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Jul 12, 2020 - 6:45:57 PM
6 posts since 7/12/2020

My grandfather recently died, and he was an avid guitar player. However amongst his guitars was this banjo. Obviously it has been played and I plan on getting it restrung so I can at least pluck it, but can anyone tell me anything about it? I am including some pictures. I didn't find any serial numbers after removing the resonator or other Made in Usa, Japan, etc marking. I appreciate any information you all can give!




 

Jul 12, 2020 - 6:47:46 PM

Bumpkin

USA

6 posts since 7/12/2020

Another photo. I included all that I think may be useful but please let me know if another would be helpful.

Jul 12, 2020 - 6:49:10 PM

Bumpkin

USA

6 posts since 7/12/2020

This time with the picture




 

Edited by - Bumpkin on 07/12/2020 18:56:01

Jul 12, 2020 - 7:19:05 PM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5233 posts since 10/12/2009

Appears to a pre-war Gibson Style 00 pot, (with some internal modifications),and some sort of old neck with  "Vega" inlayed into the headstock.

Whats the resonator look like....is it stained sunburst?

It is not a Vega banjo.

Here's a link showing a Gibson RB 00

http://www.earnestbanjo.com/gibson_banjo_RB-00_2476.htm

Edited by - RioStat on 07/12/2020 19:24:29

Jul 12, 2020 - 8:23:37 PM
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13102 posts since 10/30/2008

I agree with Scott. Neck might be home-made, but pot is an entry level Gibson, probably pre-war. The flange and tailpiece alone have value.  Maybe the armrest and tuners too.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 07/12/2020 20:24:33

Jul 13, 2020 - 5:28:49 AM

Bumpkin

USA

6 posts since 7/12/2020

Thanks for the information, both of you. I included a pic of the back of the resonator. I can believe it was a modified banjo, based upon my granddads guitars. He had an early 60s jazzmaster he painted some awful color just bc he liked it haha.


 

Jul 13, 2020 - 6:46:37 AM

10789 posts since 10/27/2006

Resonator is original to the pot and doesn't appear to be refinished (hard to tell in a photo but the color is right). Gibson made but could have been sold under many different names including Recording King,
Kalamazoo, Oriole, Cromwell and even Gibson.

A couple of Kalamazoos have turned up recently with that pot and flange.

Very easy to fit a second co-rod to these which stabilizes the rims—no doubt that's what the x-brace is meant to do. With mine, the slightest pressure on the neck changed intonation till I installed that second rod.

Jul 13, 2020 - 7:13:40 AM

Bumpkin

USA

6 posts since 7/12/2020

Thanks Mike. I'm looking forward to giving this a go as a hobby. I wanted to get some idea what I have before i start messing with it. It obviously needs restringing and the bridge looks out of line, so I am trying to establish a baseline for what it "should" be. At least I think that makes sense, ha

Jul 13, 2020 - 9:12:51 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5233 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Bumpkin

Thanks Mike. I'm looking forward to giving this a go as a hobby. I wanted to get some idea what I have before i start messing with it. It obviously needs restringing and the bridge looks out of line, so I am trying to establish a baseline for what it "should" be. At least I think that makes sense, ha


The bridge should sit the same distance from the 12th fret, as the distance from the nut to the 12th fret

ex: if the distance from the nut to 12th fret is 13 3/16" the bridge should be 13 3/16" from the 12th fret. You may have to move the bridge "up or down" (towards the neck, or towards the tailpiece) to get correct intonation.

The "scale length" is the two measurements added together, so in the example I gave, scale length would be 26 3/8"

Jul 13, 2020 - 10:20:06 AM

Bumpkin

USA

6 posts since 7/12/2020

Thanks! That sounds straightforward enough

Jul 13, 2020 - 11:23:01 AM
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7382 posts since 8/28/2013

Although Scott is basically correct abouit bridge placement, simply putting the bridge at double the length between the nut and the 12th fret won't always be a perfect placement. In fact, it rarely is. You'll need to make sure that the 12th fret sounds the exact octave of the open string note.

You'll also find that there will probably be a problem with attaining octave pitch perfection, particularly with the third string.

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