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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Clavero banjo-manjolino-guitaro-like instrument


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/314005

nicbordeaux - Posted - 01/20/2016:  15:48:06


Six strings. Picked it up today in an antique shop for 5 euros and haven't had time to even clean it yet, Recovering from an operation so not in collecting or playing mode, plus I have to finish inventing perpetual motion for next week. Apart from the skin head, pretty much "perfect". The tailpiece has two times three pegs, set in a double triangle shape. The build is typical of Clavero, it's stamped and burn marked Clavero all over it. The fingerboard overhangs the actual neck by quite a way, and the 12th is well past the neck (well, it's on the fretboard which overshoots the neck). Tailpiece is adjustable, everything except the remains of strings is brass or other alloy. This one is definitely a keeper, and I guess well worth having restored to full playability. I could be wrong and everybody has one of these and they are scorned ? Not of any great value, but seems to me like a pretty good quality little instrument. Can't work out if it's a banjoline or a chopped off  6 string banjo guitar... like young Django Reinhardt copied Al Capone or something.

















AndrewD - Posted - 01/21/2016:  13:56:21


5 Euros ? Worth every cent.


nicbordeaux - Posted - 01/21/2016:  14:57:58


You are right, at 6 euros I wouldn't have bought it. Only a mug punter would pay more than 5.

The antique shop was full of expensive paintings, china, old Dupont lighters etc. Guess the owner thought that as the banjoline was filthy and "broken" it wasn't worth anything. Have it in parts now and it is really beautifully made. If I send it to a pro it's going to cost maybe 200 or 300 euros, which is about the value of a restored Clavero 6 string. So it'll be time out and a DIY job.

Last head I changed was a real hassle, the eBay seller said "measure head dia and buy exactly that size, fits right on". Bought 2 inches bigger and well, it was a fight. Goatskin. Any good source of calfskin head material in the UK by any chance ? That would be a real help.

AndrewD - Posted - 01/21/2016:  16:48:13


I've just re-skinned my main  banjo with a calfskin from Clifford Essex. I've had that fight before s I got a 14" piece for an 11" banjo.


Dan Gellert - Posted - 01/21/2016:  18:29:46


If you are talking about an unmounted skin, at least 4 inches over the diameter of the pot is what you want to make the job easy.   Less than 3, and you are approaching the realm of masochism.



That instrument looks like it was meant to be tuned an octave above a guitar.  interesting.  I'd try using real light electric guitar strings on it.


Stephen John Prior - Posted - 01/22/2016:  00:36:58


Nick. I agree with Mastermind Andrew. Clem at Clifford Essex is the man to go to. Excellent quality. I have fitted at least a dozen of his calf skin heads over the last year or so.

AndrewD - Posted - 01/22/2016:  01:26:30


I've had worse nicknames smiley And Dan's right - An extra inch would have been more satisfactory..


nicbordeaux - Posted - 01/22/2016:  05:55:55


quote:

Originally posted by Dan Gellert

 

If you are talking about an unmounted skin, at least 4 inches over the diameter of the pot is what you want to make the job easy.   Less than 3, and you are approaching the realm of masochism.




That instrument looks like it was meant to be tuned an octave above a guitar.  interesting.  I'd try using real light electric guitar strings on it.







From the dia of the strings (3) left on the beast, it looks like it might have been tuned to A. I read somewhere that the long neck models were tuned to D. Definitely very light gauge, even though well made the "banjo" is old.. Thanks everybody, I'll check out Clifford Essex. And yes, if there is a choice I'll go for 14 inches, just to be on the safe side. 12 might be a mite too small...


nicbordeaux - Posted - 01/23/2016:  14:58:34


Well, now the instrument is taken apart maybe somebody can give me a better idea of their opinion of the quality of this build, and what similar instruments exist under other brands. In fact, whether even a similar Clavero 6 string short-neck banjolele is known of. Haven't been able to find one on the web.



The Whole thing is pretty much self-supporting, the build reduces pressure and strain on the pot. Not like those awful cheapo Brit copies of this wonderful French invention. The Banjo was invented by the French in 1788, and when Marie Antoinette banned it a revolution ensued in 1789.



Wondering whether it might be a good idea to change the head and then put the whole assembly back into the pot. It is a very, very snug fit, so any deformation of that big metal wotsit would be fatal.



Edited by - nicbordeaux on 01/23/2016 14:59:37













Dan Gellert - Posted - 01/24/2016:  15:34:42


Never seen anything made by Clavero, but that looks to me like a nicely-designed system for supporting and tensioning the head, and plenty sturdy to handle the job.   Replacing the hide should be easy on that one.  There does appear to be a little bit of surface corrosion on your big metal wotsit-- Just make sure the surface which bears on the head is smooth (w. very fine steel wool or sandpaper). 



Is the neck straight, does it mount securely to the pot, and how is its angle relative to the head? 


G Edward Porgie - Posted - 01/27/2016:  08:37:12


"Let them play accordians!"  --Marie Antoinette, 1789.


nicbordeaux - Posted - 01/27/2016:  15:58:52


Thanks, the thing including the wotsit and the other gizmos is now all nice and shiney, does need a bit of final polishing by hand for the intricate and inacessible parts , and with a 4 inch calicot mop for the rest. Yeah, that probably was what Marie Antoinette said. Louis XVI should have stuck up for the banjo. He let his wife have her head and lost his.

Honest, I have a pic of a very youg Django Reinhardt playing a six string Clavero guitar Banjo, same as this one but a long neck model. Not knowing anything about banjos, I rely on Google, and you nice guys. Got a feeling this is a bit of a rare beast. How come nobody has offered me 10 K yet ?

The neck looks OK . Stupidly forgot to check the angle before dismantling.

nicbordeaux - Posted - 01/28/2016:  04:26:08


Here's a link to a pic of Django playing a Clavero 6 string. set-de-jazz.com/site/main.php?...reinhardt

chas5strings - Posted - 01/28/2016:  04:32:27


quote:

Originally posted by nicbordeaux

 

You are right, at 6 euros I wouldn't have bought it. Only a mug punter would pay more than 5.



The antique shop was full of expensive paintings, china, old Dupont lighters etc. Guess the owner thought that as the banjoline was filthy and "broken" it wasn't worth anything. Have it in parts now and it is really beautifully made. If I send it to a pro it's going to cost maybe 200 or 300 euros, which is about the value of a restored Clavero 6 string. So it'll be time out and a DIY job.



Last head I changed was a real hassle, the eBay seller said "measure head dia and buy exactly that size, fits right on". Bought 2 inches bigger and well, it was a fight. Goatskin. Any good source of calfskin head material in the UK by any chance ? That would be a real help.







There is a guy advertises skins on boncoin quite regularly. Whether they are goat or calf...je ne sais pas.


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