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early ODE longneck or something else?

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Mar 22, 2020 - 6:54:14 PM
1019 posts since 3/21/2013

Curious on this one, being sold as an ODE. While the inlay pattern is very similar to the 1961/62 version i once owned, ive never seen this headstock shape before. Also, nothing is marked ODE. with the exception of the tailpiece. Seller said a friend of his IDed it as an ODE banjo. I am interested because it has a wood rim, the aluminum ones are just too heavy for me.

any input would be greatly appreciated.

Mar 22, 2020 - 9:26 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


23439 posts since 6/25/2005
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Not an Ode.  Not the neck. Not the shell.  The tailpiece is from a four-string banjo. Anyone calling this an Ode either is badly mistaken or a scam artist.

Mar 22, 2020 - 11:06:41 PM
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10680 posts since 10/27/2006

The tailpiece is an old Waverly 4 string as Bill has pointed out. That and the case may be the most valuable components.

Looks homemade or cobbled together from various parts. The craftsmanship on the neck looks pretty good.

Mar 23, 2020 - 4:32:34 AM



115 posts since 4/14/2014

Not an ODE, but it doesn't look badly made, either. I have questions about the owner though. Why a four string tailpiece? Also, the tension hoop is either real narrow or the head's flesh hoop is too large from the look of it.

Mar 23, 2020 - 4:57:02 AM
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259 posts since 2/15/2015

Change the tailpiece, and the tuners and it would probably be a really nice banjo.

Mar 23, 2020 - 9:52:12 AM

1019 posts since 3/21/2013

The seller aquired it and doesnt know banjos. I dont think they're trying to scam anyone, intentionally. They're going by what their friend said about the banjo, as far as I understand. Looked like a homebuilder long neck, maybe unmarked ode parts if anything. Thank you for helping out!!

Mar 23, 2020 - 5:14:26 PM
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10680 posts since 10/27/2006

"maybe unmarked ode parts if anything."


Although the earliest ODE banjos used a Waverly tailpiece, it wasn't that one—long discontinued by the 1960s. They used the same 'piece as Gibson, Vega, Fender and others in the 1960s. It's visible in the 1960 ODE catalog. Here's a modern reissue:

Those Elton hex shoes were sold in tubes of 12 with bolts, hooks and nuts and could be purchased at any music store. I still have one of those tubes in my basement that I bought at Moyer Bros. in San Jose in 1960s.

Sometime before 1962 (perhaps after the first hundred banjos?), Chuck switched to the heavy, round ball Elton hardware and that heavy ODE tailpiece.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 03/23/2020 17:16:25

Apr 7, 2020 - 5:40:26 PM



7309 posts since 9/29/2004

Not an Ode, but if it came from Colorado, it might be an early Epic.

But honestly, it doesn't look much like an Epic either. My best guess is the neck is home-made.

Apr 8, 2020 - 12:03:12 PM

186 posts since 8/11/2007

Reminds me of this banjo c. 1970 by English maker John Sloan.


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