Gibson RB-75 Mastertone with top-tension style neck

After the top-tension models were introduced in 1937, only one conventional Mastertone remained in production–style 3‘s price was lowered from $100 to $75, and it was renamed style 75

This original five-string flathead banjo features a style 75 pot with one-piece flange, a conventional bracket and tension hoop arrangement,  nickel-plated hardware, Presto tailpiece and a mahogany resonator.   The neck wood is also mahogany in keeping with style 75, but the inlay pattern and peghead shape  are the same as those found on styles 12 and 18, the two most expensive top-tension models of the time.  The fingerboard is flat, as opposed to the radiused fingerboards seen on top-tension Mastertone banjos.  The tuners are the original DeLuxe Kluson “stairstep” type with amber Catalin buttons; there is no factory order number or serial number.  This banjo was originally shipped to Canada and the inside of the resonator bears the “Made in U.S.A.” sticker which Gibson commonly applied to exported instruments.

Photo courtesy of an anonymous owner.