Gibson TB-2 #9331-14

Gibson’s prewar banjo line was marked by a number of design modifications within relatively few years; one of the company’s lesser-known innovations was an unusual lightweight tone ring seen only on some style 2 banjos of the late 1920s, referred to by collectors as the “pyramid’ tone ring due to its shape in cross-section.  This TB-2 with pyramid tone ring dates from approximately 1929 and is in near-mint condition.  The construction is the bracket-shoe type with hexagon-shaped holes in the flange plate.  The tension hoop is the grooved type with flat hooks as seen on the ball-bearing Mastertones of 1925 and 1926; the tailpiece is a Grover Presto.  The wood is maple stained to a walnut color and the inlay pattern is the same one used on Gibson’s Nick Lucas artist model guitar.  Shorty after this example was made, style 2 would switch to walnut with a one-piece flange and pearloid fingerboard and peghead overlay.

Photos courtesy of Don Bryant.