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Dec 5, 2023 - 11:19:08 AM
10 posts since 12/5/2023

Hello, I am new to the hangout. I am trying to identify my father's old tenor banjo. I had him write that note some time ago to give some detail. It was originally my grandfather's instrument. Any insight, and current value is appreciated.  Attached 3 pics. Thank you, kevin

Edited by - Kevin BB on 12/05/2023 11:22:32

Dec 5, 2023 - 11:22:47 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

27782 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

And???

Dec 5, 2023 - 11:26:42 AM

10 posts since 12/5/2023

I was asking for information and value. Are you able to see the pictures? Thank You

Dec 5, 2023 - 11:37:28 AM

1775 posts since 4/13/2009

If you can't see them in your post, neither can anyone else.

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:01:02 PM
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1102 posts since 5/31/2004

Hi Kevin, I saw the photos on your profile page.

The Challenger you have was made by the William Lange company, probably in the late 1920s. I owned one in the 1970s.

It's an excellent banjo and can certainly be used professionally. When set up well, it should be capable of tremendous volume!

I might get flak for this, but realistically, in good shape, you could expect the banjo to bring $500-600.

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:36:38 PM
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441 posts since 7/24/2021

Welcome Kevin BB. Yup. Pics are in profile .

Dec 5, 2023 - 2:03:21 PM
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10 posts since 12/5/2023

sorry , attaching the pictures is causing issues . attempting again


Dec 5, 2023 - 2:08:34 PM

10 posts since 12/5/2023

quote:
Originally posted by vintagetenor

Hi Kevin, I saw the photos on your profile page.

The Challenger you have was made by the William Lange company, probably in the late 1920s. I owned one in the 1970s.

It's an excellent banjo and can certainly be used professionally. When set up well, it should be capable of tremendous volume!

I might get flak for this, but realistically, in good shape, you could expect the banjo to bring $500-600.

Thank you for the reply. Yes, he played banjo with a band from the 40's-70's. I suppose "professional" is subjective, as he was paid, and has wall plaques, but had another profession for his living.


Dec 5, 2023 - 3:28:10 PM

1102 posts since 5/31/2004

What I meant by "professionally" is that your banjo would serve the player in a band situation just as well as a Paramount, Mastertone , Vegaphone, etc.

Dec 5, 2023 - 7:08:31 PM

DSmoke

USA

1407 posts since 11/30/2015
Online Now

I agree with Mike, from a private seller this banjo would sell in the $500 - $600 range. There is some demand for these in the Irish trad community, but with so many Paramounts available these would be desired a little below the Paramounts, which affects the value.

Dec 5, 2023 - 8:08:58 PM

3272 posts since 3/30/2008

The "Challenger" is a really nice instrument. I've had 2 of these, & was fascinated with the adjustable/moveable portal gate system. I played these banjos for a couple of years, & never could tell much of a difference in sound when altering the portals. It seemed like an overly complex system that didn't really accomplish much.

Dec 6, 2023 - 5:03:02 AM

5564 posts since 3/22/2008

Insight: Wm. L. Lange, the manufacturer of the Challenger banjo was quite the banjo sound chamber tinkerer. He obtained several patents for his banjo theories. Some worked and others not so much (see tdennis above). The Challenger was introduced March 12, 1927 (attached). The acoustics were based on Lange patent 1,615,460 awarded Jan. 25, 1927 (attached). The Challenger was noted in other trade publications in March 1927 (attached). The Challenger was featured at the next fretted instrument convention on June 18, 1927 along with the introduction of the gold plated Challenger King (attached). I don't think the Challenger tenor banjo had a very long production run as by June 1928 Lange was in the process of introducing his line of double resonator Super Paramount "wedding cake" banjos another of Lange's innovative banjo creations.


Edited by - beezaboy on 12/06/2023 05:16:52

Dec 6, 2023 - 11:32:37 AM

10 posts since 12/5/2023

quote:
Originally posted by beezaboy

Insight: Wm. L. Lange, the manufacturer of the Challenger banjo was quite the banjo sound chamber tinkerer. He obtained several patents for his banjo theories. Some worked and others not so much (see tdennis above). The Challenger was introduced March 12, 1927 (attached). The acoustics were based on Lange patent 1,615,460 awarded Jan. 25, 1927 (attached). The Challenger was noted in other trade publications in March 1927 (attached). The Challenger was featured at the next fretted instrument convention on June 18, 1927 along with the introduction of the gold plated Challenger King (attached). I don't think the Challenger tenor banjo had a very long production run as by June 1928 Lange was in the process of introducing his line of double resonator Super Paramount "wedding cake" banjos another of Lange's innovative banjo creations.


Wow, thanks to all the replies. Beezaboy these articles are great! And yes my dad explained how turning the ring amplified, or decreased, the sound. Appreciate the knowledge. Kevin

Dec 10, 2023 - 5:02:42 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

17443 posts since 8/30/2006

I made a 5-string neck for a Challenger, here's the tunneled 5th string headstock called "The Bishop."
Lange Triple X is another.
The adjustable aperture resonator hasn't been better perfected.


Dec 10, 2023 - 3:45:32 PM

10 posts since 12/5/2023

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

I made a 5-string neck for a Challenger, here's the tunneled 5th string headstock called "The Bishop."
Lange Triple X is another.
The adjustable aperture resonator hasn't been better perfected.


Those look nice!

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