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Jan 22, 2021 - 2:21:49 PM
6 posts since 1/22/2021

Hello Banjo Lovers, we have had this banjo in our family archive for years...and years. Untouched. I play guitar but have never had the nerve or skill to play this one.
We were doing that new year's resolution "lets clear stuff out" thing and we came across it again. We wondered what it's history and valuation would be? We have searched and searched to find a replica but to no avail....the ornate fret design is seen on a few older Vega banjo's, but not with this body and the design on the headstock. So I thought I'd some people in the know. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.




 

Edited by - markboo on 01/22/2021 14:23:47

Jan 22, 2021 - 3:14:03 PM

2524 posts since 3/30/2008
Online Now

If you carefully remove the back, you will find a label inside the pot that will identify the model & provide a serial number for dating.

Jan 22, 2021 - 3:21:55 PM

markboo

USA

6 posts since 1/22/2021

To be honest (and maybe stupid) I don't see how to remove the back....it's pretty solid wood. Frankly, it looks unplayed, it's quite pristine. Gorgeous actually. I love holding it. Anyway, please tell me how to remove the back....beats me! Cheers,

(I'm in hermosa by the way TD)

Jan 22, 2021 - 3:40:04 PM

56647 posts since 12/14/2005

I see four of of THESE visible from the front.

Undo them!

Jan 22, 2021 - 3:44:56 PM

markboo

USA

6 posts since 1/22/2021

Did that. I see no label or markings?

Jan 22, 2021 - 3:58:52 PM
like this

1377 posts since 11/29/2004

Appears to be a Vega Vox Model.  With that peghead shape, I'd guess 67 to 69.

Edited by - DHutchens on 01/22/2021 16:00:23

Jan 22, 2021 - 7:02:40 PM
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56647 posts since 12/14/2005

You found no label, but you DID learn how to remove a resonator without a crowbar or chainsaw.

That's the NICE thing about the HangOut: From cooking, to internal combustion engines, to banjos..... no matter WHAT the problem, there are over one hundred and twenty THOUSAND spare brains to help figure out the answer.

Jan 23, 2021 - 1:08:36 AM
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Players Union Member

Emiel

Austria

9750 posts since 1/22/2003

Here is one like yours for sale for $ 975.00:
diamondcovemusic.com/shop/c/p/...89867.htm

Jan 23, 2021 - 2:43:42 AM
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Bill H

USA

1530 posts since 11/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory


That's the NICE thing about the HangOut: From cooking, to internal combustion engines, to banjos..... no matter WHAT the problem, there are over one hundred and twenty THOUSAND spare brains to help figure out the answer.

 


I agree completely, my brain is very spare.

Jan 23, 2021 - 6:09:43 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

16831 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H
quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory


That's the NICE thing about the HangOut: From cooking, to internal combustion engines, to banjos..... no matter WHAT the problem, there are over one hundred and twenty THOUSAND spare brains to help figure out the answer.

 


I agree completely, my brain is very spare.


Mine has been virtually unused for the last 30 years.

Jan 23, 2021 - 6:34:34 AM

4583 posts since 3/6/2006

According to my 1971 Vega/Martin catalog and price sheet, your banjo is a Vega-Vox 1, tenor 4 string, that listed for $610. The C. F. Martin Co. purchased the Vega Company in 1970 or '71.




Jan 23, 2021 - 9:36:34 AM

3607 posts since 5/29/2011

The sales tag in picture 3 says V 41 T which I assume means a V41 tenor. They were special order only and were a step above the VegaVox. It should be made by Martin if that is the case. Unless the sales tag was an error.

Jan 23, 2021 - 10:07:07 AM
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13720 posts since 10/30/2008

If it was a Martin Vega, the CF Martin decal should be present on the back of the peghead in gold, and also printed on a piece of yellow tape somewhere inside the "pot" (which you can look into, with the resonator removed).

It's not a V41. A V41 would have hexagonal inlays like a Martin D41 guitar. Martin Vega also made a V45 (gold plated/engraved) with hexagonal inlays like a Martin D45 guitar. You can see these two models in the price list photo.

I agree it's a Vega Vox I just like the one pictured in the catalog. But there should be a CF Martin brand on or in it somewhere.

The Vega Vox models (I through IV) originated in the 1930s. The main feature of the "Vox" model was the extra-deep resonator. The Vox model was VERY popular with pro tenor banjo players. As you can see, the model continued right to the final days of the US made Vega branded banjos. The particular inlay pattern on this "late" Vega Vox I was lifted from the 1960s Vega Pro II and VIP models.

Jan 23, 2021 - 3:14:10 PM
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markboo

USA

6 posts since 1/22/2021

Thanks for all your sage advice and help on this minor mystery. I'm so glad that communities like this and people like you exist and share your knowledge and passion. Long may it continue.

Jan 24, 2021 - 11:59:27 AM

25 posts since 9/23/2018

Be careful with that thing. What ever you do, don't play it! Banjos and banjo playing are highly addictive. I played guitars for 50 years and had many (good ones too!) . Now, thanks to my banjo addiction, the only time I pick up a guitar is to sell it so I can buy another banjo. Early on, and it seemed harmless enough, I started fooling around with an old Kay tenor a friend gave me. After a while, I learned that tenors were a 'gateway' addiction when I moved up to the 'hard stuff' (5 strings). Now, when I look in a miror, I see a hopeless banjo addict who lives only for his next banjo 'fix'. I can't imagine life without them.

Jan 26, 2021 - 8:08:28 AM

markboo

USA

6 posts since 1/22/2021

That's hilarious Mr. Banjo Nut. I have to say I have tinkled with it and it's a fascinating resonant sound - especially in the bathroom....

Jan 26, 2021 - 8:09:51 AM

markboo

USA

6 posts since 1/22/2021

....and I'm reading Steve Martin's book right now....oh brother!

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