Gibson RB-3 Mastertone 5-String (c.1929)

  • Excellent Condition
  • Year: 1929
  • Includes Original Hard Shell Case
  • Serial #: 9032-10


The Gibson Mastertone is likely the banjo to rule them all. Its construction has been copied by nearly all other major manufacturers, leaving original five string examples like this one to increase in collectible value - and for good reason. Sonically these highly regarded instruments have been used by the greats and helped define the culture of bluegrass music, and what it would mean for nearly a century.
This RB-3 dating accurately to 1929 is certainly one of the finer instruments to grace our shop. The iconic punchy and loud tone is screaming early Bluegrass style banjo favored by the likes of Ralph Stanley. This example comes to us in fantastic original condition…it is exceptionally clean with no changed parts except the head.
The 11" pot is constructed out of 5-ply maple, and is fitted with the era's tube and plate style flange. All original hooks, nuts, tuners and tailpiece….this banjo is  clean and unmodified since new. It is equipped with the original  standard 40 hole arched top Mastertone tone ring. The original resonator, equally clean, still sports all the original chalk serial number which matches that of the stamp on the interior of the rim (9032-10). Dual coordinating rods inside the pot mount the neck beautifully yielding a perfect neck angle. Original Pat Pending Presto tailpiece present.
The 26.5" scale neck is as clean as one really gets, with typical checking present at the heel and slight thumb wear on its profile. The original binding is clean and intact. Original frets are present, and both the frets and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard are in great condition with hardly any wear present. Nice diamond inlay with "MASTERTONE" in the MOP block at the 21st fret. Original Grover tuners are present with clean celluloid buttons. The fiddle cut peghead features the iconic era correct Gibson logo in mother of pearl.
Comes with the original hardshell case.
Serious Inquiries only.


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