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Nov 29, 2021 - 11:59:38 AM

cevant

USA

301 posts since 2/5/2020

This oughta wake you guys up. What is this?

ebay.com/itm/185189797461?_trk...7Ciid%3A1

Nov 29, 2021 - 12:06:01 PM

2251 posts since 1/4/2009

did they ever make a trujo 5 string?

Nov 29, 2021 - 12:09:21 PM
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1661 posts since 5/19/2018

Made by Gibson for Trujo back in the 30’s. These are fairly rare, but they do come up for sale once in a while. When they do, they sit for a while as it seems tenor players don’t want them, and they really do not lend themselves to any level of conversion to a bluegrass instrument due to the just plain strange configuration of the pot.

There was one for sale in the past year or two at the local Guitar Center near me. I played it and found it lacking on many levels. The pot was extremely deep. I think over 3-4”. It had a very treble tone and it was clear that if I wanted a five string neck made for it just to have something weird, it was going to cost me a very pretty penny due to the peghead and heel carvings.

Cool instrument, but limited in playing and collectible value.

Asking price is fair for this.

Nov 29, 2021 - 12:17:51 PM
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2251 posts since 1/4/2009

but you played it a guitar center, you cant really judge the tone by a banjo at guitar center, they known abosultly nothing about banjo setup and this one is an even odder ball. That said , i dont doubt it for a second that the tone would be weird and not appropriate for many modern styles. But its hard for me to believe that the tone would be bad on a properly setup trujo.

Nov 29, 2021 - 12:36:56 PM
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YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

612 posts since 5/11/2021

What's the tone ring like in these? Listing says "Truett-patented megaphone tone ring (28 hole tube attached to metal megaphone)". 

Does anyone have any photos or schematics of the Trujo tone ring? It looks really deep. 

Nov 29, 2021 - 1:22:53 PM
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400 posts since 11/29/2012

Someone posted a not so great sound clip of a Trujo:

m.youtube.com/watch?v=LYu_Q2pS...=youtu.be

Nov 29, 2021 - 1:29:21 PM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5674 posts since 10/12/2009

Nov 29, 2021 - 3:40:37 PM
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1239 posts since 1/9/2012

Harry George and Velma Truett were performers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. As best I know, they had a string of music stores across the country. Their earliest branded banjos were Gibson Kel Kroydens, certainly including 5-strings. They promoted "Chicago" tuning, i.e., like a guitar. Below is an excerpt from someone selling a banjo online:

"Harry George and Velma Truett were the power behind a West Coast movement to tune the 4-string plectrum banjo like the top four strings of a guitar. Based in San Francisco, Velma was the beauty and most of the musical talent, while Harry George was both the mechanical and business brains.
The name "Trujo" is the combination of their last names, Truett & George. Harry George, a machinist who also played guitar and steel guitar, first experimented with modifying Gibson banjos, but by 1927 Trujo banjos were entirely made by Gibson.

The very deep shell and heavy cast metal internal "megaphone" were designed to give Trujo's a deep, resonant tone more suited to the low tuning Velma promoted. 1927 was also the year Harry and Velma had their first, and biggest, hits as recording artists. "Ghost Dance", featuring banjo and steel guitar, was released on Columbia. You can hear it on YouTube, and most listeners agree that it lives up to its name.

They had another hit in '27 with "Wabash Blues," and thanks to these recordings and lots of advertising Harry and Velma's banjo instruction business was booming. But the rise of the tenor guitar essentially put an end to trying to make the banjo sound like something it wasn't, and by 1929 Harry George split for Oregon (the duo had never married). Velma sold Trujo to two employees of their Oakland teaching studio and went back to the family ranch in Nevada.

By late 1934/'35, Trujo was essentially out of business, and would soon be just another footnote in the history of the jazz-age banjo."

Nov 29, 2021 - 6:41:16 PM
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eljimb0

USA

2027 posts since 7/24/2007

My style 11 started life as a Truett plectrum. It is a fine machine (very clean) :)


Nov 29, 2021 - 9:19:13 PM
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4074 posts since 5/29/2011

It kind of looks like a cross between Gibson and Bacon & Day.

Dec 2, 2021 - 12:46:04 PM
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dutchtenor

Netherlands

25 posts since 7/6/2011

I am the happy owner of a Trujo Tenor. It is an odd one, with a very deep pot, but in my opinion with the best volume balance between all four strings. While some of my other instruments (Vega Soloist, B&D NPU6) tend to lean over to bass or treble, or middle,,,
I think they are undervalued.

Dec 3, 2021 - 9:49:34 AM

11919 posts since 10/27/2006
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

Harry George and Velma Truett were performers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. As best I know, they had a string of music stores across the country. Their earliest branded banjos were Gibson Kel Kroydens, certainly including 5-strings. They promoted "Chicago" tuning, i.e., like a guitar. Below is an excerpt from someone selling a banjo online:

"Harry George and Velma Truett were the power behind a West Coast movement to tune the 4-string plectrum banjo like the top four strings of a guitar. Based in San Francisco, Velma was the beauty and most of the musical talent, while Harry George was both the mechanical and business brains.
The name "Trujo" is the combination of their last names, Truett & George. Harry George, a machinist who also played guitar and steel guitar, first experimented with modifying Gibson banjos, but by 1927 Trujo banjos were entirely made by Gibson.

The very deep shell and heavy cast metal internal "megaphone" were designed to give Trujo's a deep, resonant tone more suited to the low tuning Velma promoted. 1927 was also the year Harry and Velma had their first, and biggest, hits as recording artists. "Ghost Dance", featuring banjo and steel guitar, was released on Columbia. You can hear it on YouTube, and most listeners agree that it lives up to its name.

They had another hit in '27 with "Wabash Blues," and thanks to these recordings and lots of advertising Harry and Velma's banjo instruction business was booming. But the rise of the tenor guitar essentially put an end to trying to make the banjo sound like something it wasn't, and by 1929 Harry George split for Oregon (the duo had never married). Velma sold Trujo to two employees of their Oakland teaching studio and went back to the family ranch in Nevada.

By late 1934/'35, Trujo was essentially out of business, and would soon be just another footnote in the history of the jazz-age banjo."


Across the country? Not sure about that. Oakland and San Francisco, definitely which is why Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto has had many for sale over the years (or the same few over and over?). Once they had two plectrums and a tenor in stock. Those were fun to play.

A son or grandson is a member here and sometimes chimes in on Trujo threads,

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