|Here is a beautiful example of a TB1,
circa 1935. It is in a virtually un-played
condition. It also came to me with an
engraved brass hoop, normally found
only on fancy models such as the
Granada. All indications are that it is
100% original. The calfskin head
looks almost new, and even the lid to
the case stays open by itself (the little
connector straps are still intact!).
|As you can see in the above picture, this banjo has no tone ring other than a
simple brass hoop that sits on top of the rim, under the head, just inside the
tension hoop. This gives it the look of a flat head banjo, but the lack of a heavy
bronze ring cuts way back on the volume and sustain of the tone. Interestingly, it
was a similar hoop-based Gibson that Earl played in many of the early
recordings with Bill Monroe - a 1930's RB-11. It seemed to do the job for Earl!
|Beautiful Brazilian Rosewood
fingerboard. Notice that the inlays are
not done with the precision that we are
accustomed to in the current days of
CNC machines and laser-cutting tools.
Some people like that "feature",
believing that it gives some personality
to the instrument and a hand-made