2005, VGC, and sounds incredible. Hand-built by Steve Huber.
Acquired from the collection of a professional musician during a visit
to Banjo Camp North in Groton, Massachusetts. Good sound and
playability all over the neck, great with a capo or open strings.
The neck is rock hard maple and the vibrations follow all the
way down to your gut - I call it the "Stelling Killer".
Specifications are as follows:
- Huber "vintage flathead" gold plated 20-hole tonering - 3-ply rock
maple rim - One piece die cast flange - Waverly V2 tuners - Curley
maple neck, curley maple sunburst resonator - Rosewood fingerboard w/ flying
eagle - Antique binding - Heavy gold hardware plating - Pre-war style
engraving - Wadsworth 5/8 'old piano' bridge - Clamshell tailpiece -
Spikes at frest 7 & 9 - TKL Hard shell case - Presently set-up with
Out of Production
2006, VGC, (serial number #11) with a great mahogany sound. Recently
acquired as new old stock. This was my first banjo with a radiused neck -
very comfortable to play. Rumor has it this was the banjo of choice by the
2006 Merlefest banjo competition winner and 3 time Georgia State
Flatpick Guitar/Banjo Winner in the Atlanta music store where it was
offered. Set-up was directly as-is from Warren Yates, a nice guy and a hell
of a banjo player. Specifications are as follows:
- Mahogany neck and resonator - Rosewood radiused fingerboard w/
Recluse inlay (Yates proprietary) - Tone ring, 20-hole: Venom (Yates
proprietary) - Heavy nickel plated hardware - Yates designed radiused
bridge & tailpiece - TKL hardshell case - Presently set-up with
Out of Production
2004, VGC, with the Gibson Crowe tonering that gives it a great
"cracking" mahogany sound. Having heard several Blackjacks, some good and
some not so good, I believe this is one of the really good ones. This was my
first "New Gibson" banjo, and I probably played it for several years every
night for at least an hour. When I take this out of the case - I'm good for
at least 2 or 3 hours of serious 'memory lane' picking. The sound is
"tubby-tubby-tubby" My #1 player. Specifications are as follows:
- Mahogany pre-war v-shaped neck - Mahogany resonator with concentric
rings - Maple 3-ply rim - Rosewood fingerboard w/ old Gibson Style 3
inlay - JD Crowe 20-hole old gold plated tone ring - Old-gold plated
hardware (gold over copper flash) - Gibson hard shell case - Suuffy Smith
5/8 old-wood bridge (thinned slightly) - Presently set-up with
10,11,13,20JD,10, bridge up for a tubby sound!
Kyle Smith Legend
2007, Mint condition, custom made gold plated maple banjo hand-built
by Kyle Smith (the set-up specialist) of Cherry Plains, Tennessee. Top
quality beautiful bluegrass banjo in all respects, includes recent set-up by
Kyle also. To me, this feels just like a Granada, but with a much better
sound (could be the tone ring/rim combination) and a slightly more
- Highly figured curly maple neck - Highly figured / flamed curly
maple resonator - Pass 600TS rim - Rosewood fingerboard w/ flying eagle
inlays - Gold plated Tennessee 20 tone ring - Gold plated hardware -
TKL hard shell case - Sosebee 5/8 old-wood bridge - Presently set-up with
10,11,13,20JD,10, bridge up for a tubby sound! - Recent set up by Kyle Smith
2011, VGC, Beautiful maple and ebony banjo custom built by
Darrel Carender of Pawnee, OK under Ridge Instruments. Banjo has a
slightly radiused neck, Curtis McPeak tone ring, and a fretboard that
would give any production Blackjack a run for it's money.
- Maple neck and resonator - 3-ply maple rim - Curtis McPeak Tone Ring - Ebony fretboard w/ original Crowe inlays - Layered binding -
Waverly tuners (Upgrade) - Standard hard shell case - Wadsworth old-piano radiused bridge - Presently set-up with 10,11,13,20JD,10! - Spikes on 7, 8, and 9
1971, VGC, standard completely original Gibson RB-250. Great playing
and sounding banjo. Originally purchased from a Pastor in North Carolina,
the proceeds for which were used to put a new roof on their church. As they
say: "The RB-250 was the workhorse of the Gibson Mastertone line from the
1950s through the 70s. Includes one of the original Kulesh tone
- Mahogany neck and resonator - 3-ply rim - Kulesh tone ring -
Ebony fingerboard w/ standard RB-250 inlay - Single white binding - Five
Star tuners - TKL hard shell case - Snuffy Smith 5/8 old-wood bridge -
Presently set-up with 10,11,13,20JD,10!
Out of Production
1994, VGC, standard completely original Gibson RB4 reiussue. Great
playing and sounding banjo. Originally acquired from John Drummond on
consignment from a long time local bluegrass picker of over 30 years. This
baby's got a lot of miles on it, but it's also one of the best sounding banjos
I own - a favorite player with a great sounding 4th string.
- Walnut neck and resonator - 3-ply maple rim - Gibson standard
tone ring - Ebony fingerboard w/ flying eagle - Single white binding -
Waverly tuners - Custom cedar creek hard shell case - Snuffy Smith 5/8
old-wood bridge - Presently set-up with 10,11,13,20JD,10!
2009, VGC, This is my "road banjo" that I play out with a lot.
Selman mahogany Style 3 neck on a Washburn B120 pot.
Tim Selman of Delslow, WV did an absolutely spectacular job: Mastertone
specs, mahogany, with Gibson Style-3 inlays. New Pictures forthcoming.
The Washburn neck simply could not be saved.
Pretty beat up, not great - but not terrible either.
Has a decent bell brass tone ring at 49 ounces.
I modified the original B120 extensively - if you're interested
in what I did you can go -->here.
- Mahogony neck and resonator - 3-ply maple rim - Bell brass standard
tone ring - Rosewood fingerboard w/ Style 3 inlays - Single white binding -
Waverly tuners (Upgrade) - Custom cedar creek hard shell case - Wadsworth old-piano bridge - Presently set-up with 10,11,13,20JD,10!