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Oct 22, 2021 - 6:52:58 AM
3946 posts since 3/28/2008

A friend of mine was wondering about a banjo she has. She's mainly a guitar player, and knows very little about banjos. I don't know all that much about open-backs, so I'm hoping you all can tell her about what she has.

The neck looks like there's very little playing wear, but the wood on the bottom of the rim shows some. I'm guessing it may be a newer neck on an older pot. Any information will be appreciated.

Edited by - Ira Gitlin on 10/22/2021 06:53:46

Oct 22, 2021 - 6:55:23 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

@#$%%^ !

I've uploaded photos to my profile, but despite trying two different things, I can't get them to show up in my post. This has happened to me before. What do I need to do?!?!?!?

Oct 22, 2021 - 6:57:57 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

Trying again.




 

Edited by - Ira Gitlin on 10/22/2021 06:59:05

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:04:02 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

And more. (I note that the process to get photos from my computer, or from my BHO profile, is maddeningly non-obvious.)

OK--I thought I'd finally figured it out, and did the SAME THING I did a few minutes ago, but apparently that isn't working.

Anyway the three I've already posted are the most important ones.

Edited by - Ira Gitlin on 10/22/2021 07:11:19

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:10:48 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:12:16 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

BTW, Bob Smakula, it's missing one bracket.

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:14:56 AM

14317 posts since 10/30/2008

Since the serial #s of pot and neck dowel stick don't match, you're probably right about the neck and pot not being original mates.

The pot is a Tu Ba Phone #3 I would guess based on the bracket band. But the relatively HIGH serial # of the pot seems to make it WAY too new to be an AC Fairbanks (more likely a Vega?). So the silve plate on the dowel stick might be an add-on.

Just my guess.

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:32:43 AM

2793 posts since 4/7/2010

The banjo rim is from a Vegaphone Professional and the neck is something newish and definitely not a Vega product. Likely a decent playing/sounding conversion banjo.

The Fairbanks plate is an inspired copy, certainly not a reproduction, that Bart Reiter had made. I use them on low grade Fairbanks banjos that are missing the plate. I personally would not install one of those plates on a banjo like your friends. At best it is misleading, and at worst, fraudulent.

And yes, I can supply one original bracket. Have your friend contact me.

Bob Smakula

Edited by - Bob Smakula on 10/22/2021 07:38:08

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:51:19 AM

6564 posts since 9/21/2007

That is a newer/replacement neck.

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:52:03 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

Thanks. Any date (approximate or precise) for the pot?

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:52:03 AM
likes this

6564 posts since 9/21/2007

Ah, Bob beat me to it (and is more qualified anyway).

Oct 22, 2021 - 8:23:50 AM
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2793 posts since 4/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

Thanks. Any date (approximate or precise) for the pot?


Made about 1925

 

Bob Smakula

Oct 22, 2021 - 11:09:31 AM
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csacwp

USA

2939 posts since 1/15/2014

The Fairbanks plate on the dowel stick is a (bad) repro and is anachronistic to the pot.

Oct 22, 2021 - 2:59:56 PM

Bill H

USA

1763 posts since 11/7/2010

Aside from the critique on the plate, this is a Tubaphone pot which is a powerhouse and a favorite of many old time players that sounds great played either clawhammer or with picks.

Oct 22, 2021 - 3:12:35 PM

747 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

Trying again.


That is a beautiful banjo! I wish they were still made on a affordable basis...

-Russ A.

Oct 22, 2021 - 5:13:28 PM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment
quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

Trying again.


That is a beautiful banjo! I wish they were still made on a affordable basis...

-Russ A.


Plays and sounds great, too.

Oct 22, 2021 - 9:24:02 PM

12688 posts since 1/15/2005

My friend Carroll Best played a Tubaphone #3, with fingerpicks and it was indeed a great sounding banjo. Of course any banjo Carroll played would have sounded good using his unique style.

Oct 23, 2021 - 7:32:11 AM

3946 posts since 3/28/2008

Thanks, everyone! I've sent the owner the link to this thread, and she's read it with interest.

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