While Earl Scruggs owned hundreds of banjos throughout his lifetime, he only performed with 5!
Gibson RB-11 Blue
While the style 11 banjos were a lower priced alternative to the Mastertone line of banjos, they shared many parts including a 3 ply maple rim, a nickel plated pot metal one piece flange and tension hoop, nickel plated steel hooks and nuts, a nickel plated armrest, etc. These banjos were made in the Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory alongside the Mastertones. Differences between the models included the use of a ¼” brass hoop instead of a tone ring, perloid fingerboards and perloid covered resonator backs, painted neck backs, 2 tab tuners and a window style tailpiece instead of the standard presto tailpiece. The style 11 banjos were available with a 5 string neck as an RB or regular banjo. Earl Scruggs played such a banjo early in his career. These banjos have become more popular in recent years as players have discovered that without a tone ring they weigh approximately 3 pounds less than Mastertones.
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Price (Shipping & Insurance Additional): $5,000