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Jun 18, 2021 - 2:11:03 PM
16 posts since 6/18/2021

Hi all, found this beauty in my grandads old cottage. We are super curious to know all about it and its age. The neck is gorgeous and heel has nice a nice design. There are no signs of a manufacturer or any markings to help identify.


Edited by - Muzik23 on 06/18/2021 18:53:49

Jun 18, 2021 - 2:13:52 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

913 posts since 8/9/2019

Pictures?

Jun 18, 2021 - 2:17:10 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

Sorry had probs uploading, pictures should be there now

Jun 18, 2021 - 2:17:54 PM

1223 posts since 8/10/2010

They're under his profile under media..

Jun 18, 2021 - 2:19:55 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

Thanks bubby

Jun 18, 2021 - 2:33:23 PM
like this

1495 posts since 4/13/2009
Online Now

Stromberg-Voisinet, later became Kay.

Jun 18, 2021 - 2:51:10 PM

2657 posts since 3/30/2008

Could you take a clear frontal pic of the peghead ?

Jun 18, 2021 - 3:41:31 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

Thank you for the replies

Jun 18, 2021 - 5:25:08 PM

5027 posts since 3/22/2008

For some of us you have an interesting tenor banjo.
A peghead pic will provide tdennis with some information.
Take off the resonator and give us a coupe of pics inside the drum and tell us if there is a screw head showing in bottom of heel. That will give us lots of information.
We're looking to see if you have an A or a B with screw head.


Jun 18, 2021 - 5:59:59 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

I took pics of the peghead now i unscrewed the resinator, but not easily coming off. Im looking up how to do that now. The peghead pic must be in my media pics

Jun 18, 2021 - 6:02:50 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

I am able to see inside the drum its an A, same as pictured.

Jun 18, 2021 - 6:18:48 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Muzik23

I took pics of the peghead now i unscrewed the resonator, but not easily coming off. Im looking up how to do that now. The peghead pic must be in my media pics


Jun 18, 2021 - 6:22:38 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

I can see inside because drum is seperated a little, it says tu ba phone. 60718 or 60V18. Im still working on removing resonator.

Jun 18, 2021 - 6:44:57 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by tdennis

Could you take a clear frontal pic of the peghead ?



 

Jun 18, 2021 - 6:53:12 PM

2657 posts since 3/30/2008

Your instrument has correctly been identified as a Stromberg Voisinet. ( it is not a Tubaphone, & this is a curious mark that is totally out of place. Where  is the  name & serial number located ?).

Edited by - tdennis on 06/18/2021 18:56:40

Jun 18, 2021 - 6:53:39 PM

8713 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

"A" is Stromberg-Voisinet. "B" would be the later Kay. John, I felt, didn't make that clear enough. Yours is probably from the late 1920's.

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 06/18/2021 18:55:24

Jun 18, 2021 - 7:00:22 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by tdennis

Your instrument has correctly been identified as a Stromberg Voisinet. ( it is not a Tubaphone, & this is a curious mark that is totally out of place. Where  is the  name & serial number located ?).


It is a stamp on the wood going across the diameter of the drum

Jun 18, 2021 - 7:07:13 PM

2657 posts since 3/30/2008

This indicates that some past owner has replaced the original dowel rod w/ a Vega Tubaphone rod. Without knowing what the original dowel rod was the identification of the banjo is a bit up in the air, (...S/V or Kay ? )

Jun 18, 2021 - 7:12:49 PM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

Thank you. This is way more info than I had a few hours ago. I appreciate your time. I wish I could get the resonator off to have a look, but its proving difficult

Jun 18, 2021 - 7:35:50 PM

bubbalouie

Canada

15124 posts since 9/27/2007

Don't you just undo the that big nut on the back? 

Jun 18, 2021 - 8:03:05 PM

5027 posts since 3/22/2008

A response to your question about your banjo and it's age.
I will agree that your banjo was made by the Stromberg-Voisinet Co. of Chicago, Illinois.
The Stromberg-Voisinet Co. was incorporated in Chicago Illinois on Feb. 20, 1922.
In April 1922 the firm set up shop to build fretted musical instruments at 316 Union Park Court, Chicago where they remained for many years throughout the 1920's
The S/V firm supplied instruments to the trade rather than directly to the public. That is, they made instruments for jobbers, distributors, catalogers, department stores, music shops, etc. As time passed they became a principal source of instruments for the Montgomery Ward catalog house and S/V made a variety of banjos for them.
Yours is a higher grade S/V with the dot-diamond flange and 28 brackets. Most S/V resonator banjos have a more simple flange and 20 brackets.
In 1928 Ward's offered the first S/V dot diamond flange like yours.
I will estimate that your banjo was made in 1928 because of the pearloid board and peghead. A copy of the Ward's dot-diamond is attached.
In July 1931 S/V's name was changed to the Kay Musical Instrument Co. (Kay) Nothing changed. Same factory at Union Park Court and same customer in Montgomery Ward and many of the same banjos. A more simple version of the dot-diamond flange banjo continued from S/V into Kay but it had a wood board and peghead. So, as I said IMO your banjo was an S/V build in 1928. You can read about the dot-diamond flange banjo details in the attached catalog page and see if they are similar to your banjo.
The wood piece that runs through the drum is called the dowel stick. Somewhere along the line someone has replaced the original S/V dowel with one from a Vega banjo that was made ca. 1924. Maybe someone overtightened the resonator bolt and cracked the original S/V dowel necessitating the fix. Your banjo always had a wood dowel otherwise you would have seen a screw hole in the heel. Banjos made by Kay look like B above with the metal rod instead of the wood dowel and a screw through the heel to hold the rod in place to hold the neck on the banjo.  If you see or feel a screw hole in the bottom of the neck heel then we'll revisit this thread persuant to tdennis' "uh, oh" above.


Edited by - beezaboy on 06/18/2021 20:09:25

Jun 19, 2021 - 12:32:21 AM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

Excellent. Thank you!! Great info. $80 seems like a hefty price to pay back then. It makes sense that Chicago was where it was manufactured and sold via Montgomery Ward, that is our hometown. It is definetely a nice family keepsake and Its great to know more about this banjo. I cant believe how heavy it is.  The weight is stunning.

Edited by - Muzik23 on 06/19/2021 00:49:52

Jun 19, 2021 - 4:09:03 AM

5027 posts since 3/22/2008

It is that big old pot metal flange that makes your banjo so heavy.
Attached is a picture of the dot-diamond flange etc. Those flanges weigh a ton.


Jun 19, 2021 - 7:48:02 AM

16 posts since 6/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by beezaboy

It is that big old pot metal flange that makes your banjo so heavy.
Attached is a picture of the dot-diamond flange etc. Those flanges weigh a ton.


Thank you. Can I ask your advise on restoration? Shoud I even consider restoration on a piece like this? I want to make it playable and displayable because its super cool. If yes, what kind of monetary limit would you put on restoration? I dont want to get carried away, we are complete novice's and its not for selling, its to keep. There are obvious flaws, the nickel needs cleaning, the drum is torn around the edges, etc. 

Jun 19, 2021 - 9:07:57 AM

1517 posts since 2/9/2007

Clean it with a damp cloth (with a little Murphy's Oil Soap in the water if you like), find a replacement head of the right size and install it, put on a set of strings, and it will be as restored as you'd want for display purposes. Total cost (DIY): ~$50

If you don't play, but want to learn, you'd probably be better off starting on a new(er) tenor banjo, and keeping that one on the wall. Once you have some playing experience, you may (or may not) decide that it's worth your while to put the additional work into that S-V needed to make it a player.

Jun 19, 2021 - 10:41:24 AM

2657 posts since 3/30/2008

This is a perfectly decent instrument at one of the nicest levels that S/V made, & is well worth the investment of a new mylar head & strings. ( You may find it a worthy instrument to play, & give it a much better fate than being a display dust collector).

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