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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: My unknown Leedy Tenor

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jub - Posted - 01/29/2022:  05:32:15

Hi there,
I own a beautiful Leedy tenor banjo (see photo).
Unfortunately, I don't know exactly which model it is. However, I suspect that it is a custom-made product, since initials are engraved on the resonator.
Does anyone have more information. Thanks in advance.

Texaspaul - Posted - 01/29/2022:  06:54:18

It appears to be s Leedy Senator. Does it have a top tension head? I bought a Leedy Senator pot and had Ron Coleman make a 5 string neck for it. Mine has the gold sparkle resonator with intericate wood trim on walls of the resonator an intravenous tension hoop and hide head.

OldFrets - Posted - 01/29/2022:  06:54:54

Leedy only made banjos for a few years, but there are a surprising number of customized ones out there. There is no known catalog of the early Solo-Tone models, but among the later lineup, your banjo is closest to the Arcadian in decoration. All of Leedy's banjos had the same fundamental construction but varied in ornamentation, and the Arcadian was a fairly expensive model at $300. However, yours is not identical to that banjo - the resonator is actually less ornate even with the initials, the wrong woods are used, and the arm rest isn't covered in pearloid. Most of the customized Leedys seem to be earlier rather than later, but dating any of these is difficult at best.

The tuners and tailpiece appear to be replacements. Leedy used a variety of hardware, but those tuners look like they're much younger than the banjo and the tailpiece is not of a type found on any other Leedy.

mikehalloran - Posted - 01/29/2022:  11:19:28

Is that really a gold plated 5-string Presto? 

jub - Posted - 01/30/2022:  02:01:41

Im sorry ,no. It's a new one brass tailpiece engraved "Presto". The Original Leedy one was broken.

jub - Posted - 01/30/2022:  05:12:03

Hi Paul, hi Noah,
thanks for your hints.
when I bought this Leedy, it was called Arcadian. But I have my doubts, as does Noah. However, the metal parts are gold plated and engraved and it is a top-tension version. Unfortunately I can't find a serial number.
I don't know if the tuning screws were changed afterwards. However, no old boreholes can be found.


OldFrets - Posted - 01/30/2022:  09:31:32

Yeah, I believe Leedy never used serials. It's possible that no new holes were drilled when the tuners were replaced.

All Leedy banjos are top-tension.

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