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Sep 28, 2022 - 3:28:10 PM
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25 posts since 9/21/2022

Hello all, new guy here. I recently came into posession of a Stromberg-Voisinet 5-string banjo. Through my countless hours of googvestigation, I have yet to come up with the answers I am looking for.

What I am thinking is the following...

1.) I have a 4 string Banjo that was modified into a 5 string.
2.) The head feels like the arse of a sheep. (Dont ask me how I know)
3.) The headstock and neck seems to be original
4.) I dont know what the heck I am looking at...

Could someone please enlighten me?

TIA




 

Edited by - MakaMaleko on 09/28/2022 15:48:27

Sep 28, 2022 - 3:31:58 PM
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25 posts since 9/21/2022

added more photos.




 

Sep 28, 2022 - 3:57:46 PM
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458 posts since 10/8/2018

I’d say it looks like a pretty nice banjo! If it is a conversion… nice job who ever did it. Most from that era were tenors, 5 strings were rather rare. Someone here should have more info to help you.

Sep 28, 2022 - 4:02:47 PM
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1328 posts since 11/9/2012

quote:
Originally posted by MakaMaleko


The head feels like the arse of a sheep. (Dont ask me how I know)
 


laugh - LMAO!! 

Sep 28, 2022 - 4:03:18 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5920 posts since 10/12/2009

Is this one of the instruments you won at the auction last weekend?

Sep 28, 2022 - 4:24:03 PM

25 posts since 9/21/2022

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

Is this one of the instruments you won at the auction last weekend?


Yessir 

Sep 28, 2022 - 4:34:29 PM
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10134 posts since 8/28/2013

I'd guess it's all original. These S-V and Kay banjos are very difficult to date, but being an actual S-V, and not the later Kay, pretty much says it's from the 1920s or possibly the very first year or two of the 1930s.

I doubt if anyone would go to the trouble of making a nice five string neck for a tenor version of one of these.

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 09/28/2022 16:35:07

Sep 28, 2022 - 4:53:08 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5920 posts since 10/12/2009

I'd say late '20's to early' 30's, it's from before S-V started putting those big, heavy, cast flanges on their banjos.

Sep 28, 2022 - 5:10:06 PM

624 posts since 5/29/2015

With necks and bodies, most manufacturers used matching wood and finish. The neck and body also are attached together so they receive the same exposure to the environment. So finish wear and darkening should generally be similar. The exception would be if one or the other had been refinished but not both. Looks a bit suspect from the photos, but it does seem to have that 1930ish "pearwood" fingerboard which would typically not be used with a conversion neck.

Sep 28, 2022 - 8:24:18 PM
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10134 posts since 8/28/2013

Who in the world would waste the time and money to make a conversion neck for what is basically a low priced banjo? It would be easier and cheaper to buy a banjo that has five strings already. I don't care if the finish is subtly different on neck and pot; S-V probably wasn't as careful matching woods and colors as Vega or Gibson.

The arse of a calf probably feels the same as the arse of a sheep, although I will admit that I have never felt either.

A long time friend once had a summer job giving sheep shots. His description of the experience would scare off practically everybody, So please, don't go into this further.

Sep 28, 2022 - 10:02:27 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26468 posts since 6/25/2005

The dowelstick clamp seems to be different fom the usual S-V ones. I don’t think the neck is original to the pot, though both are probably S-V.

Sep 29, 2022 - 2:01:15 AM
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25 posts since 9/21/2022

Hey guys all,

One of the reasons I figured a 5 string conversion is because the 5th tuner is a different color as the 4 on the head, it just sticks out like a sore thumb as odd man out, doesn't seem factory to me.
another thing, why so many frets? i was reading they are supposed to have 17.

Does consensus agree late 20s, early 30s on the year?

 



Thanks


 

Edited by - MakaMaleko on 09/29/2022 02:09:37

Sep 29, 2022 - 3:09:08 AM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5920 posts since 10/12/2009

5 string banjos generally have 22 frets, maybe some A scales and banjeaurines have less.

Plectrums have 22 frets, tenors are known to have 17, 18, and 19.

Sep 29, 2022 - 3:16:25 AM
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4304 posts since 4/29/2012

Looks like it was originally a 5 string to me. Maybe the 5th peg is a replacement (they are easily lost). Maybe they got it from the wrong parts bin at the factory. And I'm so pleased that you've all decided to spell arse correctly.

Sep 29, 2022 - 4:32:15 AM

25 posts since 9/21/2022

Thanks again guys for your thoughts, My son will be putting this Banjo up on eBay today if you want to take a look at the as-described listing,

I still have 21 more instruments to put up on his ebay account so I most likely will be back with more questions. You all are awesome, appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help. Alohaz

Edited by - MakaMaleko on 09/29/2022 04:32:53

Oct 1, 2022 - 5:54:27 AM

DSmoke

USA

1261 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by MakaMaleko

Thanks again guys for your thoughts, My son will be putting this Banjo up on eBay today if you want to take a look at the as-described listing,

I still have 21 more instruments to put up on his ebay account so I most likely will be back with more questions. You all are awesome, appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help. Alohaz


It would be great if you would post it for sale here for a few days before giving all that money to Ebay. It's a nice way to thank the knowledge base here.

Oct 1, 2022 - 11:13:34 AM
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10134 posts since 8/28/2013

Although the neck attachment hardware is not original (the Phillips head screw at least is a later mounting, that does not mean the neck is not original. Because both neck and pot are S-V, there is no reason why someone would take a neck from one S-V to put on a different S-V. (it would have been easier to just leave the five string neck on its own pot). I suppose someone could have purchased a pot and a neck seperately, though. I just don't think that's the case.

A different tuner color is a rather silly way to go by anything. Those are replaced constantly, as a perusal of the BHO archives will show lots of questions concerning replacement tuners.

Oct 1, 2022 - 11:23:37 AM

10134 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

Looks like it was originally a 5 string to me. Maybe the 5th peg is a replacement (they are easily lost). Maybe they got it from the wrong parts bin at the factory. And I'm so pleased that you've all decided to spell arse correctly.


"Arse" has to be used here on BHO to be accepted by their software. Thank goodness for UK spellings.

I have always wonder what might be done should a Biblical reference to the "jawbone of an a** (the animal, not a body part).

There are actually a number of words in the Bible that would be rejected. I say, "Darn this software to Heck!"

Oct 1, 2022 - 2:17:46 PM
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7219 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

5 string banjos generally have 22 frets, maybe some A scales and banjeaurines have less.

Plectrums have 22 frets, tenors are known to have 17, 18, and 19.


5 string banjos did not get a three octave neck until 1893 when SSS made Alfred Farland a three octave neck "Special Thoroughbred" banjo.  Shortly after SSS offered that as a model, then later added an 11" rim as well as other sizes with a three octave neck.  One of the things that made this possible was improvements in string making allowing for true(er) strings.

It still took awhile for the three octave neck to catch on.  As a rule "banjos generally have 22 frets after 1900" would be a better statement.  Prior to that 16 to 20 frets were common-- but these were not "A scale" banjos as those would not be developed until around 2000, so strictly a modern concept for festival style jam sessions along with scoops.

There is evidence of three octave necks before this in print. SSS wrote about them in the late 1870s and Frank Converse's fold out from 1865 shows 22 frets.  I've not seen an actual example of these in the flesh. 

Oct 3, 2022 - 3:37:17 AM

25 posts since 9/21/2022

quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke
quote:
Originally posted by MakaMaleko

Thanks again guys for your thoughts, My son will be putting this Banjo up on eBay today if you want to take a look at the as-described listing,

I still have 21 more instruments to put up on his ebay account so I most likely will be back with more questions. You all are awesome, appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help. Alohaz


It would be great if you would post it for sale here for a few days before giving all that money to Ebay. It's a nice way to thank the knowledge base here.


It would bw my pleasure to do so, and I thought about it but I thought that it may be disrespectful to previous owner who is also here. That's why I didnt. 

Oct 4, 2022 - 6:17:29 PM
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57 posts since 11/7/2019

Maka - I have what I think is an original 5 string banjo S-V Kay . It must be later than yours , maybe 40s -50s If you want to compare message me - Thanks

Oct 5, 2022 - 10:23:11 AM
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Jbo1

USA

1187 posts since 5/19/2007

"...as described listing"? What about the arse described listing?

Oct 5, 2022 - 10:44:14 AM
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507 posts since 4/11/2019

Banjohangout - come for the banjos, stay for the arse jokes.

Oct 5, 2022 - 5:20:39 PM

10134 posts since 8/28/2013

Let's try to avoid the arse jokes, or pretty soon the software will be modified so that we have to type "A***."

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