1967 RB-250 with FON 010748. Sold through Mandolin Brothers circa 2010s. All text of add included as the prose of Stan Jay was second to none. Worth the read:
This one-piece flange banjo bears serial number #010748 stamped into on the back of its headstock, with an impressed serial number on the inside of the pot that reads 7080-104. There is a possibility that this banjo may be comprised of an earlier (maybe even late 1950s) pot with a 1967 neck. The tone ring is 20-hole flathead; we cannot say with certainty that this was the original tone ring from the pot; we tend to think it is not. This type of occurrence was common in the bow-tie Mastertone era – especially during the 1950s and 1960s (the RB-250 debuted in 1954). Players did this in order to “improve” an instrument which was construed, when left to original spec, to be inferior to the finest resonator 5-string banjos that have ever been made – from Kalamazoo during the 1930s or in the early ‘40s – during the earliest days of bluegrass.
This neck is adorned with the “guitar style” headstock shape, bound in a single ply of crème, and its black (probably ebony) headplate is inlaid with a Gibson flower at the center. There is a black, unbound, bell-shaped truss rod cover held in place by two Phillips screws under that modest, traditional flower. The crème bound fretboard is inlaid with pearloid bow-ties in 9 fret positions starting with the first fret, and, in keeping with tradition, the last fret on the fingerboard is inlaid with a rectangular pearl or pearloid block that is etched “Mastertone.” All tuners on the five-string neck have been replaced with pearloid button replacements – and the four holes from the original tuners remain. The current tuners are somewhat mismatched – the second and third string devices have large metal screws, the first and third smaller screws. The fifth string peg is likewise pearloid-buttoned and geared in the manner of Kroll. This has nothing to do with Kroll, the giant god who lives beneath the swamps in Doctor Who “The Power of Kroll – Story 102” – “The Key to Time.” The mahogany back of the resonator is finished in vintage sunburst and displays two crème-black-crème concentric rings plus single-ply ivoroid binding on top and bottom sides.
Our workshop personnel has polished the frets (which are a bit low in height but not affecting playability) and cleaned and oiled the utterly gorgeous Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. They have likewise cleaned the nickel or chrome-plated parts on the rim and the Mylar banjo head. It is now set-up and ready to play. There is finish checking (crazing) all over the neck and body, also normal chips and nicks here and there including on the back edge of the headstock; the heel of the neck is nicked from a strap. This banjo has twin metal coordinator rods inside and no interior label. The armrest and tailpiece appear newer than the rest of the pot. Set up professionally by our repair staff this handsome five-string excels at producing the very vibe that banjo players and lovers of bluegrass welcome and appreciate in a bow-tied vessel of vigor and vintage velocity.