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Jul 23, 2021 - 4:54:26 PM
4 posts since 3/31/2020

Hi all! I recently picked this old mando-banjo off of eBay, and I was wondering if anyone can help me figure out its history. To take a wild guess, I'd say this was a one-off custom instrument made made in the 20s or 30s. I wonder who B was?

The layered neck made me think of Lange, but the construction (and coloring) isn't the same. I've never seen a mando-banjo with a 9th-fret neck join. The 11" rim has 3 of these odd lateral braces (including one right above the dowel stick), as well as sound ports spaced around it. It's a very thick rim, with essentially an archtop wooden "tone-ring." The resonator is glued on! The fingerboard has a center stripe of maple, and some imperfect arrow-shaped inlays. The ebony bridge is weird, too, with a big cutout in the middle of it, and a sinuous curve to the top.

So, any thoughts? Thanks so much!


Edited by - nhunt on 07/23/2021 16:54:39

Jul 23, 2021 - 5:26:19 PM



22464 posts since 7/6/2005

I think this may be a regular mandolin neck adapted to a banjo rim

Jul 24, 2021 - 12:01:22 PM

1575 posts since 2/9/2007

Originally posted by beegee

I think this may be a regular mandolin neck adapted to a banjo rim

Joining the rim at the 9th fret like that?  I doubt it.  Looks more to me like somebody tried to build a MB that could actually handle the tension of 8 wire strings!

Jul 26, 2021 - 3:11:14 PM

4 posts since 3/31/2020

Thanks for the replies, you two! It's a weird one, for sure. Probably custom-made by someone who might not have been a professional luthier… ;)

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