Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #8205-40

#8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 peghead    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 Mastertone block    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 neck junction    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 factory order number in resonator    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 numbers on neck heel

#8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 fingerboard    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 inside pot    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 rods    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 Mastertone decal    #8205-40 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-3 ball-bearing holes

This banjo dates to 1926, the second year of Gibson's "Mastertone" line (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers).  It is a typical early style 3 in every respect with dark-stained maple neck and resonator, a two-piece flange, ball-bearing tone ring assembly, and diamonds and squares inlay with a fiddle-shaped peghead.  The disassembly photos show the holes drilled in the rim to accommodate the ball-bearings, springs, and washers of this earliest type of Mastertone construction; the banjo's bin number is stamped on both the neck heel and the rim at the neck junction, as was common practice in this period.  #8205-40 has now been converted to flathead five-string with a no-hole conversion tone ring by Bill Blaylock and a neck by Frank Neat.

Photos courtesy of T. Rich.
 


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