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Unusual kluson banjo tuners

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Jun 4, 2020 - 4:45:09 PM
142 posts since 5/16/2016

I recently got a 30s harmony tenor banjo to convert to a five string. The tuners are geared klusons, but I have never seen this type. Anybody else seen these.




Jun 4, 2020 - 5:38:07 PM

2048 posts since 10/17/2013

Later style 75 prewar Gibson Mastertones had these, according to page 162 of Jim Mill’s Gibson Mastertone book.

 Pictures of the back of the headstock of Curtis McPeake’s “Old Betsy,” on page 113, show that his banjo also has the same kind.

I will refrain from taking ANY photos of those pages. I don’t have the author’s permission. 

Edited by - okbluegrassbanjopicker on 06/04/2020 17:44:23

Jun 4, 2020 - 6:08:11 PM

926 posts since 5/19/2018

I don’t know what you paid for that Harmony tenor, but I have seen these tuners sell for $400.00 USD and up for a set of four.

And sell very quickly.

I think, if I recall correctly, a set sold here on the Hangout in the past 90 days for $500.00 USD.

The tuners are probably worth twice what the banjo is worth.

Nice find.

Nice score.

Jun 4, 2020 - 6:58:06 PM
Players Union Member

rbfour5

USA

1047 posts since 11/9/2010

I have not seen these before. The later Style 75's had Grover 2- tab tuners, the button shaft is offset from the screw tabs on the Grover, and tabs are much larger. The button shaft is inline with the screw tabs on your Kluson.

You have a set of pretty cool tuners for sure! Hopefully someone here knows more about these.

Jun 4, 2020 - 7:58:51 PM

142 posts since 5/16/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

I don’t know what you paid for that Harmony tenor, but I have seen these tuners sell for $400.00 USD and up for a set of four.

And sell very quickly.

I think, if I recall correctly, a set sold here on the Hangout in the past 90 days for $500.00 USD.

The tuners are probably worth twice what the banjo is worth.

Nice find.

Nice score.


Man, I didn't know I had gold here. It also came with a head tuning key, like 30 packs of old black diamond single tenor banjo string ( as well as 2 gibson string packs), and the original bridge. Does anyone know if black diamond string packs are collectible. I heard somewhere that they were.

Jun 4, 2020 - 9:45:46 PM

125 posts since 10/8/2018

Those are cool tuners! I’d be curious to see pics of what your 30’s Harmony looks like And following your progress. I recently converted a 30’s Harmony Vagabond tenor to a 5 string myself and am really enjoying playing it.

Forgot to load the second photo. Here is a view of the back side. I used a 5 string neck from a 1956 Harmony made Sears & Roebuck with a rosewood neck. Was really happy with the way it turned out. Would love to see yours when you are done.




Edited by - TriMD180 on 06/04/2020 21:59:22

Jun 4, 2020 - 10:13:43 PM

142 posts since 5/16/2016

quote:
Originally posted by TriMD180

Those are cool tuners! I’d be curious to see pics of what your 30’s Harmony looks like And following your progress. I recently converted a 30’s Harmony Vagabond tenor to a 5 string myself and am really enjoying playing it.

Forgot to load the second photo. Here is a view of the back side. I used a 5 string neck from a 1956 Harmony made Sears & Roebuck with a rosewood neck. Was really happy with the way it turned out. Would love to see yours when you are done.

 


here is some photos of it. it needs a ton of work. all the glue joints came apart on the resonator. the rosewood veneer on the rim and resonator back is coming apart. i plan on making a replica 5 string neck for it. i think it was in an very hot and humid attic or something. the original case is shot and most of the glue joints have come apart on the banjo.




 

Jun 4, 2020 - 10:37:27 PM

125 posts since 10/8/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Brice Alms
quote:
Originally posted by TriMD180

Those are cool tuners! I’d be curious to see pics of what your 30’s Harmony looks like And following your progress. I recently converted a 30’s Harmony Vagabond tenor to a 5 string myself and am really enjoying playing it.

Forgot to load the second photo. Here is a view of the back side. I used a 5 string neck from a 1956 Harmony made Sears & Roebuck with a rosewood neck. Was really happy with the way it turned out. Would love to see yours when you are done.

 


here is some photos of it. it needs a ton of work. all the glue joints came apart on the resonator. the rosewood veneer on the rim and resonator back is coming apart. i plan on making a replica 5 string neck for it. i think it was in an very hot and humid attic or something. the original case is shot and most of the glue joints have come apart on the banjo.


That looks like it will be a fun and rewarding project when finished! It'll keep you out of trouble for a while!

Edited by - TriMD180 on 06/04/2020 22:38:49

Jun 5, 2020 - 6:37:15 AM

4655 posts since 3/22/2008

I also have a set of your Kluson tuners.
They came installed on a Gretsch Broadkaster S/N 1388 which I believe to be ca. 1931.
The Broadkaster tuners have the same "Kluson" stamping on the inside of the casing as yours do.
I think the Broadkaster Klusons were original as there were no friction tuner markings or extraneous screw holes on the back of the peghead.
However, I don't know a thing about this style of Kluson tuners.


Jun 5, 2020 - 10:05:49 AM

820 posts since 2/17/2005
Online Now

If anyone has sets of these they'd be willing to part with (esp for <400), I'm in the market! Lots to trade too.

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