New Gibson bluegrass models introduced

Gibson RB-4 RetroGibson’s bluegrass division introduced three new limited edition models recently – one each in their banjo, dobro and mandolin lines.

The new banjo is a vintage RB-4 re-issue. Like the style 4 banjos made prior to WWII, this re-issue will be made with a walnut neck and resonator, and chrome (rather than nickel) plated hardware.

Gibson will only make 40 of these Retro 4s, and they will carry a list price of $5443.

Phil Leadbetter Mahogany DobroIn the dobro line, Gibson has just introduced a limited edition Phil Leadbetter signature mahogany model. Only 50 guitars will be made in this series, and Phil will inspect, play and sign each one before it is shipped.

The body and neck are made of solid mahogany, and employs a hand-spun Quarterman aluminum cone, with bound, open soundholes in the body. I have not been able to find the price for this dobro, but will post an update when I do.

Gibson is also creating a new mandolin in their signature artist series, this one for Ricky Skaggs. It will be a Master Model F5, with a distressed finish and a neck shaped to exactly match his Loar. Ricky will inspect each instrument before it is shipped, and sign the label when he is satisfied that the mandolin is set up properly. Only 30 of these mandolins will be made.

The Skaggs Master Models will ship with both a standard Gibson case, Small Dog case cover and a tone guard. List price is set as $25,554. There is no information up yet on the Gibson site about this mandolin.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.