with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot side with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot treble side with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot bass side with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 pot end view with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo Presto tailpiece with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 armrest and Presto tailpiece with five-string neck

#9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 hardware with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 five-string neck heel and rim    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 inside pot with five-string neck    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 Mastertone decal    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 factory order number in resonator    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 resonator screws    #9551-17 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 in case with five-string neck

Ground Speed

Swingin' on a Gate/Crockett's Honeymoon

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.  #9551-17 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to the following year; originally a tenor banjo with a raised-head tone ring, it has now been converted to five-string flathead with a neck and tone ring by Steve Huber.

Photos courtesy of an anonymous collector.
 


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