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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Id this Frankenstein Banjo ???

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RedMinty456 - Posted - 04/29/2021:  16:25:59

I just purchased this Frankein-banjo from Shop goodwill , it appears to be made from various parts - It looks like an old catolog banjo from around the 1960s and 1950s ( Kay , Gretsch , Silvertone ) the planetary tuners have been replaced , the headstock is square which is giving me "gretsch" vibe , the resonator looks like something i seen from old Kay/Silvertone banjers with the Button screw in the middle.... Any help will be appreciated , the last owner also seems to have put pearloid on the headstock that doesnt look original to the instrument , this little mutt seems to have an interesting makeup to say the least !

lapsteel - Posted - 04/29/2021:  19:05:31

Replace that horrid bridge soon before it cuts a hole in the banjo head.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 04/30/2021:  05:07:15

Better pictures are in order: side view, back view, closups of fronat and back of headstock, back with resonator removed.

From what I see, the only things that I can confirm are nor original are the bridge, strings and armrest.

Just to be a smarta&&, I have to add that this can't be a "Frankenbanjo" because ther are no bolts in the sides of its neck.

beezaboy - Posted - 04/30/2021:  07:51:14

I also get a Gretsch vibe. The banjo has several characteristics similar to the 1960's Gretsch Folk model.

Dan Gellert - Posted - 04/30/2021:  10:48:48

Looks like a Gretsch to me. And that bridge isn't horrid at all, it's a Grover Non-Tip, which will NOT damage the head.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 04/30/2021:  13:52:38

The bridge may not have been made by the Horrid Company, and it won't harm the head, but being a Grover Non-Tip, it won't help the tone any and therefore is pretty horrid, with a small "h." I've never seen a good one of these yet, and most were missing the black support feature and some had broken in half.

Frankenbanjo or not, I'd at least return that bridge to the grave it was robbed from.

mikehalloran - Posted - 04/30/2021:  17:04:51


Originally posted by beezaboy

I also get a Gretsch vibe. The banjo has several characteristics similar to the 1960's Gretsch Folk model.

The music store where I grew up used to have 4 stringed versions of these on the wall with various metal flake finishes, same as some '60s Gretsches.

RedMinty456 - Posted - 05/02/2021:  12:08:52

More pictures

beezaboy - Posted - 05/02/2021:  14:33:49

Gretsch Folk tenor banjo from 1969 for comparison.

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