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Dec 7, 2021 - 11:09:04 AM
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8 posts since 12/7/2021

Hi Folks, I'll try a third time!

I'm new to the forum and have joined to learn more about a banjo I just acquired. It's an Epiphone Recording Banjo, Concert Art Model that was found in the trash, of all places! it seems to be largely intact, missing only one tuner button, one thumb screw to hold the arm rest on, and the resonator. Sadly, the resonators on these things are exquisite and will be next to impossible to locate. I'm told by Vincent Mondello that the tuners are Grover Hercules, 2:1 ratio tuners. It also has a crack at then headstock that may or may not have been glued yet.

I've been having trouble getting the forum to accept my post, so I'll try to attach pics and see what happens!

Thanks!


Dec 7, 2021 - 11:14:31 AM

8 posts since 12/7/2021

A couple more...


Dec 7, 2021 - 11:25:05 AM

5799 posts since 12/20/2005

So glad you came along and rescued it.
I’m sure it is not the first banjo treasure to have simply thrown out.

Dec 7, 2021 - 1:46 PM

5068 posts since 3/22/2008

To learn more about your banjo click on the BanjoHangout Magnifying Glass Icon to search the many prior forum threads dealing with "Epiphone Recording" banjos.

Dec 7, 2021 - 5:40:51 PM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

Chris - nice banjo! I suspect it has a nice heel carving of a dragon as well. The banjo appears to be a "Deluxe Art" from Mid 1925 - Early 1927 era. You're quite correct, locating a resonator isn't likely. Would you mind sharing the 4digit serial number near the arm-rest or tailpiece (top or bottom side)

Here is an article I wrote on these banjos a few years back:  https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/301265

As for the missing armrest nut, any proper threaded brass nut will do to hold it in place...  Usually two, one top and another bottom side.

I'd go for new tuners as well - that is if you plan to restore it.  Do know that plectrum Epiphones don't have much of a market.

Peter

Dec 7, 2021 - 7:56:56 PM

beegee

USA

22559 posts since 7/6/2005

It would worth making an exact copy 5-string neck and and resonator for it.

Dec 7, 2021 - 8:18:43 PM
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DSmoke

USA

1105 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

It would worth making an exact copy 5-string neck and and resonator for it.


WTF, how about all you 5 string players/builders figure out how to build a rim!

Dec 8, 2021 - 7:22:52 AM

4006 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjotrader

Chris - nice banjo! I suspect it has a nice heel carving of a dragon as well. The banjo appears to be a "Deluxe Art" from Mid 1925 - Early 1927 era. You're quite correct, locating a resonator isn't likely. Would you mind sharing the 4digit serial number near the arm-rest or tailpiece (top or bottom side)

Here is an article I wrote on these banjos a few years back:  https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/301265

As for the missing armrest nut, any proper threaded brass nut will do to hold it in place...  Usually two, one top and another bottom side.

I'd go for new tuners as well - that is if you plan to restore it.  Do know that plectrum Epiphones don't have much of a market.

Peter


It looks like an uncarved heel. Click on that resonator picture.

Dec 8, 2021 - 7:40:11 AM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

I don't believe that is his, as his banjo is missing the resonator. It's an aspirational picture of the type of resonator he'd require

Edited by - banjotrader on 12/08/2021 07:40:36

Dec 8, 2021 - 8:22:02 AM
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2250 posts since 1/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

It would worth making an exact copy 5-string neck and and resonator for it.


WTF, how about all you 5 string players/builders figure out how to build a rim!


lol why dont you 4 string pickers learn to pick a 5! :-P

Dec 8, 2021 - 10:52:14 AM
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9176 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by kyleb
quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

It would worth making an exact copy 5-string neck and and resonator for it.


WTF, how about all you 5 string players/builders figure out how to build a rim!


lol why dont you 4 string pickers learn to pick a 5! :-P


At least a four string player doesn't tear any nice necks off of great banjo pots. Unfortunately, should the trend toward re-necking continue, he may be forced to destroy a few prewar flatheads to find a good instrument to convert to a tenor or plectrum.  : - )

Dec 9, 2021 - 7:51:55 AM

4006 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjotrader

I don't believe that is his, as his banjo is missing the resonator. It's an aspirational picture of the type of resonator he'd require


Ah, yes--that seems likely!

Dec 9, 2021 - 10:43:17 AM
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1662 posts since 1/28/2013

Ron Coleman in Valdosta Georgia could convert it into a nice 5 string, worth more than if you restored it as a 4 string plectrum. It would cost you more than it would be worth to restore it to a 4 string.

Dec 9, 2021 - 11:18:13 AM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

Im sorry - but I fail to understand how restoring an existing plectrum that is missing its resonator would cost more than having a new neck made (w/ carving) + sourcing a resonator. And since when are 5string Epiphones desirable?

Dec 9, 2021 - 11:40:32 AM
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beegee

USA

22559 posts since 7/6/2005

I don't understand why anyone would deem it an "either/or" and not "both" question.

Dec 9, 2021 - 12:23:36 PM

Jbo1

USA

1088 posts since 5/19/2007

banjotrader , maybe it used to be Eric Clapton's?

Dec 10, 2021 - 9:27:05 AM
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8 posts since 12/7/2021

Boy, I've had a hard time replying to this! First,

Thanks for all the comments. No, the resonator I showed is not on this banjo, it's just a picture that I found of what was originally on the Concert Art Model. I've seen multiple versions of this model, some with carved necks, some without, but so far, of the the ones I've seen that are similar,had this particular resonator on it.

Yes the heel is carved... quite ornately!

RE neck replacement, I'm all about restoration of an old instrument so I won't be converting it to anything else. I'm considering simply flipping this and passing it on to someone qualified to do a proper restoration.


Dec 10, 2021 - 9:33:55 AM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

this is in fact a Deluxe, not a Concert Art as it has an ebony neck (w/ carved Dragon).

Based on the SN, if you can provide that, I can tell you more...

Dec 12, 2021 - 9:41:28 AM

8 posts since 12/7/2021

Thanks for the info! I'd love to learn whatever I can about this banjo.

Here's what I've found so far... My online research brought up the EpiphoneWiki page which is where I got the idea it's a Concert Art Model : epiphonewiki.org/index/Recordi...anjos.php. They have multiple variations on the Recording banjo, but the only one to match the construction details and inlays on this, were the Concert Art Model. The Deluxe does have the ornate heel but also has a dragon carving on the back of the headstock. This does not. Also, most Deluxe models seem to have completely different fingerboard inlays. The closest I found was the pic below.

Now, that being said, I know nothing about the accuracy of the site. Several things there seem to be a bit confusing and I'd appreciate any info folks can share or resources you can point me to!

Regarding a serial number, the only number I found was stamped onto the ornate flange; 5896.  Thanks!




Edited by - Ginridge on 12/12/2021 09:45:17

Dec 12, 2021 - 10:21:46 AM

8 posts since 12/7/2021

More research and a second reading of your excellent article suggests that this is a 1927 instrument.

Dec 12, 2021 - 10:26:29 AM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

Most of what is on that site is to do with The Celluloid version. Your is a 1927 transitional deluxe. It likely had either a concert art style resonator or an early prototype celluloid resonator originally. 5896 wasnt previously recorded, So I’ll put it in the database.

Dec 12, 2021 - 10:46:29 AM

8 posts since 12/7/2021

Thanks! Is the Concert Art Style resonator the one I pictured above? I assume the transitional reference might explain all the variations I'm seeing. How do I find the database (forgive my ignorance!)

Dec 12, 2021 - 1:30:57 PM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

You’ll often find the pictured resonator on either the Deluxe or the Concert Art. Otherwise, the concert Art will simply have a plain Rosewood resonator with a Marquetry Stripe up the middle. The Database is something I maintain privately for research. There is a lot of variations in these early models for sure

Dec 13, 2021 - 9:04:30 AM

8 posts since 12/7/2021

Thanks Banjotrader! It's been a confusing search for info and I appreciate your understanding of the material. Is the database something you need pics for? I have quite a few I can pass on directly if you need them. Also, is this viewable to the folks like myself?

Dec 13, 2021 - 9:28:12 AM

665 posts since 5/4/2014

it's ok, I have everything I need from those you've supplied

Dec 13, 2021 - 10:51:15 AM

9176 posts since 8/28/2013

I don't know whether this was true of Epiphone, but I've seen banjo makers who used slightly different inlay opatterns depending on the type of banjo. A tenor banjo, for example, might have some detail differences than a plectrum banjo. The 22 frets I see makes yours a plectrum banjo.

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