Hello - FedEx just dropped off my newest acquisition, a 1970 Vega SS-5 Folklore with an interesting serial # and label.
No doubt it's legit, it came with a case full of provenance - two typewritten pages of instructions, a 1970 Vega catalog, and a 3"x5" yellow "care of your new Vega" card with a handwritten penciled date of August, 1970.
It has factory planetary tuners, no extra holes, matching geared 5th, rosewood fretboard, notched heavy 24 hook hoop and still has the vegalon head.
And a strange label.
I know 1970 was the transitional year, there is no mention of Martin on the paperwork or banjo.
So, has anyone seen this type label before?
Edited by - Darrell G on 07/13/2020 21:06:04
total legit, Folklore was the lesser model to the Pete Seeger model, but still a great banjo! Enjoy.
That 1970 catalog is interesting. I ordered a Vega Pro II in 1969 with cam tuners just like the one pictured in the catalog, but my dealer got a letter stating that they had just changed the peghead style and could no longer install cam tuners. They gave me Keith's for the same price.
Edited by - rexhunt on 07/14/2020 06:12:16
I love that it is "to be played using a 'capo' clamp on the 3rd fret."
Congrats! I was watching this one, too. I thought maybe Vega ran out of yellow tape labels during the transition to Martin? Anywhoooo, good score and very cool banjo!
Thanks Mark and All -
It is a neat banjo, and in excellent condition with exception of the head, which I think adds character.
I googled and searched here and everywhere I could looking for another example of a white label or a “B” serial number with no luck before I committed. I figured with all the case candy it had to be on the up and up. So I threw in a last minute bid and won!
Glad I did, it’s pretty cool (=
Edited by - Darrell G on 07/14/2020 12:12:23
I'm wondering if the "B" that prefaces the serial number indicates it as being one of the last "Boston built" Vegas (after the sale to C.F. Martin)...?
Another thought (I apologize for any lack of knowledge regarding Vega serial numbers, even though I have a PS-5 I bought 'way back in 1966):
You'll note that the "yellow label" number in Rex's post has a 6 digit number, while the "white label" serial is only 5 digits.
Could "the B" indicate a "new serial number run" after "the A's"?
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