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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: What Makes a Vegavox a Vegavox?

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majtomsdeserters - Posted - 09/05/2009:  04:36:28

Curious--is it a top tension? I would think most would have a tubaphone, and most likely not 5 strings. I could be wrong. Eddie Peadoby models of special interest to me. Thanks, Tom

Edited by - Ronnie on 09/06/2009 01:46:13

rexhunt - Posted - 09/05/2009:  05:04:43

The top tension flange is basicaly the tension hoop and the resonator is deep - up to the head level. It does have the Tub-a-phone ring and does not have a bracket band. There were some 5 string versions made though not very many. The tailpiece was special and attached to the flange. I'm sure the experts will elaborate and correct whatever I have wrong.


Ronnie - Posted - 09/05/2009:  16:07:58

Rex is correct.
I know of maybe 3 original five string versions in existence. and a couple of conversions. I would love to own one!! Most all of them were plectrums or tenors.
As I understand it Eddie Peabody designed the Vega Vox @1923 in collaboration with Vega and they were made in limited numbers until the bitter end. Depending on ornamentation, they were designated VV I through VV V

Rare original VVIV 5string banjo
This banjo was at Bernunzio's a few years ago. As I recall it was from1955
and had the dowel stick configuration.

Close up of 4 string Vega Vox

Edited by - Ronnie on 09/06/2009 02:13:25

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 09/06/2009:  04:02:50

A VegaVox is a poorly constructed and built banjo - conflicting all player needs and comforts.

Due to its construction the sound projection goes mainly away from the player - in a large band the player canīt almost not hear nor feel it. Beside that its impossible to play in a sitting position - it slides away from your body.

Most prewar VVīs will need a neck reinforcement, as the necks tend to bend/warp - this due to poor wood quality and crafting.

The original tailpiece is to long - a replacement with a custom built Oettinger or Bearclaw will improve the sound and power tremendously.

BTW - did I forget to mention, that a VegaVox is/can be a fantastic sounding banjo with its own highly regarded "wooden" sound? LOL!

Kindly regards


rexhunt - Posted - 09/06/2009:  05:31:00

Polle, are you saying that the VegaVox banjos were not as good as a standard Vega or that you consider all Vega banjo to be poorly constructed? The neck on my Soloist was just fine.


mainejohn - Posted - 09/06/2009:  06:54:05

Polle said: "A VegaVox is a poorly constructed and built banjo - conflicting all player needs and comforts."

...I don't own one, and personally prefer the sound of a conventionally resonated vintage Vega, but I've noticed that VegaVoxes (or custom banjos made in the Vox style) are played by a number of pros, notably, Peter Mezoian, Kurt Abel, and Dave Frey, just three that come to mind.

John Coleman
Scarborough, Maine

rudykizuty - Posted - 09/06/2009:  07:06:56

Polle, I think this may come down to a matter of opinion. I consider myself a "B&D guy" too, but I have to admit........I have considered every opportunity I've had to get my hands on Dad's plectrum '68 Vox IV an absolute treat.

True, I have no personal way to compare it to a pre-war VV and have never played one in a band setting. But Dad's example has a solid feel to it and I have never experienced any issues with it sliding away from my body...............even with the ridiculous beer gut that I have developed over the years LOL

I also think it's an incredibly pretty sounding banjo. Although.......Dad's IS outfitted with an Oettinger tailpiece. So, if that makes a difference, there ya go. A number of players whose work I admire all play a Vox, including Dave Marty, Dave Frey, Jimmy Mazzy, etc. I certainly have never thought their performances left anything to be desired by their preferred choice of banjo.

I also believe my own personal playing sounds better with it too. I have arthritis in my hands and find that the opportunity to stretch my hands and fingers out a little more on the longer/wider fret board to be a tad more comfortable. But with that said, it only proves my original point, that some things come down to how it makes you feel personally.

Anyway.....just my two cents on a Sunday morning where I'm feeling rather chatty

Anthony Herner
You have to practice even to be lousy -- Jack Benny

Edited by - rudykizuty on 09/06/2009 07:07:22

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 09/06/2009:  07:40:52

Dear Sunday Morning Readers,

Always have minimum 2 cups of coffee before reading posts at BHO.

Maybe your heads will then be so clear, that youīll be able reading, remembering and understanding a posting in its full length.

Didnīt I write at the end of my posting:

BTW - did I forget to mention, that a VegaVox is/can be a fantastic sounding banjo with its own highly regarded "wooden" sound? LOL!

Regarding prewar and postwar VVīs (and clones) - the construction of these and their materials canīt be compared.

What I in fact did write was: A VegaVox is - in spite of design and construction mistakes/failors plus poor material and crafting at the prewars - a fantastic sounding banjo with its own "wooden sound".

Now - can we go on for some more coffee?



rudykizuty - Posted - 09/06/2009:  09:15:49

But I was already on my third cup!!

Anthony Herner
You have to practice even to be lousy -- Jack Benny

Edited by - rudykizuty on 09/06/2009 09:41:16

billmill22 - Posted - 09/06/2009:  11:25:33

A vox is a Vox because of the deep resonator, top tension with flush mounted flange, and Tubaphone tone ring. Great banjo! I have a III and love it. I did install a nice calfskin head and that makes it all the better for me.
Peabody had most of the adjustment parts replaced with brass instead of the later alumimun-maybe some other mods I'm sure others will know much more then me.
Bill /
"Where there is a Tub-A-Phone banjo,
there you will find Musical Happiness"

Ronnie - Posted - 09/15/2009:  11:47:14

I was at Gruhn's last weekend. A nice '60's VVI tenor for $1500. If I had had enough money I would have probably bought it.

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