Dating gibson mastertone banjos
Loar had his hand in developing a floating tone tube with 20 ball-bearing contact points, and a “tuned air chamber.” This was followed by a bolt-on celluloid (Gibson called it “Pyralin”) plate.
The Gibson Mastertone banjo set a standard of excellence among four-string players beginning in the jazz era of the 1920s and has been the definitive banjo for bluegrass music ever since five-string virtuoso Earl Scruggs came to prominence as a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in the 1940s.
The Gibson Mastertone banjo is one of those great success stories; and though it had its occasional failures, the “Mastertone” brand has made it through more than 75 years of hard times and rough service.
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The first evidence I encountered of copies was of renecked Gibson Mastertone banjos.
The Gibson Mastertone has been copied by private luthiers and commercial manufacturers alike.
Certain models bring the highest prices from collectors around the world, and for some professional bluegrass banjoists, a Mastertone is the only instrument they will play.
It was a plain tenor model, simply promoted as a “tenor banjo.” The period of 1918 to 1924 marked a very important era for Gibson. Williams graced the halls and workbenches at the Gibson Plant in Kalamazoo; a time when great men were forming great ideas; a time when Gibson was to win honor with its finest instruments — the style-5 Master series.
It was a time of greater sensitivity that the company had known before: A time when the likes of such renowned luthierie figures as Lloyd A. These included the Master Model Mandolins (F-5’s), Master Model Mandolas (H-5’s), Master Model Guitars (L-5’s), and the Master Model tenor banjos (TB-5’s) (from which the “Mastertone” name was derived).
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1928 Gibson Mastertone Banjo Vintage Style 3 Two vintage mastertone special lap steel guitar approx.
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