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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Vega Earl Scruggs Model

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

revellfa - Posted - 05/15/2009:  13:34:51

For sale in the classifieds is a 1969 Boston-made Vega Earl Scruggs Model. The serial number A-129650 which makes it one of the last banjos made by the Vega Company while they were still in Boston (before they sold out to Martin.)

Posted by the seller.

f5loar - Posted - 05/15/2009:  15:01:14

I could not find it at that site or else it had so much stuff on it I couldn't find it in all the clutter. Did he have a price for it?

Tom Isenhour

revellfa - Posted - 05/15/2009:  15:26:28

Here is the link for the ad.

I have the price set at $1,800

The Old Timer - Posted - 05/15/2009:  16:30:58

I'm the proud owner of a '67 Scruggs II. They can be set up, with care and effort, to sound pretty darn good. This one certainly appears to be in very good condition, exactly what it should be. The level of wear on the back of the neck finish is NOTHING compared to how most of these wear if they're played a lot (I'm talking worn to bare white maple wood from nut to 5th peg. I especially like the addition of an old Vega Professional Presto tailpiece. Just as Earl would have done on his.

Originally would have come with a "Vegalon" brand plastic head, not a Remo, so the Earl signature isn't on the "original: head IMHO.

These sell to a somewhat "specialist" group of collectors/pickers. I wish the seller and eventual buyer good luck.

Standard disclaimer, I have no financial or other interest in this particular banjo or seller.

A fine sounding American-made banjo, if that's important to a buyer, that at the time was right in the race with Fender, Ome/Ode/Baldwin and considered "better" than a Mastertone of the same vintage. Main criticism back in 1969 was it the highest priced of the group!

The Old Timer, still learning!

rexhunt - Posted - 05/15/2009:  16:49:18

I bought a Pro II in 1969 because I thought it sounded better than the current Gibson. It's the same basic pot as the Scruggs with a bit less trim. It's a fine sounding banjo and records real well but it just doesn't have the power of my 28 TB-4 conversion.


lethegoodtimesroll - Posted - 05/15/2009:  17:05:29

Originally posted by rexhunt

I bought a Pro II in 1969 because I thought it sounded better than the current Gibson. It's the same basic pot as the Scruggs with a bit less trim. It's a fine sounding banjo and records real well but it just doesn't have the power of my 28 TB-4 conversion.


Back in the old days The Mastertone was designed with power in mind

Ronnie - Posted - 05/16/2009:  07:13:52

My Scruggs/Vega is from 1965. The headstock is more like a fly-swatter configuration. I played every banjo I could get my hands on before I bought it, including the Gibsons of the period. Something about this banjo appealed to me and I have been playing it all these years. The finish is completely worn off the neck and she could use some new frets. It still has the original Grover Perma-Tension 5th tuner and I have had no problems with it. However, we all have different tastes, and what works for me might not work for you.
BTW I envy that tailpiece!!

Edited by - Ronnie on 05/16/2009 07:30:18

chrome - Posted - 05/16/2009:  09:37:48

If you get the chance to listen to the CD of Merle and Doc Watson called Home Sweet Home Merle is picking a Vega Scruggs banjo.

Ronnie - Posted - 05/16/2009:  09:48:54

Lonesome Banjo is another good one by Doc and Merle.

The Old Timer - Posted - 05/20/2009:  07:57:25

Another one has just turned up on Gruhn's website. $1850 I think. Looks "typical".

The Old Timer, still learning!

Ronnie - Posted - 05/20/2009:  08:23:00

I checked that one out last time I was in Nashville. , It is a nice one!!

Edited by - Ronnie on 05/20/2009 08:24:36

wrangler - Posted - 05/20/2009:  09:43:08

I bought a Vega Bobby Joe Fenster in early 1970 which is just before Martin took the company. I played it as my main bluegrass banjo for 38 years and it was a great banjo. The reason that I bought a Vega instead of a Gibson was the neck speed. I thought that it played better than a Gibson for about the same price and thes sound was about the same. I think that the only difference between Vega's bluegrass models was the trim.

I haven't been able to find anyone else with a Bobby Joe Fenster. If anyone else knows about that banjo, I would appreciate your input.


To peace, happiness, banjos that stay in tune and people likewise

Ronnie - Posted - 05/20/2009:  09:50:18

I remember those from old catalogs. I have never seen one in person. Are you sure it wasn't made after the Martin buy-out?? BTW, who is {was} Bobby Joe Fenster??

Edited by - Ronnie on 05/20/2009 12:42:59

rexhunt - Posted - 05/21/2009:  02:48:02

I don't remember if it was after the buyout or not but I think it was just a new name for the Pro II. I seem to remember being very grateful that mine was still called the Pro II when it finally arrived. I've got a pic of it in my photo album.


Ronnie - Posted - 05/21/2009:  09:29:34

I have posted this so many times, I am sure I am boring everyone.

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