1970s Liberty Banjo Company Archtop 5-String Resonator Banjo

I'm not sure what this custom, gold-plated, extravaganza of a banjo's model name is, but it's clearly ne plus ultra. This one dates to the late '70s or early '80s and has pearl and/or engraving everywhere. The gold plating is the good stuff -- that silky sheen that's not brassy and looks rich without screaming it. To top all the bling off, the wood choice is also top-notch, with birdseye maple used throughout the neck and resonator and topped with an ebony fretboard.

Under the hood is an archtop-style tonering and you can compare its voice directly with a "standard-issue" flathead ring in this other Libery resonator banjo. My only work on this was to set it up and compensate the bridge, but it was a treat to give it a going-over as the voice improved tremendously with a little TLC.

Specs-wise, it's right along the lines of a Mastertone banjo save that the neck is slightly chunkier and wider at the nut.

Pearl inlay, pearl nut!

The maple glows like its on fire.