Gibson TB-Granada Mastertone #9470-1

#9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada in #509 case    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada peghead    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada peghead back    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada handstop    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada pot front    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada resonator back    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada Mastertone block    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada tension hoop repair

#9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada armrest    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada clamshell tailpiece    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada heel pot    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada inside pot    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada underneath flange    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada factory order number in rim    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada Mastertone decal    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada large factory order number in resonator    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada small factory order number in resonator

with five-string neck by Frank Neat and replaced tension hoop:

#9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada with five-string neck

#9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada with five-string front    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada with five-string neck back    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada five-string neck back    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada five-string neck front    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada with five-string neck pot side    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada with five-string neck factory order number in rim    #9470-1 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-Granada with five-string neck Mastertone decal

The Granada was not that fancy by the standards of the jazz banjo era (see the Bella Voce, Florentine, and All American), but it was definitely a deluxe instrument with its highly-figured curly maple and its gold-plated and engraved hardware.  #9470-1 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1929 and is the number one banjo in the first lot of TB-Granadas made in the model's new configuration featuring a one-piece flange, double-cut peghead, flying eagle inlays, and sunburst-finished curly maple resonator.  The earliest cast metal flanges and stretcher bands produced for Gibson by the Doehler Die Casting Company were plagued by a type of intergranular corrosion known as "zinc pest"; when #9470-1 surfaced in 2013, the stretcher band had unfortunately been badly affected by zinc pest and showed extensive warping and cracking as well as a crude attempt at a repair.  The tenor neck had also been broken at some point and an ill-advised repair attempt involved filling in the truss-rod cavity and applying two plastic "jewels" to the front of the peghead.  The banjo otherwise remained in good original condition, including its first-generation flange and corresponding "fat" rim measuring .640" thick at the bottom rather than the the .625" dimension seen in banjos with the later, more heavily-built flange.

#9470-1 has now been equipped with a five-string neck by Frank Neat; the original stretcher band has been replaced with a Granada-style stretcher band taken from a Gibson-made Trujo banjo.  The banjo retains its original forty-hole raised-head tone ring.

Photos courtesy of Randy O'Dell.
 


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