The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Mastertone RB250 5 String Banjo, 2003


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For decades, the Gibson Mastertone RB250 banjo was the benchmark, workhorse banjo for countless players in country and bluegrass styles. During the later 1960’s and the 1970’s, however, quality suffered, until in 1984 Gibson hired Greg Rich to revamp the line and bring quality back to its original high level. Rich worked with Gibson until 1993, and Gibson continued to produce high quality banjos – until the Cumberland River flooded downtown Nashville, including the Gibson plant during 2010. That destroyed much of Gibson’s jigs, fixtures and ability to make banjos, and there’s no sign that they will re-appear.

This Gibson Mastertone RB250 was built during 2003 at the Nashville plant. It is built with a Mahogany veneer resonator and Mahogany neck, Maple rim, bound Ebony fingerboard and one-piece flange. The head plate is also Ebony.  Fret wear is moderate and it plays cleanly. Naturally it has a Mastertone tone ring. The inlay set and Gibson script logo are executed in Mother of Pearl. As well, a Shubb Fifth String Capo for Banjo is installed – the older model with the longer bar.

It’s in very nice condition though it appears to have been on an unpadded hanger, leaving a bit of finish damage to the edge of headstock. Anne Hartman at The Twelfth Fret has set up and serviced this banjo, and during this process discovered that the tension hoop had been cranked down, slightly distorting the flange. This has reduced the price.  There is light oxidization to the nickel plated parts, and there is very light wear to the finish on the resonator.

Anne Hartman’s view of this instrument is that it’s one of the best sounding banjos in our shop right now.

The original Gibson hard shell case is included.


Price: $2,450.00 CAD
  • Model: RB-250 Mastertone
  • Year: 2003
  • Finish Gloss
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 250-06-015
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 08/05/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 11.77lbs 5.35kg
  • Scale Length: 26.37in 670mm
  • Nut Width: 1.22in 31mm
Gibson Website

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