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Mar 5, 2022 - 2:30:33 PM
196 posts since 11/8/2014

Anyone make a good lightweight tenor? Don't know how long I will haul my 12 lb tenor around.

Mar 5, 2022 - 3:34:01 PM
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935 posts since 2/19/2012

Lots of possibilities. Open back or with resonator? Vintage or relatively current manufacture? And how good is good (meaning have you thought about how much you'd like to invest)? I have a range of banjos that I really need to sell covering everything from a Goodtime at the low end to a California made tenor that weighs about as much as what you have currently, and it's really tough to decide what to let go. Sometimes I want to play the light one, sometimes the vintage one, sometimes the Little Wonder open back, and sometimes the Fender. I think a 1930 Slingerland Nite Hawk is going to replace all of them. Good luck in your search. I'll be curious to see what others suggest.

Mar 5, 2022 - 4:22:09 PM
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DSmoke

USA

1192 posts since 11/30/2015

You won't find a lighter better sounding trad banjo for the price. FYI - I hate to "plug" myself but it's the only way I know how to let you know about these. I do the work necessary after they arrive.
I've also have had a demo sent around the US to some great players all surprised by the tone and weight. The Rover banjos on the link below.

tradbanjo.com/collections/banjos

Mar 6, 2022 - 11:41:23 PM
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1011 posts since 6/25/2006

How about the ODE tenor banjo - there are some video examples on their website:https://www.odebanjos.com/product/ode-11-magician-tenor/

Mar 11, 2022 - 10:13:16 AM
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2433 posts since 10/9/2011

I can vouch for the Rover open back that DSmoke has recommended. I got to play one at Dan's home/shop and was amazed how good it feels and sounds. For $300, it's a no brainer. It would be a great option for anyone who wants a "beater" to haul around festivals etc where you better banjo might be endangered. People might laugh at the Rover logo, but they'd change their minds once they heard and tried it. It's all in the setup.
BTW-- Rover also makes a very inexpensive mandolin which many people have tweaked into pretty decent playing mandos.

Mar 18, 2022 - 2:01:48 AM

martyjoe

Ireland

156 posts since 3/24/2020

I’m making tenor banjos completely out of bamboo. They come in under 6lbs. 12” pot, closed back (resonator) with bamboo tone ring for big full sound, or 10” pot with closed back with bamboo tone ring to match the ‘ Paramount’ sound.

Apr 17, 2022 - 8:01:47 AM
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11 posts since 12/23/2019

I have a big pot Vega Little Wonder that is light and sounds good with traditional music. No flange and a more basic tone ring takes a lot of weight off.

Apr 17, 2022 - 10:00:36 AM

martyjoe

Ireland

156 posts since 3/24/2020

I love the sound of the old & the not so old Vega’s. that’s the sound that I grew up with.

Apr 17, 2022 - 10:16:08 PM

rcc56

USA

4235 posts since 2/20/2016

Another vote for Vega tenors for Irish music. The plainer models like the Little Wonder are probably a pound or so lighter than the Tubaphones and Whyte Laydies, but all will be considerably lighter than anything built on a Mastertone pattern.

Gibson trap-doors are light and can be a lot of fun, but won't project as well as a Vega.

Apr 18, 2022 - 4:27:25 PM
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DSmoke

USA

1192 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:

Gibson trap-doors are light and can be a lot of fun, but won't project as well as a Vega.

That was one of the most difficult banjos to get to sound good in GDAE tuning I've ever worked on.  My friend has one that I spent a lot of time with.  We both prefer the basic Slingerland over it.

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Apr 18, 2022 - 8:34:32 PM

rcc56

USA

4235 posts since 2/20/2016

I like mine, but it definitely has a high "funk factor," as an old friend of mine would say.
If you want a clean, clear sound, it's not a good candidate.
Mine seems to do best with a light strings and a fairly loose head.

Apr 23, 2022 - 8:29:10 PM

2608 posts since 3/2/2008

I just posted just the banjo you described for sale . Look in the 4 string banjo classifieds here on the hang out price is flexable

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