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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: B&D Pifer Senorita Tenor Banjo


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beezaboy - Posted - 10/21/2009:  17:54:07


These are so cool. A B&D branded for a music store
or banjo club or something (?). Polle would say it is
earlier than 1939...
http://cgi.ebay.com/1939-B-and-D-Pi...cmdZViewItem

Beezaboy

NYCJazz - Posted - 10/21/2009:  18:50:26


That IS cool!

Must be before the hurricane!

fordman24t - Posted - 10/21/2009:  19:13:51


I have a very similar appearing B&D Senorita (SN 34xxx), but without the "Pifer Special" notation on the peghead. I bought it because it was totally original- skin head with Bacon stamp, bridge with Bacon stamp and the unwound strings were so rusty, they may have been original. The frets were loose and so were some of the Pyralin (pearloid, mother of toilet seat) fretboard pieces. Rene Karnes, a premier 4-string luthier, refretted it for me and set up the neck. I really enjoy playing it. Rene assured me it was a Bacon product and not made by Gretsch.


Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/22/2009:  02:37:52


This is the first Pifer Special, that I´ve met. In my database there´re many Tatham Special´s from the same period (named after a banjo club/band, I think).

The SN indicates a manufactoring late ´37 / early ´38.

The prewar Senorita´s are fantastic sounding and wellbuilt banjos - everyone should own an example. I own many very costly B&D prewar tenors - but I´ll always have a "cheap" Senorita in my collection as well. I love playing it at home.

Under certain climate conditions the Pyralin coverings can shrink and f.ex. cause loose frets. But this can also somehow happen to banjos with f.ex. ebony fretboards. Don´t blaim the banjos - blaim the climate - LOL!

Renée Karnes is Gold! She´s a fantastic artist, luthier and repair person.

Regards

Polle

BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/22/2009:  07:52:06


quote:
Originally posted by Polle Flaunoe

This is the first Pifer Special, that I´ve met. In my database there´re many Tatham Special´s from the same period (named after a banjo club/band, I think).

The SN indicates a manufactoring late ´37 / early ´38.



I agree Polle.
This is the only "Pifer" I've seen, as well.

And yes, based on the info I uncovered aboutthe "Tatham" versions -- they did seem
to be either "subscription" instruments (bought on a payment plan, with the lessons) --
or possibly... they were the "property" of a particular club or band.

If so... that means there are some OTHER Pifer-labeled instruments, which haven't
surfaced yet.

Probably about right on the time frame as well.


Unfortunately... the "upgrade" scourge has started to affect Senoritas, as well.
I've seen about 1/2 dozen which have been upgraded, with Silver Bell (or other)
tone rings...

The uncut Gibson TB-1's -- have become somewhat rare, because of that. Senoritas
could easily go the same way...

I have a sentimental attachment to Senoritas...
My first good banjo was a c1932 Senorita tenor, which I bought from a friend's father.

I sold it many years ago -- but now own 2 rare "pre-B&D" Senoritas.
And I also own a VERY rare early-30s Senorita 5-string.

I agree with Polle... The Senorita's have their own attractive sound and personality.

Best-
Ed Britt

••• A good fiddle tune will bring two or more people together who might otherwise be enemies. •••


Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 10/22/2009 07:53:11

BTuno - Posted - 10/22/2009:  08:21:32


My dear great aunt gave me a 1930 Senorita plectrum. Now don't get your undies in a knot boys, but I found a Gretsch senorita 5-string neck (w/o pearloid fingerboard) and swapped it out. Yes, I kept the plec neck and tuners. (its in my avatar mandala) I really love that banjo, and am proud to have it. I play both 3 finger and clawhammer and this banjo 'goes both ways' effortlessly. With no tone ring, it has that plenty of snap (tight fiberskyn head), with a fine old woody tone. Its a keeper!

BT

"Ya gotta get all them tunes in yer head"

NYCJazz - Posted - 10/22/2009:  08:24:32


On another thread, our friend Diarmaid suggested to a TB-1 owner to place large coins between the the rim and brass rod to improve the sound while not altering the construction. Sounds like a logical plan.

Has anyone else tried this? Opinions?

http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/160511

budbennett - Posted - 10/22/2009:  09:07:50


i'd sure like to have that!

BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/22/2009:  11:54:19


quote:
Originally posted by NYCJazz

On another thread, our friend Diarmaid suggested to a TB-1 owner to place large coins between the the rim and brass rod to improve the sound while not altering the construction. Sounds like a logical plan.

Has anyone else tried this? Opinions?

http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/160511



BELOW... is what I just posted there.

Amongst THIS group -- it would best known as the principle used by Lange, in his Orpheums
and Paramounts.

(Best known in the Old Time World as the Whyte Laydie or Electric tonering.)

Nathan... It's exactly what WE were discussing in another post -- about the "shims" stuck on
the top of the rim, in the photo of B&D #6 NPU.

Since it tends to give a "richer" or "warmer" tone -- it tends to be preferred for 5-strings
and plectrums. The tenors tend to like a more "cutting" tone.

But Diarmaid and I were discussing our fondness for 1920s Epiphones -- and the principle is
used in the Epi Recording Bandmasters as well.

MORE mass gives the principle more power -- less mass will still work, tone-wise, but it's
just less powerful.

As I mentioned in that NPU post, David Day tried some experimental versions of the
"rod-on-points" principle in B&D banjos for the Vaudeville star, "Montana", and for NY
orchestra banjoist Frank Reino.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The principle of a ring resting on points ("rod-on-points") was first patented in 1882 -- and used in the
Morrison banjos, made by Buckbee,

Other US makers to eventually use variations on the principle, included:
Fairbanks (and Vega), Cole, Washburn, Bacon, Orpheum, Paramount, Gibson, Epiphone, Stromberg,
Majestic, VanEps, ODE, Fielding...


Obviously, it's an old, and a very WELL-PROVEN principle... Yes... it's the concept that the Gibson
Ball-Bearing is based on. They just put a big round tube on it, instead of a rod...

Works like a charm. Did it to my first "parts" banjo, back in the '70s.

Diarmaid's variation adds a bit more low-profile mass to the system. Dimes, Nickels, or pennies, will
work just as well. So will paperclips, or small finishing nails, roll-pins, etc.

Try MORE and FEWER "points" and see which you like better. I've seen variation ranging from
48 points of contact -- to just 3 points. (VanEps used 4.)



Best-
Ed Britt


••• A good fiddle tune will bring two or more people together who might otherwise be enemies. •••


Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 10/22/2009 12:06:11



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