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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: 1960s Baldwin Banjo - Pictures added


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Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/20/2007:  15:11:35


Anybody familiar with these models? They had a metal Baldwin banner (no Ode) and were made in the late 60s between ODE and BALDWIN ODE.

I have one in very good condition and was curious as to the collectibility and value.

Any ideas? It is not the gold plated version but rather the workingman's version.

Thanks.

Jim


Edited by - Jim Bowman on 12/23/2007 01:24:09

Couchie - Posted - 12/20/2007:  18:18:27


There is a Ode group at Odebanjogroups@yahoo.com. They have a lot of Ode Baldwin afficianados who would be happy to help you.


Don.

O=='=#

stanger - Posted - 12/21/2007:  11:04:12


Hi, Jim...
You probably have a 2500 series with the aluminum rim.

Your banjo was the least expensive of the Baldwin models, and was the biggest seller. Earlier Ode banjos all had aluminum rims, but none had the ribbon; these are only found on Baldwins. (Odes commonly have the letters routed into the peghead face). The wood rimmed Odes first appeared in 1965, and are relatively rare, as the company was sold to Baldwin in 1966.

Like Couchie mentioned, if you want a complete picture of Ode/Baldwin history, check the Yahoo Ode group- it's there in spades. In general, your banjo is the least collectible, because it was produced in the highest numbers and changed the least of any of the Baldwin models. But as playing instruments, they are quite good, and have proven to be very sturdy and reliable. They have slowly risen in value over the years- most offered go for around $800 or thereabouts, depending on condtion.

The rarity among them is the open backed long neck, and the standard 5-string open back is also relatively rare. Almost all of them were resonated, and there are lots of tenors and plectrums (though fewer than the tenors) that pop up regularly. The 5-string is the most commonly seen. Of all the Baldwin models, the 2500's were the least changed from the first to the last.

The Baldwin ribbon was dropped during the last 2-3 years of production, and only 'ODE' was found on the peghead. These letters were cut pearl and inlayed into the peghead, not rounted in, like the originals. During 1975-77, both the metal ribbon and inlayed ODE letters were both used. Other than these changes, everything else remained the same all the way through the years of production- ca. 1968, the model's year of introduction, to 1980. Given the compnay's convoluted history, it's possible that some were made in 1967, and it's possible that there may have been a few left-overs that were sold in 1981, but so far, no 1981 serial numbers have been found that I know of.
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

chip arnold - Posted - 12/21/2007:  11:38:58


"The pen is mightier than the pigs."
*******************************************
Maybe so but like it says in the bible, you can't make a pen out of a sow's ear. ;-)


**********************
Take what is given
Give what is taken

Chip Arnold

okbanjobill - Posted - 12/21/2007:  12:50:28


And I thought Mr. Stanger had gone into hibernation with the grizzlies. Nice to see you posting again Mike,

Bill



Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/21/2007:  13:07:24


Thanks for the information. I have pictures but I don't have a clue how to upload on this forum.

If anyone would like pictures please email me at Jp_Bowman@chartertn.net

Thanks,

Jim

Jim

stanger - Posted - 12/21/2007:  22:12:25


quote:
Originally posted by chip arnold

"The pen is mightier than the pigs."
*******************************************
Maybe so but like it says in the bible, you can't make a pen out of a sow's ear. ;-)


**********************
Take what is given
Give what is taken

Chip Arnold



Hi, Chip...
A little while back, I posted a thread on what little kids said when asked to complete common sayings.
The tag I'm using now really cracked me up, and it's sometimes true! I have my doubts that The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword, but a good pen is certainly mightier than the pigs!
and you're right- you can't make a pen out of a sow's ear!

regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.


Edited by - stanger on 12/21/2007 22:20:34

stanger - Posted - 12/21/2007:  22:19:08


quote:
Originally posted by okbanjobill

And I thought Mr. Stanger had gone into hibernation with the grizzlies. Nice to see you posting again Mike,

Bill



Hi, Bill!
I haven't posted very much lately, but I've been around- just haven't gotten into any fine rants lately. I just posted a pretty good rant on the 'sustain' thread, so I gues I'm back to my old wordy self again. Needless to say, a new thread on Baldwin banjos is catch bait for an Ode/Baldwin junkie like me.

(For those who don't know- An Ode was my first good banjo. Bought my first in 1964 and still own it. I also managed to pick up a- ahem- few others along the way since then. I also really like Ome banjos, and other non-Gibsons. I own a Gibson, but I've never been a huge fan of the brand, even though I worked for them twice.)

Bill, I hope you have a very happy Christmas, and an equally merry New Year! I'll try to call- it's been far too long since we talked last.

For everyone... Mr. Butcher sold me a most excellent Baldwin D Model last summer. I was fortunate enough to enjoy his company for a few days, and he's a fine guy to run around with!
It's not often that a person is lucky enough to find a good banjo and a good friend at the same time.
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.


Edited by - stanger on 12/21/2007 22:27:38

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/23/2007:  01:11:30


Deleted HUGE pictures.


Jim


Edited by - Jim Bowman on 12/23/2007 01:21:37

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/23/2007:  01:12:37


Wow!!! Big pictures. Sorry about that. I'll try to reduce them.

Jim

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/23/2007:  01:20:38


Is this better?

[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin007.jpg][/URL]
[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin006.jpg][/URL]
[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin005.jpg][/URL]
[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin004.jpg][/URL]
[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin003.jpg][/URL]
[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin002.jpg][/URL]
[URL=http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj187/jimbowman_photo/Baldwin001.jpg][/URL]


Jim

stanger - Posted - 12/23/2007:  08:32:41


Hi, Jim...
You have an early Style C banjo. That banner isn't metal- it's pearl, and your earlier mention that it was metal threw me off.

Nice banjo! It shows all the stuff that's seen on the 1968 banjos...
The peghead shape is typical of this period, and it has an un-dyed ebony overlay
The neck and reso are walnut, and typical wood color of the stock used during '68. The center lamination in the neck is rosewood- later banjos had walnut in the center
The inlays are larger than on later banjos
The resonator has a deeper curve in the back, and shows the typical degredation in the finish. My D was worse until I refinished it. This may be due to the batch of walnut veneer that was used at the time; it was peeled, not sawn, and the grain is very open, so it expands and contracts, and throws off the finish.

3 of the tuning pegs are original, and 1 looks like a Shaller D-tuner. The 5th string peg is also Shaller, and the sliding capo is a Shubb.

This should be a fine sounding banjo! Take the reso off and look for a serial number. It should be stamped into the wood, and may require a magnifying glass to read it, as they're small letters and numbers. There may be a paper label inside, but probably not. There should also be a hole in the heel cap- this accesses the geared truss rod, which is a famous feature of these banjos. The serial number should read something like this: CSR-21***-G
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/23/2007:  08:52:17


Thanks Mike for the detailed information. The banjo sounds great. It had a clear head with a picture of Jesus glued to the inside of the resonator when I bought it. Belonged to a bluegrass gospel picker.

Thanks for the hint on photo-bucket also. The first pictures I posted were almost as big as the banjo, LOL, but I finally figured it out.

Any ideas on the value?



Jim

El Dobro - Posted - 12/23/2007:  09:21:09


The model C seems to be running in the $1400-$1900 range.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com

hicotton - Posted - 12/23/2007:  09:22:22


Jim -
If you have an interest in selling your Ode, email me directly - my address is on my profile page.
Thanks!

Mike - "the pen is mightier than the pigs" ?? LOL - i love that!

True wisdom comes from God; from Him we learn how to live and what to live for.

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/23/2007:  09:29:08


Thanks El Dobro for the info.

PM sent hicotton.

Jim

JSabastian147 - Posted - 12/23/2007:  10:43:47


Thanks for the emailed pictures, Jim. You have a Beautiful banjo.

Hope you have a Gooden'
*********************************************
_Jordan
Even a Blind Squirrel Gets a Nut Every Once in Awhile .

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/23/2007:  12:44:27


Thanks Jordan. Glad you like it. It is a great sounding banjo.

Jim

El Dobro - Posted - 12/23/2007:  12:53:25


quote:
Originally posted by Jim Bowman

Thanks El Dobro for the info.

PM sent hicotton.

Jim



You're welcome. They were much better than anything Gibson was putting out at the time.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/24/2007:  12:48:59


quote:
Originally posted by El Dobro

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Bowman

Thanks El Dobro for the info.

PM sent hicotton.

Jim



You're welcome. They were much better than anything Gibson was putting out at the time.

Don
http://www.myspace.com/eldobro
http://www.myspace.com/pasttimesband
http://www.pasttimesbluegrassband.com




Thanks Don. I traded a Gibson RB-250 for a Fender Artist and would NOT trade back. Both the Artist and the Baldwin are very well made instruments.


Jim

dr5string - Posted - 12/26/2007:  23:51:04


Jim,

I have a 1968/69 Style C (just Baldwin, no Ode, like yours) that my folks gave me for Christmas in 1969. brand new at the time). George Gruhn appraised it (officially, signed and all) for me in September of 2000 at $1100, even with the corroded hardware (now much cleaned up) and my "professionally refinished" resonator. If you don't know George, he's not one to give you a MSRP inflated value; he's very conservative, and has a reputation to maintain. These were manufactured in pretty large numbers to compete with Gibson's which were going down hill back in the late 60s, and it cost my folks about $380 new. Is that what you wanted to know? I play an Osborne now, but I wouldn't sell my Baldwin for any price. Well...not any reasonable Gruhn-type price, anyway.

Bob F

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/27/2007:  10:08:21


Thankd dr5 -

I am familiar with George and his conservative estimates. Conservative especially if he thinks he has a chance to buy it. From my experience he will offer 50% of the value and sell it at 120%. Guess that is how he stays in business.

I love the C model. It is such a pleasure to play and sounds great. I had thought at one time about selling it but I really don't know what I could replace it with. The Baldwins are so unique.

Jim

banjerpickr - Posted - 12/28/2007:  10:08:19


Hey Jim,

I have a Baldwin exactly like yours. My grandfather gave it to me some 25 years ago when I first was learing to pick. I have been told it is a late 60s model, I am not sure. The serial number is CS-2347-G.

banjerpickr - Posted - 12/28/2007:  10:08:28


Hey Jim,

I have a Baldwin exactly like yours. My grandfather gave it to me some 25 years ago when I first was learing to pick. I have been told it is a late 60s model, I am not sure. The serial number is CS-2347-G.

stanger - Posted - 12/28/2007:  16:14:19


Hi, Mark..
I would really appreciate some pictures of you banjo!
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

banjerpickr - Posted - 12/30/2007:  19:41:01


Stranger,
Sorry for the delay in posting back. I have been out of town this weekend. I will try to get some in the next couple of days.

Jim Bowman - Posted - 12/31/2007:  18:50:01


I finally found a serial number on the Baldwin - C 8 (or S) 9571 - 6 (or G). I had to look really close with a magnifying glass to find it. Sound familiar?

Jim

stanger - Posted - 12/31/2007:  20:31:49


Hi, Jim...
Yup, sure does! The number is: CS-9571-G (you're right- those numbers are hard to read).
They represent: C (model) S (standard 5-string)-*****-G (geared heel). There is a lot of confusion about the G. It always designated the geared heel, not the plating.

Your banjo is in that grey area, where apparently, the parts were made in Colorado and assembled and finished in Arkansas. The earlier ones, like yours, were probably completely made in Boulder. The Style C wasn't officially introduced until 1969, and was earlier supposed that all came from Arkansas, but over this year it has become evident that at least one small batch of C's and D's was made in Boulder, with the geared heel mechanism sent to Boulder These have the 95** numbers like yours.

There are also very similar banjos, again C's and D's, that have early 21** numbers that were most probably finished and assembled in Arkansas. My D is one of these, and there is a C that turned up 10 numbers later than mine. All use walnut, which doesn't conform to catalog specs. The C was initially described as being made from mahogany, but so far, I haven't seen one yet.

This may be due to early discussions in the Baldwin management over which banjos to make. Baldwin decided early on to consoldate the extensive Ode line; there were 6 wood-rimmed banjos, and another 2 with aluminum rims. Baldwin cut it down to 3. At first, they decided to make the Series 250, which remained the only one with the aluminum rim. This one always had a mahogany neck, and was the least changed.

The Style B was next, and was a wood-rimmed version of the 250- mahogany, dots in the rosewood board. These banjos are quite rare, because they didn't last in the line very long, but I know of at least one- it's sitting on my couch at the moment.

Soon afterward (this was ca. 1967), the decision was made to replace the plain-Jane B with a fancier banjo. Myron Koenig, the Baldwin guy responsible for the change, designed an inlay pattern similar to the Gibson Hearts & Flowers, but a little simpler, and only used 3 or 4 inlay shapes. The rosewood board was dropped in favor of ebony. This is your C, and all the rest that followed are similar.

Mahogany was a cheaper wood, but Myron argued that it made more production sense to use walnut for both C and D, and make everything alike except for the peghead overlay, fingerboards, and plating. This decision also cut Baldwin apart from the competition, who all had mid-grade mahogany banjos, but none from walnut, except for Fender, who did the same thing with their Artist and Concert Tone banjos- they were both walnut.

Walnut wasn't that much more expensive than mahogany, and there was a good domestic supply- another advantage.

Myron's peghead design was also smart. The C peghead crest was similar to the D's, but simpler. When a neck was designated for a D, all that had to be done was a few extra cutouts on the crest, a more ornate fingerboard, and that was it. The gold plated parts came from the same plater that did the nickel, and by using engraving only on the armrest and tailpiece, the D looked a lot fancier at a minimum of extra factory cost.

But, for a short time ca. 1975, the Style C peghead was the same shape as the D. All I've seen are from 1975 only. This occurred at a time when the peghead shape was drastically changed from the original, then ca. 1976, was changed again, closer to the original but still different in details and proportions.

The C was very successful. It was a very good buy for the time, and many professionals preferred the more modest look, even when they could afford the higher-cost D. Baldwins were a favorite brand with the people who played on Hee-Haw, and you see as many C's as D's on all the old videos of the show. They were a working man's banjo, and very successful competition against the Gibson RB250, which was aimed at the same market segment. (and also became a classic and big seller).
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.


Edited by - stanger on 12/31/2007 20:37:00

Jim Bowman - Posted - 01/01/2008:  00:27:17


Thanks Mike. You are a veritable wealth of knowledge about the Baldwins. I had never been able to find the serial number before but I guess I was looking for bigger letters and numbers. It still took a magnifying glass to determine them.

Jim

stanger - Posted - 01/01/2008:  10:50:14


You're welcome, Jim...
Yup- another Ode peculiarity. The letters on the stamps, as Ed Britt pointed out to me, are made more difficult to read because they have a serif on them as well. All the other makers used stamps with larger block letters.
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

eralbert - Posted - 01/01/2008:  11:01:41


quote:
You are a veritable wealth of knowledge about the Baldwins


The man is ...veritable.....period.!!!!

Have a great New Year !!

Morgan Monroe Militia.........Sometimes you gotta fight back !!!!

drjack - Posted - 01/02/2008:  13:03:31


Hi
I have a Baldwin with similar fingerboard inlays but with a fancier peghead and the metal pot. Is it still a C?
Thanks

stanger - Posted - 01/02/2008:  18:23:48


Hi, Jack...
It sounds to me that you may have a C neck on a 250 rim. Since the coordinator rods are the same with both models, and are mounted in the same place on either rim, this is possible.
Does the heel of your neck have some cuts that don't fit snugly to the rim? The heel on all C models was cut to accomidate the flange, and would not precisely fit the flange on the aluminum rim.
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

drjack - Posted - 01/02/2008:  20:34:56


Hi
Actually the neck fits the rim beautifully. The heel has the gear hole and the rim ia stamped Boulder Ode Colorado. Serial # is 2SR 2409 G. I had assumed that it was a "new" Baldwin neck on an old left over Ode pot.
Jack

stanger - Posted - 01/03/2008:  02:27:54


Hi, Jack...
Stew-Mac sold individual inlays that could be combined to produce a very similar pattern to the one used on the C. If you could post some pictures, it would be much easier to say, but it's possible that you could have a Style 2 stock banjo that someone inlayed later. This was quite commonly done in the 70's.
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

drjack - Posted - 01/03/2008:  19:58:45


Stanger, I think you are right. I think someone inlaid the headstock after purchase. I uploaded them to my gallery. Your thoughts are appreciated.


Jim Bowman - Posted - 01/03/2008:  21:24:37


Jack -

That really spruced up your Baldwin headstock. Somebody did a great job on it.

Jim

stanger - Posted - 01/04/2008:  01:19:29


quote:
Originally posted by drjack

Stanger, I think you are right. I think someone inlaid the headstock after purchase. I uploaded them to my gallery. Your thoughts are appreciated.




Hi, Doc...
Yup- the fingerboard inlays came from Stew-Mac, and are fitted neatly with the original pearl dots. The peghead has Gibson-style inlays, and the pearl truss rod cover is there just for ornament. Your banjo should have a hole in the heel cap which accesses the Baldwin geared truss rod.

Whoever did the work did a good job... it looks very nice! This banjo started out as a stock Grade 2 Baldwin, and it looks like it's still in very good condition. I'll bet it gets a fair amount of attention.
regards,
Stanger

The pen is mightier than the pigs.

drjack - Posted - 01/04/2008:  14:28:08


Thanks Mike
I appreciate the help. Its a great banjo for both bluegrass and old time
Jack



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