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Vega Little Wonder

Posted by Mr. Disco on Monday, October 29, 2007

-- Will take and post photos.

It belonged to the grandfather of a good friend and he has it now.  The head is ripped.  The bridge is missing.  It looks as if it was hardly ever played.  I'll be looking for recommendations on:

  • what I might want to do with it,
  • what size, type of bridge to consider, and
  • what size, type of head to consider.


6 comments on “Vega Little Wonder”

mainejohn Says:
Monday, October 29, 2007 @1:07:33 PM

I'm guessing it is a tenor. It probably has a 10 15/16th" head, available thru Elderley. They also carry 4 string bridges. It will no doubt make a nice tenor with a minimal investment, or you could have a neck made and convert it to a 5 string, which would obviously be more expensive. They are nice old banjos...what's the serial number? Does it have a resonator?

Mr. Disco Says:
Monday, October 29, 2007 @2:56:12 PM

Mainejohn --

First, thanks for such a quick response and thanks for posting 11 really good music files.

I know I need to take and post photos to answer most of your questions.  No, it doesn't have a resonator.  Yes, I think it's a tenor.

Don't I need to remove the neck in order to put on a new head? .

The Elderly page for 10 15/16" is http://elderly.com/accessories/banjo_heads_remo?size=1015.  Is there a particular head that may be most suitable?  Is there one that is particularly in advisable?

How 'bout taking care of an instrument like this that has obviously not been played in decades if ever?  -- Oil the fretboard and wood?  -- Clean the hardware?  -- Maintain the tuners?  I think I can get pictures in the next couple days.

 Does

Mr. Disco Says:
Monday, October 29, 2007 @2:59:19 PM

It looks like the tenor banjo in the two photos at the bottom of this page:

http://elderly.com/accessories/banjo_heads_remo?size=1015

 

BConk Says:
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 @8:19:06 AM

Especially on an older banjo I'd say yes - you should remove the neck before changing the head. Over the years stuff builds up between the fretboard and the tension hoop ad it can cause the wood to adhere to the hoop. If you try to raise the hoop with it stuck, you'll chip the ebony wood of the edge of the fretboard.

Luckily, taking one apart is a cinch. Strings off, take off the tailpiece, loosen and remove the tailpiece anchor bolt, then loosen the screw on the yoke assembly on the dowel stick near the neck. This will enable you to push out that little steel pin that goes through the dowel. Once that's out the whole neck should come off - though it might need a little wiggling back and forth.

For a head - to some extent it's up to the style you want to play. Some tenor players like clear heads because they don't make that much noise when the pick hits them as they strum. If you're picking single string - that's not as much a concern. But I still like clear heads for their tone which I find very pure and pleasant.

For that banjo, I'd personally go with clear as my first preference - especially if the banjo is clean and without corroded hooks, tone ring, etc., Renaissance amber as my second choice - nice tone, great looks - kinda translucent, then a standard top-frosted Remo as my third.

Mr. Disco Says:
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 @9:21:51 AM

BConk and mainejohn --

Thank

Mr. Disco Says:
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 @9:22:54 AM

BConk and mainejohn --

Thank you so much for good info without pictures.  I hope you'll look at them once I've gotten them up.  I'll have a lot more questions, too.

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