The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Tenessee

Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1926

Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1926

Built from 1925 to 1937, the Gibson TB 3 Mastertone tenor banjo was a popular though relatively unadorned instrument, used in jazz and banjo orchestras. As the popularity of tenor instruments waned, many of these banjos were converted with 5-string necks. This example is in largely original condition, save for the tuners.

Vintage
Price: $2500 CAD
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Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1927-28

Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1927-28

The Gibson TB 3 Mastertone tenor banjo – the TB actually stands for Tenor Banjo – features a plain Maple rim and resonator, with Mahogany for the neck and Rosewood, likely Brazilian given the date, for the fingerboard. The tone ring and flange designs changed at least three times during the TB 3’s production. Initial 1925 and early 1926 models used a classic ball-bearing tone ring, then for later 1926-1928 a solid archtop tone ring, and finally the flathead tone ring for 1929.

Vintage
Price: $4700 CAD
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Gibson PB3 Plectrum Banjo, 1927

Gibson PB3 Plectrum Banjo, 1927

Built largely with Maple, the Gibson PB3 used solid Maple for the neck and pot, and Laminate Maple, stained Mahogany, for the Resonator. The fingerboard is Rosewood – and at the time, even though this was an ‘entry level’ instrument, that meant Brazilian Rosewood. The classic inlay set is executed in Mother of Pearl, with the engraved MASTERTONE block at the next to last fret. All the original hardware is present, including the Grover pancake tuners.

Vintage
Price: $4350 CAD
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❌ SOLD ❌ Gibson TB-250 Tenor Banjo, 1966

❌ SOLD ❌  Gibson TB-250 Tenor Banjo, 1966

For quite some time, Gibson banjos were standard professional grade instruments, and the Gibson TB-250 was their ‘entry level’ tenor banjo. From 1966 it was available as a MasterTone model with that tone ring. This model was built from 1954 to 1996.

Vintage
Price: $1500 CAD

This instrument has sold

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❌NO LONGER AVAILABLE ❌ Gibson RB-18 Mastertone Top Tension 5-String Banjo Sunburst, 1996

❌NO LONGER AVAILABLE ❌ Gibson RB-18 Mastertone Top Tension 5-String Banjo Sunburst, 1996

Here we’re looking at a wonderfully preserved Gibson RB-18 Mastertone ‘Top Tension’ 5-string banjo, with its gold plating unworn and the finish lightly checked from age. From the serial number, it appears to have been produced during June of 1996. The number breaks down as ‘RB’ for Regular Banjo – i.e. 5-string – ’18’ for the style, followed by two digits for the year (96) and two for the month (06). The last group of digits, a single number 7 in this case, is the production number for that model in that date period.

Used
Price: $7699.99 CAD

This instrument has sold

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