Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Collector's Corner
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Help identifying vintage tenor Banjo

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:

Sonicboost Studio - Posted - 03/25/2021:  04:51:28

I recently picked up this very old tenor banjo. I don't really know anything about it. The guy I got it from in a trade had bought it from an antique mall years before and did not get any kind of history on it then. I know very little about banjo in general. I'm a guitar player and an audio engineer. I'm hoping to get some help identifying this so I can sell it and not look like a total dummy when I'm trying to describe it, and also be able to figure out what key words to use in the listing to help someone else who might be searching for whatever this is.

Thanks in advance for any help!

OldFrets - Posted - 03/25/2021:  04:54:44


Sonicboost Studio - Posted - 03/25/2021:  05:04:15

Thanks. Is this a "Seventy Five"?

OldFrets - Posted - 03/25/2021:  05:07:49

I only have one Gretsch catalog from this period, and there isn't an exact match in it. I think it's a less expensive banjo than the 75, though. A pic of the resonator (back of the banjo) might help.

Sonicboost Studio - Posted - 03/25/2021:  05:18:21

Pics of the back attached.

OldFrets - Posted - 03/25/2021:  05:31:38

Darn, I don't see a matching resonator. I probably have the wrong catalog, but given the lack of a logo on the headstock, I suspect it may have been sold under a 3rd party brand. The friction tuners support the idea that it was an inexpensive banjo, though.

Sonicboost Studio - Posted - 03/25/2021:  05:34:57

I know in the saxophone world that is called a "stencil". Is this the same in banjo world?

RioStat - Posted - 03/25/2021:  05:39:58

Construction-wise, it is what is known as a "top tension" banjo, that is, the tightness of the head ("drumhead") can be adjusted from the top (those 20 bolt heads sticking up), whereas most banjos you have to remove the resonator to adjust the hooks and nuts, which tightens (or loosens) the head.

Looks like it needs some sort of armrest, as I don't believe it would be comfortable having your forearm laying on top of the previously mentioned bolt heads.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 03/25/2021:  07:28:15

John Hoft (he goes by Beezaboy on the BHO) would be the person to contact about Gretsch banjos. He has done a lot of research on them, and can probably tell you the approximate year and other details about it.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories