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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Ditson banjo-mandolin made by Vega ?

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mralston - Posted - 06/26/2010:  06:54:12

Here's a banjo-mandolin that is stamped Ditson "Victory". The tone ring suspended above pot, pot cladding, shoes, and a lot of other details look an awful lot like Vega Style N and Little Wonder. Does anyone know if Vega made any instruments that didn't carry the Vega stamp ? I'm guessing the banjo-mando is circa 1920's-1930's.

hardware similar to expt dowel yoke & nuts

dowel stamp

heel details, dowel yoke goes in tapered slots

heel details

lip @ back base of peghead like Gretsch & Gibson

19 fret fngrbd extends ovr pot above 12th fret

peghead minus tuners

bottom of pot painted black

Metal cladding is inset ~ 2mm for dowel hole

Recess for dowel end, tone ring above pot ~ 1mm

Slingerland - Posted - 06/26/2010:  07:31:52


Looks like a Vega to me too. Recently I saw a Ditson banjo-mandolin with a Tubaphone tonering and the other appointments appropriate to a Vega Tubaphone. That one did not bear a Vega stamp or other Vega branding, but was without question a Vega.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 06/26/2010:  10:36:42

Yes; Vega made some banjos for Ditson; Martin made some guitars for them too.

mikehalloran - Posted - 06/26/2010:  17:01:20

Vega made the early Bacon banjos also. Bacon did not make their own until they hired David Day from Vega.

If those nuts have a 9/32" hex, that is Vega hardware. 1/4" or 5/16", it is not.

mralston - Posted - 06/27/2010:  07:11:09

I've got a Ditson-tagged Whyte Laydie .... seems like Ditson marketed good quality instruments.

The nuts are 9/32" (i.e., my old Vega banjo key is a perfect fit), so the body of evidence is pointing to Vega-made.

Edited by - mralston on 06/27/2010 07:12:32

Slingerland - Posted - 06/27/2010:  08:11:12

You probably should send me that Whyte Laydie. I mean if it doesn't say Vega, you really don't want it. Being the kind soul that I am, I will take it off your hands and free up some space for you. LOL.

mralston - Posted - 06/27/2010:  08:50:49

My Whyte Laydie is stamped Whyte Laydie, Fairbanks Banjo made by the Vega Company (and I'm keeping it ! !). I've seen a couple other banjos that had a Ditson label applied but were otherwise clearly attributable to one of the known makers. The banjo-mando is a little odd in that it has Vega characteristics but doesn't have any Vega info on it.


Slingerland - Posted - 06/27/2010:  11:53:29

I thought I'd

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