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The Huber Truetone VRB-4 is about as close as one can get to the Gibson RB-4 flathead resonator banjo, one of the most sought-after instruments for Scruggs-style picking. From the classic, twangy sound all the way down to the feel and playability, the VRB-4 shows off the incredible attention to detail that Steve Huber has become synonymous with in the bluegrass world. The VRB-4 features walnut on the neck, pot, and resonator, a wood generally regarded as fairly warm and mellow. But the naturally mellow sound of the tonewoods is balanced by Huber's splendid HR-30 tone ring, a 20-hole tone ring meant to replicate a pre-war Gibson sound. The owner of this banjo requested a few custom-shop appointments from Huber, including a Hearts and Flowers inlay pattern on the headstock and fretboard (rather than the stock Flying Eagle pattern, which would have been consistent with the RB-4), as well as an ebony fingerboard, instead of rosewood, which came stock. Also included are spikes on each of frets seven through ten, whereas the stock VRB-4 would have only come with a spike on seven.
In addition to being an excellent banjo by any measure, this VRB-4 is in mint condition, coming to us used but with barely any playing time, and is actually newer than some of the brand-new-from-the-manufacturer instruments we have out on our sales floor! There is no evidence of playing wear, scuffing, or fret wear anywhere on the instrument, and the set up is consistent with how it would have left Steve's shop. We have priced it slightly below the cost of a brand new VRB-4, but rest assured, you are essentially getting a new instrument. Included in the price is the original hard-shell case.