I owned and played a few. This is not top of the line, but nevertheless a very good player. Price is quit good, although cosmetically it has made some miles. I am loaded with banjo's, otherwise I would be willing to pay $ 300,-. Put a new head on it, clean it up a bit and it will be fine. I cannot judge the neck or frets. Looks all original, including the painting on the backside. Good price, good banjo. In Tsumura's book, the Kingston model is # 32 in the line of 36 models. New price was $ 75,- in 1927, i've seen these been sold for $500 to $600.
This instrument strikes me as having 2 issues. One thing is that the finish seems to be over-sprayed, or possibly refinished. Another major issue is that the pot metal top tension hoop is disintegrating, & will continue to crack under use,(replacements hoops are scarce & expensive). This tension hoop will break when tuning the head.
Ditto on the tension hoop problem that tdennis mentioned. This is the weak point of these banjos. If everyone else used pot metal for their tension hoops, Ludwig used gone-to-pot metal. As to the slogan "The Ultimate in Banjos"- They weren't !
With a crumbling tension hoop. this Ludwig is pretty worthless. These banjo also usually have pot metal rims, which can also self-destruct. It does, however, appear to have it's original "Planet" tuners, which excellent and are actually worth something. Unfortunately, even those aren't worth the asking price here.
This one has also been oversprayed. If you look closely, you can still see the cracks in the original finish showing through.
Ludwig had some interesting ideas and their banjos were made decently. It's too bad they chose such miserable materials to build them with.
I have three or four Ludwig tenors, that my girlfriends dad had after he past. I know the tension hoops are broken on a couple of them. Haven't really messed with them yet, so I can't give you a sound, or quality answer Ken. I know the pot metal is of poor quality for sure though.
Thanks to all for your observations, thoughts and opinions. I did decide against this one for all the reasons you mentioned.I’m just looking, not in a rush. My Deering Goodtime 17-fret seems to be fine for me. For now.
You playing much anymore Polle? You put out some recordings of yourself at one time on here with your Danish contemporaries,"which I loved", but I can't seem to find them anymore. I remember the great syncopation in the play, specifically banjo. Are they still here in cyberspace? or are they no longer available for consumption?