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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

7188 reviews in the archive.

Vega: Tubaphone Style M

Submitted by arkred on 1/7/2006

Where Purchased: Mountain Music Shop Branson, Mo.

Year Purchased: 1985
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

For my tastes it suits me fine. It has a great combination of thumpy+ring sound to it. Sometimes it sounds like a dyin' calf in a hailstorm if I get the head wet. I'm trying to make it sound like a duck so I can play Disney themes on it.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Banjo was a 1924 Vega Professional plectrum which I made a five string neck for. No problems

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I like the looks of it from the front, but my stage costume really scratched up the resonator, so I have another one on til I can refinish the original one. I know all you vintage people are screaming, but too bad. It's my banjo. I mean these scratches went clear into the maple. Really ugly.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Hardware is a little bit glazed over, but looks fine. No rust or broken parts.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

I'm afraid the company went out of business years ago, and a freind of mine who dealt with them said it was like pulling hen's teeth to get anyone who knew anything at the Vega company to talk to you.

Customer Service: 1

Components

Some might say that by inlaying my name "Arkansas Red" in pearl in the fingerboard cheapened the instrument, but hell it's mine, and I don't think anyone could fence it very easily because of that. Hey, I'm in show business. I got the idea for the inlayed name from Grandpa Jones old Vega banjo.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

For a frailer either open back or resonator type the Vega tubaphone is one hard banjo to beat. Some like the old plunky Galax, VA. tone like Wade Ward, Ramsey, et. al., and that's OK, I like that too, but for my act I need a banjo with balls, and this Vega Tubaphone delivers.

Overall Rating: 10

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