2000s Winston Bish "Gibson" Mastertone-style 5-String Resonator Banjo

While the headstock reads "Gibson" in full script, this is actually a "Masterclone" banjo made by the esteemed Mr. Winston Bish of Connecticut. He had previously worked for Liberty Banjo Company (5-string heavy-hitters in the '70s and '80s) and his work is excellent, accurate, and spot-on for the feel and vibe of old Mastertones. The video does not do the sound of the instrument justice -- it's punchy, loud, forward, and direct and has superb snap.

Mr. Bow Thayer is the original owner of this instrument and gigged it all over the place for more than a decade. It was his main axe, as it were. He's since moved-on to 6-string banjos (drone-plus-five) and hasn't looked back and so he's brought this one in for sale (as of August '23). His loss!

This has all the bluegrass-tinged goodies one could ask for -- a flathead tonering, thinner-ply rim, full flange, classic Presto tailpiece, pearl up the wazoo and including a pearl truss rod cover, flamed maple throughout the resonator and neck, and style, style, style!

The head is also played-in "just so" and the instrument has been opened-up thoroughly through use and rings like a bell.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, cleaning, replacement bridge, and setup.

Weight: 12 lbs 4 oz

Scale length: 26 3/8"

Nut width: 1 3/8"

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: flat

Head diameter: 11”

Resonator diameter: 13 1/2"

Depth overall at rim: 3"

Rim wood: multi-ply maple

Tonering: flathead

Bridge: maple/ebony

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: flamed maple

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16” overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 9s

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Condition notes: the banjo is all-original save its bridge. There's significant wear to the top surface of the head and mild-medium tarnish to most of the hardware and a little bit of pitting on some of it. The plating on the armrest and other "normal contact points" is fairly worn. The fretboard has some wear, too, but the frets are freshly leveled/dressed so play and feel nice. One of the resonator mount thumbscrews is missing. The finish on the neck and resonator shows various small scratches, nicks, and dings here and there.

It comes with: its original (presumably) hard case.

Consignment tag: BT