View Full Version : MF Knipp - 1929 - RB-Granada - 9475-1

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 1:35am
Please discuss...~:>

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 1:36am

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 1:37am

Apr-02-2016, 1:31pm
I'm curious, is the name on that truss rod cover painted on or inlaid?

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 3:07pm
It's cut into the cover then painted.

Apr-02-2016, 4:52pm
That is really nice,,what are the tuning buttons made of?

Apr-02-2016, 5:56pm
Congratulations Jim - it is awesome seeing that banjo in your capable hands. ENJOY!

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 9:48pm

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 9:50pm
Man.. I sure wish I could afford something like this. It's part of the Songbirds collection in Chattanooga.

Jim Pankey
Apr-02-2016, 9:57pm
Would this be the first flathead rb-Granada?

Apr-03-2016, 9:24am
I can't discuss it, Jim....I can't catch my breath!! Awesome instrument!

Apr-03-2016, 5:50pm
Possibly the first documented 1PF 20-hole Flathead RB-Granada that currently resides at the Songbird Guitars Collection http://www.banjohangout.org/global/ckeditor_new/plugins/smiley/images/wink_smile.png...

There is at least one documented 2PF RB-Granada flathead from 1927 (8877-3, with MASTERTONE in the peghead). There are a lot of other non-Granada documented flatheads from 1928, and in 1929 quite a few non-RB Granada flatheads. But I haven't seen another RB-Granada 1PF 20-hole Flathead with an FON before this one in documentation anywhere.

But who knows with Gibson?

There might be a '25 or '26 RB-Granada that was delivered with the BB tone ring turned upside-down and called a flathead. Or maybe a prototype or a floorsweep out there somewhere (ie: 8250-41). Too many documentation variables to say for sure, unless there's an actual Gibson document somewhere that says this was the first one. And even then...

But first or not, it's a beauty. It's hard not to admire this instrument.

Soooo, how did it sound?

-- Don

Jim Pankey
Apr-03-2016, 8:17pm
Sound... it's in serious need of setup, but certainly has a lot of potential. Not mine, so I didn't do any tinkering. Hopefully the setup can be resolved in the near future and I'll get another shot at playing it.

8250-41 & 8877-3 are the only earlier Flathead RB-Granadas I'm aware of - both 2PF.

Ok.. so first RB-Granada 1PF 20-hole Flathead (and third FH RB-Granada...) Not exactly something to shrug off. :)

Apr-03-2016, 11:50pm
I agree 110%.

It's a great banjo that is very likely the first of the exact foundational major feature combination that Earl loved and played.

It still does hold some secrets though... Sometime it would be very interesting to get the dimensions and weight of the tone ring and of the rim.

-- Don

Jim Pankey
Apr-04-2016, 1:20am
If there's ever an effort to do a setup on this banjo, hopefully more tidbits of information will be known. Sure hope I get to be part of that process.

Apr-04-2016, 3:10am
Jim, you're probably aware of this, but the original lower neck lug on original pre-war Gibson necks are actually L-bolts that are glued into the neck heel. These L-bolts were designed to snap instead of cracking the heel of the neck. So they are very easy to snap with lower coordinator rod tension.

Once one of these lugs are snapped, the heel cap has to be removed, the remnants of the L-bolt removed, the inner heel compartment cleaned up and possibly filled with a dowel, the heel cap re-installed, a new modern lug installed and if necessary, the coordinator rod long nut tapped for the modern lug threads. So it's a big surgery to repair, and to some extent there is a loss of originality with the tradeoff being play-ability.

Aside from being very easy to snap these L-bolts, it isn't unusual with these original pre-war necks for poor setup to be the result of a long-broken L-bolt in the heel of the neck. So if you're involved with the setup of this banjo, that's one good area to check out pretty carefully, especially if high action is part of the setup-related problems.

I agree with you, this banjo's setup would be an amazingly interesting project to be involved with.

-- Don

Jim Pankey
Apr-04-2016, 6:21am
In my estimation the only real adjustment that needs to be made is head tension. Action was, to me, a bit low, so tightening the head would resolve that.

Apr-04-2016, 9:50am
Fine instrument Jim! I would love to spend some time with it...........like for the rest of my life! :)

Ivan Kelsall
Apr-30-2016, 12:16am
Hi Jim - What's to discuss 'really' ?. Totally,utterly superb !!!!. I had the pleasure of playing a similar one at the IBMA Festival in Owensboro Ky,back in 1992 - that one had belonged to Don Reno & was on display at the Reno brother's stall there.
There have been almost countless discussions on the Mandolin Cafe about Gibson 'production',& one thing that seems self evident is the lack of new Gibson banjos. Gibson rose to the top of the tree for quality instruments on the back of the popularity of their Mandolins (Bill Monroe) & Banjos (Earl Scruggs),well before elec.guitars became their main output. Mandolins have been almost brought back from the brink by Dave Harvey,but nobody's doing the same for banjos. I'd bet that almost all banjo players would love to play a good 'Gibson' instrument,after all that's what Earl played & the name still means a great deal to lots of players. However,the lack of decent quality Gibsons has seen the rise of banjos by other makers. Going back 11 / 12 years,when the new Gold Star re-issue banjos made in China came out,mine was the first one sold in the UK. When i went to collect it,i played it back to back with 2 brand new Gibson banjos,an RB-250 & an RB-75,& tonally,the Gold Star buried them. Not only that, but the GS was immaculately put together,unlike one Gibson with it's wonky tension hoop !.
It's only the lack of 'will to do it' that prevents Gibson rising to the top again as far as banjo production goes,that & maybe the over the top pricing due to the brand name,