1928 Gibson RB-3 Original 5-String
This original five-string Gibson RB-3 a very rare bird. Banjos were extremely popular in the 1920s but, being the Jazz Age, everyone wanted the four string tenor and plectrum styles. Five-string banjos didn’t really work for the music of the era so very few were built. Gibson banjo fans always associate the company’s solid archtop tone ring (no holes) with 1927, but this RB-3 is from January of 1928 and so has the same tone ring Gibson was using in the prior year. This banjo is similar to the one used by Ralph Stanley and has a bright, ringing tone.