There is abalone binding around the resonator and on the neck.If you are looking for a showpiece banjo that sounds great, you can't do better than this!The problems I have with the book are minor, and I probably risk being ostracized for my opinions. It appeals to a small market niche of those interested in a few prized examples this type banjo.I would have liked to see more discussion about the history and development of these banjos and why they have ended up in such a highly regarded status.For an heirloom coffee-table book, I'd appreciate a little more stringent editing.
Gold Star flathead and 40 hole archtop rings are the same shape as the prewar Gibson rings, which the entire current crop of flathead tone rings (with the notable exceptions of JL Stull #4 and #12, rings supplied in Huber banjos, Woodhill Bell and Burlile) are not.I understand the first ones (76xxx) were made by world class mandolin luthier Sumi.Main production following that up until about late '81 was at the Tokai factory, then difficulties caused an abrupt stoppage of production for about a year .founder Hub Nitchie, and he called it his "Frankenbanjo" because he would experiment with different tone rings, etc. The tone ring is an unplated 4-hole archtop, such as were used by Gibson in the 1950s bowtie banjos..The rim is from a 1927 Gibson style 3 Mastertone; the label is intact. The neck and resonator are obviously not Gibson; I have no idea who made them. The wood appears to be rosewood, which is much rarer than the usualy seen white holly.
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