Hi all-I’m a newbie that was directed here by a kind gentleman on Reverb. I have an older tenor banjo with a Vega pie resonator. No other markings except a price on the head. I thought it may be a Little Wonder, but the gentleman said the tone ring is wrong. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for the help!
By "No other markings", may we rest assured that you took off the back and looked inside?
If there's no VEGA label or stampings anywhere on there. it might be a skilled copy.
One of mine had VEGA stamped on the dowel stick.
In ANY case, it's nice.
And why not just learn to play it?
Three chords is all you need for MOST popular songs.
If it was HARD work, I would not be doing it.
If I wanted a HARD job, I file the paperwork to legally change my name to....
Mom... MOM!... MOM!!!!
I do not know what that is, but it does not resemble any Vega product that I am familiar with.
The peghead is not a standard Vega shape.
It looks like the tone ring is of good quality.
Edited by - rcc56 on 09/23/2020 16:24:41
Safe to say that, other than the pie plate resonator, the banjo is not a Vega. Not enough pictures to tell exactly what it is. I count 18 brackets and all Vega banjosI have examined have had more than 18.
Thanks for the replies. Kept trying to post a couple other pics, but getting locked. Might try to play it-kind of a jump from my bass though!
One more pic
The only thing on this banjo that ever saw inside of the Vega factory is the resonator. I have no idea where the rest was made.
It may sound good, though. You should at least give it a try.
Thanks-I appreciate it!
I’m even confused on the pie plate resonator. Never seen one without hole dead center (where you’re is filled) for dowel stick resonator hardware. It sure looks like Vega resonator, maybe I just haven’t seen that version.
Here is a pic of the resonator stamp. There is one on top and bottom of the resonator back
How is the wooden resonator attached to the wooden dowel inside the body?
They "spin on" - one section of the fastening hardware is screwed to the inside of the plate, while the other is attached to the strut in the normal "Vega" manner, but often with two screws, rather than a "U" bracket though. I don't know when these were introduced, or when dropped but they show up in the teens, and were made in various sizes. I have one on a c 1913 tu ba phone five string with a 10 3/4" rim, and I have seen them on banjo mandolins and on big rim instruments as well. They have little bumpers which rest against the back of the rim.
There are more and better photos here on the Reverb listing.
That's my banjo!
Interesting. Never knew Vega did that.
Those Reverb pictures show some things that look like Gretsch to me. Someone merely added a Vega resonator.
Also, that isn't even close to a "Little Wonder" tone ring. The Little Wonder was a flat head configuration; basically a metal rod with a spunover skirt. This one is an arch top.
Thanks for the insight. The odd tone ring was what brought me to the forum. The mystery continues!
Seeing the full assortment of photos on Reverb it is safe to say the banjo is a Gretsch with a Vega spin-on pie plate resonator.
Thanks Bob-Really appreciate it!
Seeing the full assortment of photos on Reverb it is safe to say the banjo is a Gretsch...
Nobody is "SAFE" on BHO!!
Not like any Gretsch peghead shape I've ever seen. However, the neck stablizer (yoke) is seen on some Gretsch banjos and I believe I have found the tone ring on a Gretsch Seventy-Five model from the mid-1920's (attached).
So this could be put together from a couple different banjos? The date range would work. I got this from a lady in her 70's and this was her Dad's. Have to say this is the best part-solving the mystery!
'Clawhammer Capo' 2 hrs
'Banjo Build: Any Tips?' 2 hrs
'Huber HR30 Tone Ring' 4 hrs
'Rotary phones' 5 hrs