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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: B&D Special


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: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/217484

budbennett - Posted - 10/07/2011:  07:13:50



this is the only picture i have to go on.  it is a B&D Special, serial number puts it as 1928.  does this have a tonering in it does anyone know?  i assume it's not a silver bell and the peghead looks pretty non-ornate but hard to tell.  do you all think this is worth me taking the afternoon off to go look at?  this if the first and only tenor banjo i've seen available in my area of the state ever and i am curious.


BDCA - Posted - 10/07/2011:  08:18:10



They don't allow tenors south of Winchester!



 



Cya!



Bob



(Former Roanoke resident)


budbennett - Posted - 10/07/2011:  08:25:31



it would definitly seem that way!


tdennis - Posted - 10/07/2011:  09:57:25



Bud, I believe this Special does not have a Silver Bell tonering.  There are B&D specialist who will be better able to describe  what the actual type of ring is on this.  However, depending on the price, condition,  & distance you have to travel, it still looks like a real nice instrument. 


DanielT - Posted - 10/07/2011:  10:15:34



No, I don't believe it has a tone ring at all (maybe just a rolled piece of brass or something).  That tailpiece isn't original.


Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/07/2011:  11:00:21



Bud,



No - it doesn´t have, what´s normally called a tone ring - and what´s more important - it doesn´t need one - au contraire!



What it has, is a fantastic sound far better than the vast majority of vintage and new tenors with a so-called tone ring - set up (and maybe up-graded with a suited tailpiece) in the best possible way it even has a power and projection also better than most of these.



Personally I would gladly take an afternoon off for "looking" at this banjo - plus I would most certainly bring it home with me.



This early version of the Special model is the sole model by Bacon built of walnut - an indeed fantastic tone wood - plus it does have a neck reinforced with a bar of surgical steel and with a great slim profile, like the Silver Bell´s later than 1926.



Good luck / hunt!



big



Polle



 



 



 



Edited by - Polle Flaunoe on 10/07/2011 11:03:29

tdennis - Posted - 10/07/2011:  11:17:10



Polle, could you please describe what's under the head ?  Is it a bearing edge like a drum, a ring of thin wire or perhaps thicker tube of brass, (or some other metal)  ?  


Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/07/2011:  11:42:37



tdennis,



Sorry - but no! wink



Meaning - yes, I can - but no, I won´t!



I hate all these tone ring talks etc. - what matters to me, is the SOUND, POWER and PROJECTION produced by a certain banjo as-is - not its individual features.



Bacon / B&D did for sure know how to build the best 4-string banjos ever - as combinations of many features, properties and qualities - please forget all about f.ex. tone rings. wink Leave this to the Gibsonists.



Kind regards



Polle


tdennis - Posted - 10/07/2011:  12:39:58



Good point, I tend to agree. 


budbennett - Posted - 10/07/2011:  14:01:32


I got it! Details later.....

tdennis - Posted - 10/07/2011:  14:23:34



Polle,  I've worked on,  & refurbished many instruments in the banjo family, but have never got my hands on a B&D.  I've listened to many recordings & videos (including yours), &  I think that they are some of the best sounding instruments ever made.  I don't think that a simple question about banjo construction necessarily puts one in the category of an "obsessive Gibsonite". (this is obviously something that annoys you personally).  If you don't want to answer the specific question of the original poster about the tonering,  perhaps you could find a different forum, & write your manifesto/editorial  about  tonerings there.  In the meantime , we still would like to know more about the B&D Special.  Anyone out there ??



Edited by - tdennis on 10/07/2011 14:25:08

budbennett - Posted - 10/07/2011:  15:03:37


I was much more than happy with Polle's answer!

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/07/2011:  15:43:48



Bud,



Congratulations!



I´m looking forward for your "details" and maybe some pics - I´ll also gladly give you some advices for the ultimate set-up for it.



big



Polle



 


Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/08/2011:  02:59:06



tdennis,



Sorry - I did misunderstand your question somehow/completely. I was jumping between various threads - maybe that´s why.



It´s been a while since I last had a Special disassembled - however my poor memory (plus a normally better archive) tells me, that the first version has a thin solid steel ring on top of and at the outside of the rim.



Early 30s the model was revised - it did then f.ex. get a thin brass skirt rolled over the steel ring - not to be confused with the Silver Bell tone ring - as you may see from this pic:



Click for Large Version



I haven´t been able determining the/any difference in sound and power caused by this skirt - as I´ve never had both versions in house at the same time - opposite Silver Bell tone rings - I do normally have all types of this represented in my display/collection.



Sorry again wink



Polle



 


budbennett - Posted - 10/11/2011:  04:53:10



I took and posted some photos of my new banjo.  i spent a lot of time with it Sunday and Monday and it really is a great player.  The intonation is perfect, the neck perfect and i'm working on the tone. 



i know the tuners are not original, the music shop folks swapped the originals out because they were not working right and then sold them to someone else unfortunately, and the bridge obviously is new (and crappy) but the rest of it looks either ALL original or at least from the same time period.  i have been discussing this banjo with our friend Polle and thought i would share the photos with you all too. 



Have a look-



banjohangout.org/myhangout/pho...umid=6103


budbennett - Posted - 10/12/2011:  11:41:15



i am going to replace the head from the skin on it to a renaissance.  does anyone have any advice for crown height?  i guess i should take it apart and measure it but i don't want to do that until i have a new head to put on it.  i guess i'm being lazy but does anyone have advice on that?  i would tend to go the middle way and get medium?


BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/12/2011:  17:38:09



Hi Bud --


 


Nice find.  Do you have the serial number? AND... do the serial numbers on the rim


and on the neck MATCH? Both numerically, and in the style of digit-stamps used?


 


It's mostly all Bacon parts. (The pegs and tailpiece aren't... The armrest might be...


but it's been modified, to screw directly onto the tension-hoop.) 


 


The neck is Bacon made... But I've NEVER seen that exact peghead before.  The


snowflake inlay in the peghead was used on the 'backstrap' of the top-of-the-line


banjos, they made in the early-1920s.


 


It is possible that it's a Depression Era "floor-sweep" from the early-to-mid-'30s -- when



they were having financial problems.  I've seen a number of 'odd' banjos from that period.


It's very possible that the entire peghead overlay was originally made as a 'backstrap'.


Later, during the 1930s -- it was 're-purposed' as a front overlay -- to make a 'saleable'


banjo. (Many of the banjo manufacturers did that sort of thing, during the 1930s.)



 


BUT... It's also possibly a 'marriage', done at a later date (1940s-1950s) AFTER Bacon


went bankrupt. There was at least one former employee, who swapped a lot of 'salvaged'


parts around -- to "make' (or modify) banjos to sell.


 


When you have the neck off the rim, check closely for any evidence of 'repair-work' where


the dowel meets the heel of the neck.  There are dowels which were 'slipped' -- in order to


swap necks between two different rims.  That way the serials will MATCH  -- even though


the necks are from different banjos.


 


If it works... It works!  Regardless of what its history is -- it's still primarily Bacon-made parts.


Enjoy!


 


 


Best-


Ed Britt


 


PS-- That Jos. Rogers head is quite DESIREABLE if it's still in one piece!  Be nice to it!


 

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/12/2011:  21:27:54



Ed,



Here´s what I wrote Bud about this SN 25158:



 



 



Well – this is a surprise – that somehow confirmes an idea/suspicion of mine.


 


This seems to be a special version of a Peerless – a sort of prototype for the Special model, that came a little later. I´ve never seen an example like this – however my database indicates, that a handful or so were built - by occasion – from mid 1927 till early 1928.


 


Bacon had till then always used “special” for indicating a special version of a certain model - it´s my guess, that they decided to use/”upgrade” this word to/for a model name – maybe also because it started with a “S” - like most of their mid and high level standard models at that time (Super, Silver Bell, Sultana, Serenader, Senorita, Symphonie).


 


The Special model was for the first time described in their 1930 catalog – Bacon was however always a little late and out-of-date – see acousticmusic.org/userfiles/fi...talog.pdf">acousticmusic.org/userfiles/fi...talog.pdf . Some characteristics for the model are its all-walnut construction and steel reinforced neck (like the Silver Bell models of that time).


 


Yours seems to be all-maple – now I wonder – was this special version name somehow describing, that they put on a steel reinforced neck on a Peerless? You can confirm this by holding a large magnet against the neck – or – at disassembling – look for a rectangular plug at the end of the neck.


 


- - - 


 


Regarding the tuners and the tailpiece on yours – I can´t tell – maybe these are in fact original to this special banjo. Oettingers were standard only for the various Silver Bell models. And all standard Special model banjos have geared tuners – Grover Screw Tab on type 1 – Ludwig Planet on type 2 and the never seen type 3.


 


BTW – a special feature for your banjo is, that the vertical lip on the resonator flange goes at the inside of the rim – this principle comes from the earlier add-on resonators – very few transition banjos with a standard equipped resonator (f.ex. Peerless) were built this way – Bacon standard solution was to have the lip at the outside.


 


 


Bud,


 


​You can use high or mid crown - depending on how high you want the hoop to be over the head. A mid crown can however give you problems, as the hoop may interfere with the fretboard level.


 


big


 


Polle

budbennett - Posted - 10/13/2011:  05:04:33



i really appreciate the replies here!



 



i just uploaded two pictures with the serial number- they look the same to me.  i have hesitated taking this banjo apart so far mostly so i could spend the maximum amount of time playing it.  i will take it apart and see what's under the head and what the dowel attachment looks like and take a few more photos. 



the head is intact and looks in fantastic shape, you see it has some wear from being played but it's not a whole lot for sure.  as i mentioned elsewhere, the plating being worn off the tailpiece and armrest sure do not match the conditon of the rest of this banjo!



 Polle- i was wondering about your database- i see you have ssn25148 which is a Model: Peerless  and Style: Special.  I assume that one is different from the one i have?  If you put mine in your database what will you call the model and style?  i am just curious.







Edited by - budbennett on 10/13/2011 05:05:52

BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/13/2011:  08:46:15



quote:




           Originally posted by budbennett


 


i just uploaded two pictures with the serial number- they look the same to me.  i have hesitated taking this banjo apart so far mostly so i could spend the    maximum amount of time playing it.  i will take it apart and see what's under the head and what the dowel attachment looks like and take a few more photos. 



the head is intact and looks in fantastic shape, you see it has some wear from being played but it's not a whole lot for sure.  as i mentioned elsewhere, the plating being worn off the tailpiece and armrest sure do not match the conditon of the rest of this banjo!



 Polle- i was wondering about your database- i see you have ssn25148 which is a Model: Peerless  and Style: Special.  I assume that one is different from the one i have?  If you put mine in your database what will you call the model and style?  i am just curious.






 



Hi Bud --


 


Thanks for posting the pix of the serials.  Yup... BOTH are original. So the rim and dowel match.


 


And you ask about Polle's calling the banjo a "Peerless" "Special".  Well, after looking through


my own files.  I've come to the same conclusion as Polle. 


 


I have photos of Peerless #25684, and Peerless # 26031.  (I'll try to post some later.) They are


VERY similar to your banjo -- in almost all details:


 


  o The basic neck construction is the same for BOTH -- with 3 center plies, same peghead shape,


        and a spray-shaded coloring. (Yours *might* be refinished... not sure.) The peghead inlay on


        both is the 'standard' MOP inlay for that period. (So THAT differs drastically from yours,)


 


  o The rim assembly -- They both have a 'spun-over' rod for a tone ring. and the tone ring skirt


        shows on the outside. The outside of the rim is shaded dark, inside painted silver, with same


        slot-head bracket bolts. The back of the rim is capped with black (celluloid?) laminate. (Bud...


        does your banjo have metal visible on the outside of the rim -- between the head and the


        bracket shoes? NOT the tension hoop.)


 


  o The resonator flange on both is identical to yours. (That 'Tulip-hole' flange was also used on the


        earliest Senorita models.) However, the resonator back on yours -- with the 2 creme-colored


        celluloid rings -- is more similar to a Silver Bell of the period.  (Except it has a center-hole.)


 


        Peerless #26031 appears to have a completely original curly maple resonator, with a matching


        spray-shaded finish --AND-- it has 3 fine-line rings incised (cut) into the wood's surface. The


        spray-shaded finish looks similar to yours. (There's no photo of the inside.)


 


        Peerless # 25684 has a refinished curly maple resonator -- with NO rings. (They may have been


        sanded-out during the refinishing.)  The inside is sprayed silver, and has the oval "Bacon Banjo


        Co.' ink-stamp  -- with the 'Dec 20th 1927' date.


 


        12/20/1927 is the date that the patent was granted for the Silver Bell. The application was filed on


        11/23/1923. Technically, the 'construction' of the 'Tulip' flange -- and the way its lower lip attaches


         to the wood back, and the upper lip attaches to the rim -- is similar enough to also be covered 


         by the Silver Bell patent. Even though it doesn't have the same angled surface for the sound holes.


         (Or at least that's apparently what Fred and Dave hoped!)


 


  o BOTH #25684, and #26031, have original Grover Presto tailpieces.  #26031 has its original Grover


         'pancake' geared tuners. (NO tabs!)  #25684's tuners have been replaced with modern Planet pegs.


         The Armrest on both #25684, and #26031 appear to be Grover style.(They are not the long Silver


         Bell style, or the narrow Senorita style.)  They look similar to the one on Bud's -- but, as mentioned,


         Bud's armrest is missing at least one of its bracket hooks -- and is apparently screwed to the tension


         hoop.  Oh!... and #26031 also has its original Jos. Rogers skin head!


    


 


So... we're down to the strange peghead inlay. The engraving on the celluloid disk is just NOT up to B&D


standards.  It's too crude. And the style of the letters 'B&D' seem to taken from the later-1930s celluloid


Silver Bells. It might be a later 'repair' or 'upgrade'... But unless another one turns up -- we may never know.


 


I'll try to get some photos of #25684, and #26031 posted -- later today or tomorrow.


 


Bud...


When you DO get around to taking the neck off -- to replace the head... Could you take some close-up


photos of where the dowel meets the inner surface of the heel. Especially if there is some excess glue


visible. (But I'm now thinking that the neck probably IS original.  I just can't figure-out the 'unique' peghead.)


 


 


Best-


Ed Britt


Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 10/13/2011 08:54:13

budbennett - Posted - 10/13/2011:  08:59:12



wow Ed thanks for looking into this, it is very interesting indeed.  i will take the neck and head off to see what is under it tonight or tomorrow night. 



"



(Bud...


        does your banjo have metal visible on the outside of the rim -- between the head and the


        bracket shoes? NOT the tension hoop.)"


 


Yes it does. 


 


 


But:



"



o The resonator flange on both is identical to yours. (That 'tulip-hole' flange was also used on the


        earliest Senorita models.) However, the resonator back on yours -- with the 2 creme-colored


        celluloid rings -- is more similar to a Silver Bell of the period.  (Except it has a center-hole.)"


 


actually mine are incised also and not celluloid rings.


 


 


I didn't really look inside the resonator except to note it is painted silver.  i'll see if there's a stamp or something like a stamp in it tonight.


 


 


 


 


 


SO, i guess i did the right thing picking this up then?


Edited by - budbennett on 10/13/2011 09:02:35

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/13/2011:  10:49:06



Bud,



​Depending on the price you´ve paid for it - I think, that you "did the right thing picking this up". wink



Regarding your question about my database recordings - I´m now convinced, that your banjo is NOT an early example of or a prototype for the B&D Special model.



In fact I´m convinced, that it´s a B&D Peerless X Special. I´ve seen only a few of these - and they were not totally identical. I´ll dig down in my archive - I think, that I may have some pics of a banjo very identical with yours. Especially I want to study the stamps at the dowel.



Sorry for the confusion - yours is a rare banjo (only appr. 200 examples built) - and they are NOT at all identical.



big



Polle



 


budbennett - Posted - 10/13/2011:  11:08:57



thank you for thinking about this, i find it fascinating!  i will take it apart and take some more photos either tonight or tomorrow including the dowel and dowel attachment area on the neck and what's under the head. 



 



many thanks!


BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/13/2011:  17:21:27



At the bottom are photos of two "B&D Specials" -- #25684 and #26031. They are


"transitional' models. And... while I've seen (and held) actual examples of that style --


I've never seen a 'catalog' image, or description, of the "B&D Special" with the


fancy peghead pearl, seen in the photos below.


 


I have catalog descriptions from the 1926 Bacon Catalog (probably written in late-1925) --


and from the 1928 Bacon catalog (probably written in late-'27)  But I've never seen a


"1927"Bacon catalog -- in original form, as a reproduction, or as a xero-copy. 


 


And the banjos seen below, probably were '1927 models' -- but probably made in 1928. 


By 1929/30 (as seen in their catalogs and brochures) Bacon went to a different peghead


shape, with different inlay (a banner and fleur de lis) and a different style of veneering on


the resonator back.


 


NOTE:


Sorry for not being able to include the catalog images. In most cases, I'm working from old


2nd and 3rd generation xero-copies. So the details really don't show up very well in a


scanned JPG.


 


 


 


The 1926 catalog shows the BACON "Peerless"  and  the BACON "Peerless Special"


At that point, the Peerless was an openback model, in natural blonde maple color. It had


"Bacon", in MOP script, inlaid at the crest of the plain dyed peghead overlay. It listed for


$50.


 


The 1926 BACON "Peerless Special" was the upgraded version of the same model. It


was still the natural maple, also with "Bacon" script in the peghead.  The "SPECIAL" part


of it was the addition of:


 


   o  a brass 'hubcap'-style resonator.


   o  Grover "internal reduction" (geared) pegs.


   o  a Grover Presto tailpiece.


   o  an armrest (probably Grover).


 


The 1926 BACON "Peerless Special" listed for $67.50.


 


 


The 1928 Bacon catalog (it's possibly a '1927-'28' catalog) shows the BACON "Peerless X Special"


It listed for $75 -- and its appointments include:


 


   o  Dark finish maple,


   o  "Bacon" script in the plain peghead. (Still not "B&D"!)


   o  Bacon's 'FLAT' resonator -- with round sound holes, that fit around the bracket nuts. (It was


         originally designed as an 'after-rmarket' resonator. So Bacon owners could upgrade their


         older, open back Blue Ribbon models, when the B&D Silver Bell was introduced in 1923.)



   o  Grover "internal reduction" (geared) pegs.


   o  a Grover Presto tailpiece.


   o  an armrest (probably Grover).



 


 


The 'catalog' image, and description, of a "Peerless Special" closest to the photos below, is seen


in the c.1929--'30 'narrow' catalog (4-1/4"x 11"). It describes the "New Model 'B&D Special' Banjos"


In particular -- the "No.1 B&D Special Banjo". (Styles No.2 and No.3 were also made.) The cut


shows it with:


 


   o  dark finish, and 3 center-stripes in neck.


   o  a NEW peghead shape, with a MOP top banner, and a large pearl fleur de lis design.


   o  the 'Tulip'-hole flange.


   o  a center-screw resonator. (Bacon called it the "Amplifier Tone Chamber") It had a more


         decorative style of veneering on the back.


   o  Grover "internal reduction" (geared) pegs.




   o  a Grover Presto tailpiece.


   o  an armrest (probably Grover).




 


 


If anyone has seen catalog images of the models below -- I'd like to get copies.


 


 


Best-


Ed Britt


 


PS -- Sources for photos:


           #25684: eBay -- Vinnie Mondello --  4stringbanjos.com


           #26031: eBay -- isolditstores.com


Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 10/13/2011 17:36:25



1 #25684 B&D Peerless c1928


2 #25684 B&D Peerless c1928


3 #25684 B&D Peerless c1928


4 #25684 B&D Peerless c1928


5 #25684 B&D Peerless c1928


6 #25684 B&D Peerless - c1928


7 #25684 B&D Peerless - c1928


1 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


2 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


3 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


4 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


5 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


6 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


7 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


8 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


9 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928


10 #26031 B&D Peerless - c1928

   

jbalch - Posted - 10/13/2011:  17:31:55



Bud:



 



With Polle & Ed's comments, you have already tapped into the real B&D experts here for lots of great information.  I have nothing to ad except congratulations!



You might be interested in more some  photos of my B&D for comparison.  Mine is a 1934 Special #2...similar construction...different decoration:



 



 











Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/13/2011:  18:01:14



Ed,



Sorry - but NO!



ALL of the Peerless X Special´s, that I´ve met (ab late 1926 - early 1930) (1927/28 catalog) are of the brand B&D - not Bacon.



As for the B&D Special Style 1, 2 and 3 (ab early 1928) (1929-30 catalog) - you seem to forget, that these are all-walnut.



big



Polle



 


budbennett - Posted - 10/13/2011:  18:02:58



i just added a bunch of new pictures i took this evening. 



 



now i'm going to look at all your photos!


budbennett - Posted - 10/13/2011:  18:33:36



ED- wow mine looks a lot like  25684 except for the peghead and some of the inlay.   i appreciate seeing the photos.



 



Thanks John, yours is so nice!


BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/13/2011:  20:37:05



quote:


Originally posted by Polle Flaunoe


Sorry - but NO!



ALL of the Peerless X Special´s, that I´ve met (ab late 1926 - early 1930) (1927/28 catalog) are of the brand B&D - not Bacon.



As for the B&D Special Style 1, 2 and 3 (ab early 1928) (1929-30 catalog) - you seem to forget, that these are all-walnut.






Hi Polle --



That's OK with me.  In 25 years, I haven't really paid much attention to the lower-grade Bacons.

(Except for the Senoritas.)   Your 1927/28 catalog may also be different than mine,



My Gima "Banjo Family" reprint, with the small "catalog insert", is still packed-away somewhere,

from my office move. (So I can't access that, right now.)  But the yellow cover Banjo Newsletter

reprint has most of the same 'catalog' info in it, 



All I'm saying is that -- out of all the catalogs that I have -- the BNL is the only one with any info

specifically detailing the "Peerless X Special".  And the banjo illustrated with that info has 'Bacon"

on the peghead.  NOT B&D!  And its resonator is the earlier "flat" round-hole style.



You probably have the NEXT year's catalog -- which does have the newer "B&D" Peerless illustrated. 

In that case, you have an extra piece of information --  that I don't have. That's good!



But, that doesn't nullify anything printed in the catalog copies that I have.  I stated that I thought the

banjos (in the photos I posted) were probably "transitional". Perhaps "1927 models" made in 1928.

If so... they could easily NOT match an earlier (or later) catalog description.



Yes... I am aware that the LATER 1929/30 models are made with walnut. I also said they have a


different peghead shape, different peghead inlay, and different resonator backs.  They are NOT the


banjo that Bud has. (Although they may have evolved from it.)


 


But... Bud's banjo HAS the tulip-flange resonator -- which is NOT on the *BACON* "Peerless X Special"


in MY (earlier) catalog.


 


It's also quite obvious to me that Bud's banjo is NOT a 'standard' model.  But it DOES has some


aspects of the earlier BACON Peerless (the peghead shape) -- and some aspects of the later "B&D


Specials" (the Tulip flange).  



Most importantly:

1. The photos I posted are of two similar B&D Models (#25648 and #26031) with Tulip flanges.

2. They have a the EARLIER peghead shape, and DIFFERENT inlay, than the LATER c1929/30

       "B&D Specials".

3. I have NOT seen THAT style of "B&D Special" (#25648 and #26031) cataloged anywhere.

4. However, #25648 and #26031 are still the MOST similar to Bud's -- of ANY of the Bacon or B&D


        banjos that I've seen. (Not to mention the disc in Bud's peghead says: "B&D Special".)



Call them whatever you like.  I'm simply saying that the CONSTRUCTION style, and many of the


details of Bud's banjo are MOST similar to  #25648 and #26031. (Than to any of the earlier or later


Bacon/B&D banjos.)




We're not really disagreeing, Polle. We are each just focusing on different aspects of the same mystery.


 


 


Best-

Ed Britt











 

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/15/2011:  00:18:46



 



Ed,



Thanks! 



As we both know, Bacon´s catalogs (and ads also) were often delayed / out-of-date / incorrect - some of the pics used were f.ex. sometimes 3-4 years old and showed previous versions of certain models/styles.



Another disturbing fact is, that Bacon didn´t stamp some of the lower-/mid-grade banjos in their otherwise consistent way - f.ex. Bud´s banjo should at the dowel most likely have been stamped B&D PEERLESS X SPECIAL, if they had followed their "normal" procedure.



FYI - here´s an excerpts of my general database - showing the for now 135 nos. Peerless´s (the special GB version is not included) - great for an overview - do notice, that B&D and TULIP holes goes hand-in-hand.



acoustudio.dk/BACON%20&%20...LESS.html



big



Polle


BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/15/2011:  15:40:17



quote:


Originally posted by Polle Flaunoe


...  As we both know, Bacon´s catalogs (and ads also) were often delayed / out-of-date / incorrect - some of the pics used were f.ex. sometimes 3-4 years old and showed previous versions of certain models/styles. ...




Hi Polle --


 


Yes, I agree with that.  Compared to Vega, Gibson, or Lange, etc.  Bacon was a SMALL company.


Maybe 20 to 25 people total, during their high-point -- in the mid-to-late-'20s. (And many fewer than


that, during the early-'20s, and The Depression.)


 


During the the high-point, they probably didn't have the TIME to keep up-to-date and document all of


the constant changes that Day was making to their line. And during the low-points -- they probably


didn't have the MONEY to document it.  (I have personal experience with those scenarios.) wink


 


quote:


Originally posted by Polle Flaunoe


...  Another disturbing fact is, that Bacon didn´t stamp some of the lower-/mid-grade banjos in their otherwise consistent way - f.ex. Bud´s banjo should at the dowel most likely have been stamped B&D PEERLESS X SPECIAL, if they had followed their "normal" procedure. ...






Also agree with that.  It becomes confusing, for them to have used the "SPECIAL" stamp


in so many different ways -- such as:


       o  on custom instruments with non-cataloged features


       o  on experimental instruments with non-cataloged features


       o  a limited  'production run' of instruments with non-cataloged features


       o  but ALSO for some CATALOGED models, like:


            o  The Peerless Special


            o  The Peerless X Special


            o  The Montana Special


            o  The B&D Special (No.1, No.2, and No.3)


 


 



quote:


Originally posted by Polle Flaunoe


...  FYI - here´s an excerpts of my general database - showing the for now 135 nos. Peerless´s (the special GB version is not included) - great for an overview - do notice, that B&D and TULIP holes goes hand-in-hand. ...






 


Yes, that 'Tulip = B&D' relationship IS interesting. 


 


That's also why I was thinking that *perhaps* #25648, #26031 -- AND possibly Bud's


banjo -- are actually early, UNcataloged versions... of what eventually would evolve into the


cataloged "B&D Special No.1" (with 'updated' appearance changes).


 


 


Best-


Ed Britt


 



 



 



 



 



Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 10/15/2011 15:42:52

budbennett - Posted - 10/15/2011:  18:57:42


This banjo plays and feels so nice! I have not changed anything at all yet, not the bridge or strings or anything because I wanted to get acquainted with it first. I just cannot believe how good it sounds and feels.

BrittDLD1 - Posted - 10/16/2011:  03:38:28



quote:


Originally posted by budbennett



... I just cannot believe how good it sounds and feels.





Welcome to the world of Fred Bacon and David Day! approve


 


Best--


Ed Britt

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 10/16/2011:  04:03:11



Bud,



GREAT !!!    BTW - ALL Peerless owners writing me are very content with their banjos - Bacon & Day did for sure know how to build them - using high quality woods, highly skilled craftsmen and very little metal - the latter very important especially for a high string tension instrument as the tenor. Also the present stiff tailpiece on yours is far more suited for a tenor than the more flexible Presto. It seems, that yours is set up with a 5/8" bridge - this tall bridge, together with the stiff TP, allows a large downforce at the bridge - this brings out a well defined and powerful sound plus especially a great sound equality along the fretboard.



So - CONGRATULATIONS. wink



 



Ed,



I´ve looked at your pics of SN 25648 and 26031 - I can´t find any deviations from most other B&D PEERLESS X SPECIAL´s from that time - am I missing something?



Bud´s example is a little different from the others. As mentioned earlier the Tulip flange on his goes to a recess at the inside of the rim - I´ve seen only a few examples like this - all others are stopping at a recess at the outside of the rim.



Plus - his has the one-of-a-kind peghead overlay. You did at the start of this thread put up a "backstrap" theory - and later mention a non-cataloged feature - however a third option is at hand - maybe a skilled builder/luthier did later replace the overlay and created a different design. LOL!



As an example of the creativity of later builders/luthiers - do have a look at this banjo, that I´ve recently rebuilt and set up for pro-playability:



  



  



WHAT?  A B&D SUPER A1 SPECIAL No. 7?    No - of course not - just a creation most likely by the fantastic late Dale Small. LOL!



big



Polle



 



 


budbennett - Posted - 10/21/2011:  05:36:37



i was going to change the head last night from that original skin head to a renaissance so i took the entire banjo apart.  one almost interesting thing i found was the number 6 penciled onto the piece that is not actually a tonering. 



another was the apparatus that is not actually a tonering-  what it is is a thin metal band or skirt that goes all around the rim with the top of it wrapped around what looks like a brass hoop.  i could just barely see the hoop but couldn't get a picture of that.  i had wondered what that looked like and not i know.



But i was not able to change the head because i couldn't get it off the stretcher band or tonering-like apparatus!  my guess is that since the skin head has been on there for 83 years that it's stuck!  i didn't want to damage the head or stretcher band (or whatever it is called) so i just put it all back together.  any hints as to what to do there?  i wanted to change out the skin head becasue we heat our house with wood and the one and only skin head i've ever had ended up splitting when we started using the wood stove and i don't want that to happen to this head.     any helpful hints about that or am i being too paranoid about the head splitting?






found the number 6 written in pencil on the tone ring-like apparatus

   

geezr - Posted - 10/21/2011:  15:15:19



Put the tone ring, head and tension ring back on the pot and try pushing down gently in the middle of the head



Jay


budbennett - Posted - 10/28/2011:  04:41:57



would pushing down on the head make it so that i could remove it or so that i would know if it were too tight?  the latter i think?


geezr - Posted - 10/28/2011:  17:10:19



Bud



It should help remove the head assuming that there is no corrosion on the surface of the tone ring.



Jay


budbennett - Posted - 10/29/2011:  06:43:28


That didn't work at all, the "tone ring", head and tension hoop are all basically fused together and I cannot separate them. I don't want the tension hoop to break or the head to tear.

geezr - Posted - 10/29/2011:  09:36:24



Bud



You could push harder if you are willing to risk splitting the head. I really doubt that you will damage the tension hoop doing this because when you press in the middle of the head the tension is equalized all around the hoop. By the way, do you have the hooks and nuts off the banjo?



I f  you just put it back together it will also be OK. If you have had the heat on for a few days then the head should be dried out enough to tighten it up to the tension you want. When the heating season is over you will probably have to tighten it up some more. A skin head does require adjusting the tension more often to compensate for humidity changes than a plastic head.



Vinnie Mondello smooths skin heads with very fine sandpaper,and the waxes them with paste wax, which should help in keeping the head from absorbing moisture or drying out.



Jay



Edited by - geezr on 10/29/2011 09:47:14

geezr - Posted - 10/29/2011:  10:00:28



Bud



I looked on Vinnie's website and found out that doesn't use paste wax, he burnishes the head with wax paper. I think he uses 400 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.



Jay


geezr - Posted - 10/29/2011:  10:20:43



Even more. He sands the heads if they are fuzzy. If the are already smooth he just rubs them with wax paper on the top and bottom. It is only necessary to smooth the top surface.



Jay


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