2001 Gibson RB-18 Top Tension Banjo

2001 Gibson RB-18 Top Tension Banjo
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Gibson only made a handful of original “Top Tension” Mastertone banjos between 1937-1943 and they didn’t make many more of the reissues between 1995 and 2008. Bill Keith, one of the first players to develop the chromatic style (and also the guy who transcribed all those Earl Scruggs solos) was the guy most responsible for their revival and a lot of players feel that they are ultimate expression of the Mastertone Banjo. Top Tension banjos have an almost sweet, mellow tone with lots of sustain that works well for modern, progressive styles, (Noam Pikelny is a big proponent of Top Tensions) but they sound great for traditional bluegrass as well. This example is all original and boasts some highly figured maple. The sunburst is very well done and is very much like the originals from sixty years earlier. The neck inlay is a welcome change from earlier banjo designs, probably Gibson’s first art deco-influenced inlay pattern specifically, and exclusively, used on banjos.   More details »

 
 

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