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Dec 7, 2018 - 8:41:57 AM
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903 posts since 1/15/2006 

Here is a real time capsule. Just got this Great Lakes banjo in. I am not an expert on the Great Lakes and don't even know what model this is. What I know about it is this:

It is a really well constructed, tone ring banjo that looks like it has had no playing. Other than having a small piece of binding missing, this banjo is in perfect condition with 0 fret wear, and absolutely no wear on any of the wood. There is some glare that is showing up in the resonator picture, but I assure you it is perfect. There are 4 Keith tuners on the banjo and it does come with a very functional foam style case.

I have done nothing to this banjo. It is exactly as it was when it came in. Obviously sat under someones bed for a good many years. If you are a Great Lakes fan, you won't be disappointed...Bill

Edited by - Bill-in-ME on 12/07/2018 08:42:44

Dec 7, 2018 - 10:44:03 AM



83 posts since 12/18/2012

Interesting that the double dots on the neck binding are at the 17th fret instead of the 12th.

Dec 7, 2018 - 11:36:13 AM

660 posts since 11/27/2005

I count 12.

Dec 7, 2018 - 12:09:10 PM

2493 posts since 5/29/2011

Double dots on the neck binding are at 12 and 17. Look closely.

Dec 10, 2018 - 6:01:32 AM

bill t


165 posts since 12/14/2012

I have an old catalog from a store called "The Guitars Friend" in Sandpoint, Idaho. The copyright
date on the catalog is 1975,1976,1977. They evidently sold "Great Lakes" banjos as they list them.
The catalog has black and white, somewhat grainy photos and in one photo, they show a front
shot on three different "Great Lakes" banjos. One of the banjos in the picture looks very much to
exactly like this one. They refer to it as "an old Bill Keith special".

Dec 15, 2018 - 5:26:55 PM

237 posts since 2/10/2008

Very nice banjo. It looks to be around 1975 when it was made.

Dec 15, 2018 - 5:32:14 PM
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50504 posts since 12/14/2005
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I played one, back in 75 or 76 at a convention.

Came THAT CLOSE to buying it.
Marvelous in every way.

I do hope this one goes to a good home.

Dec 17, 2018 - 7:34:28 AM

129 posts since 9/4/2005

I got to play a blond maple "Elite" model back in the late 70's. It was in "The Music Emporium" while I was visiting a relative in Boston. If I hadn't been so dirt poor back then, it would have been mine.

Jan 1, 2019 - 6:42:38 PM
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5794 posts since 7/12/2004

I have their 1975 catalog, picture of Bill Kieth playing His great lakes model. He was working with them for awhile. I'll try to find that catalog and see what model that is, will take awhile as I have almost all banjo catalogs in the 70s

Jan 1, 2019 - 9:14:15 PM

5794 posts since 7/12/2004

Just found My 1975 Great Lakes banjo catalog. Yours is a Bill Keith Special. Price
$975. I also found the Liberty Banjo Co. I used to buy pearl bone, and Ivory nut blanks from them.

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