The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson TB250 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1969

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Here we have a Gibson TB250 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, built during 1969 at the historic Parsons Street shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This model was built from 1994 to 1996, and models from 1960 on bear the Mastertone name.

Gibson banjos were the center of the banjo universe for decades, but with the rise of serious amplification and rock music, the banjo as an instrument fell out of popular favour. It was still found in various music genres, particularly Irish, traditional jazz and bluegrass, but not much beyond them.

Tenor banjos were very popular during the heyday of Dixieland Jazz music, providing percussive rhythm at a volume level that could easily compete with a horn section. After Dixieland fell out of favour, many tenor banjos were converted to 5-string by simply swapping necks. Currently, tenor banjos are often found in Celtic or Irish music contexts.

But, for a variety of reasons (including the devastating 2010 Nashville flood), Gibson has stopped producing banjos and has no announced plans to restart. Other small makers, particularly Deering, Nechville, and Stelling have stepped up and are building some of the finest banjos ever made.

The Gibson TB250 Mastertone – the TB stands for Tenor Banjo – was the only Tenor banjo Gibson produced after 1960, and most of the other TB models were not’ produced after the start of WW2.

This example is in good overall condition, and in original condition except for the addition of a Baker tailpiece. The larger Kluson tuners are original. This model uses a flathead tone ring, with a Mahogany resonator. THe neck is also Mahogany, with a bound Rosewood fingerboard and a Mother of Peal ‘Bow Tie’ inlay set. There is some finish chipping around the nut, but the headstock seems fully stable. The finish otherwise is in good condition with some expected lacquer checking, but not many dents or scratches beyond what’s expected after fifty years! Fret wear is light to moderate.

A Richelieu hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $1450 CAD
  • Model: TB-250 Mastertone
  • Year: 1969
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 537261
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 12/08/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 11.86lbs 5.4kg
  • Scale Length: 576mm 22.67in
  • Nut Width: 30mm 1.18in
Gibson Website

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