Hello. I was hoping that I could get some more information on this Banjo. This is a B&D Silver Bell SN#20662. Would any one know what year this is? I do not know anything about Banjo's. I am a guitar and uke player. I found this Banjo in a yard sale of all places and bought it because i thought it was a really interesting piece. I had no idea as to its value at the time. it is in great condition... it needs strings. Could anyone provide what strings would be best as well what tuning is recommended? Thanks in advance.
You have a real prize. You need to contact B&D specialist, Polle Flanoe. Here is his BHO link:
At a yard sale?! Oh man! Lucky duck!
Polle Flaunoe's site is the most accurate; the link provided by jun3machina will take you there.
This is a rather unusual banjo because it has 20 frets clear of the banjo body and an extended finger board. I would think it was intended as a tenor (tuned C,G,D,A) but could probably also be used as a plectrum banjo (C,G,B,D).
Plese do conatct Polle. He'll be interested in adding this banjo to his database.
Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 08/10/2018 15:26:56
Joe, it is nothing, I wouldn't bother doing an research at all on it. As a matter of fact, I would just pack it up really good and send it to me, it is just going to be a frustration to you. lol ;)
P.S. Please I am kidding, do the research!
What you have is a 1926 B&D Silver Bell No. 1 tenor - with extended fretboard. The scale is 23".
It seems to be in excellent and original condition. It was born with a "soft pedal mute" - however this was often taken off and later lost. I don´t know about yours.
The standard tenor tuning is CGDA (GDAE for ITM - Irish traditional music) - however many players are using a guitar aka Chicago tuning DGBE - this will be great for you, I take. A recommended set of strings for this tuning will be 011-015-024W-030W. The Oettinger tailpiece will accept both loop and ball ends.
I´ve included it in my databases - with you as the reference - here´s a link to the published general version http://www.acoustudio.dk/BD_and_Bacon_database.html
The value icw. a private sale will be let´s say 1,200-1,300.
Thanks Everyone! I appreciate the help!
This is such a really cool piece of history. I spent some time this weekend and really gave it some TLC... cleaned up beautiful and sounds great. Like I said before, I was not a banjo player... until now.
Polle, thanks for the tuning tip! that will work great! Also, it was born with a soft mute... and you're right, it is missing now. It also has 3 out of the 4 of the original Grover tuners. It is also missing one of the J-hook brackets. Would anyone know where I might be able to find these replacement parts?
While i appreciate the estimated value of this instrument, I am more interested in learning how to make it sing again. It will be a great story to tell.
This is the same configuration as my SB1 #12028 with an extended fretboard...
'Gibson Style Parts Banjo' 16 min