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Apr 16, 2024 - 1:16:15 PM
93 posts since 8/2/2014

I realize the current Fender production is off-shore. Thinking of '70s Fenders, what is the difference between the Artist and the Deluxe?

Apr 16, 2024 - 2:34:12 PM
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15219 posts since 6/2/2008
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I think even the off-shore production of Fender banjos has ended. My understanding is the only Asian Fenders (at least anything above beginner's level) are used. I could be wrong.

The American-made Artist banjos had a multi-ply rim with outer plies of walnut. The flange was a design unique to Fender. It was L-shaped in cross-section, with one leg of the "L" encircling the skirt area of the rim. The heel of the neck pressed against this instead of making direct contact with the rim. I don't know if the Asian Fender was multi-ply or three-ply. But its flange was Gibson style.

This photo shows how Fender's American pot construction is different from the Gibson design copied by almost everyone else.

As to other differences, the American Fender tone ring was probably a bronze alloy. The Asian Fender ring was called "brass" which typically has more zinc than tin. Who actually knows the composition of these banjos' rings?

I played some Asian Fenders and found them to be heavy and shrill. Your perception could be different. Action was great. Very easy to play.

The American Fender neck was laminated walnut (book-matched, I think) with a contrasting maple strip. I think the Asian Fenders copied that design element at some point.

Other differences are probably cosmetic.

Bill Emerson and Eddie Adcock were among the pros who performed and recorded with Fender Artists. I would much prefer an Artist over a Deluxe or any Asian model.

Apr 16, 2024 - 3:04:33 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

12032 posts since 6/29/2003

The Artist and the 'deluxe' are 2 totally different beasts. The Artist is wholly American made in the 70's. The 'Deluxe' is the model FB58 and is made in China. I have played both and if money was no object, I would chose the Artist any day.

Apr 16, 2024 - 4:09:16 PM

5712 posts since 5/29/2011
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Didn't Fender make a gold plated model called the Deluxe in the 70's?

Apr 16, 2024 - 4:35:27 PM

15219 posts since 6/2/2008
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I think that was the Concert Tone. 

Don't know if it was one word or two.

I thought "Deluxe" was a name that came along after the Leo. There are archived discussions of Fender banjo naming history.

Also, I searched online and the only banjo Fender currently sells is an aluminum rimmed open back with a Fishman pickup. It's in their "Paramount" acoustic series with a resonator guitar and A-style mandolin.

Apr 16, 2024 - 6:09:19 PM

5712 posts since 5/29/2011
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quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

I think that was the Concert Tone. 

Don't know if it was one word or two.

I thought "Deluxe" was a name that came along after the Leo. There are archived discussions of Fender banjo naming history.

Also, I searched online and the only banjo Fender currently sells is an aluminum rimmed open back with a Fishman pickup. It's in their "Paramount" acoustic series with a resonator guitar and A-style mandolin.


You're right. It was called the Concert Tone.

Edited by - Culloden on 04/16/2024 18:09:51

Apr 16, 2024 - 6:54:37 PM
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15679 posts since 10/30/2008

The Artist and Concertone had the same guts and should expect to sound the same.

Apr 17, 2024 - 4:55:23 AM

KCJones

USA

3002 posts since 8/30/2012

Was the flange design unique to fender?

The "L" section with the collar the goes down the rim looks to be the same as the flange on this Epiphone Beltone from the 30s: banjohangout.org/topic/396816

If so that would mean Fender copied it from Epiphone.

Apr 17, 2024 - 6:01:06 AM

15219 posts since 6/2/2008
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Good find. I probably saw that when it was posted and forgot.

It does look like Salstrom copied Epiphone before being bought by Fender. I'm pretty sure Epiphone was no longer using that design post-war. 

Apr 17, 2024 - 6:21 AM

3372 posts since 9/5/2006

I played a Fender Artist made in Fullerton, CA for most of the 70's. It was a very good banjo and traveled well as we did lots of gigs in lots of places. They still seem to be out there and the prices have held or gained a bit. It had very nice wood, walnut and rosewood and it served me well without any problems. I have seen the Pacific Rim Fenders and they were not nearly the same quality.

Apr 17, 2024 - 6:36:02 AM
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TLG

USA

1801 posts since 10/11/2004

Fender bought out Salstrom & parts & used the parts till they ran out.
Salstrom used a brass flange , expensive to make, few Fenders early on had brass flanges, I guess till they ran out, I have seen a couple. Then sometime, Fender started using the "pot metal" flange, same shape & size.
Strom banjos used the same shape flanges as Salstrom in brass, but turned them upsidedown from Salstrom on the rim. Strom, Salstrom & Fender used bracket spacing like the Bacon/B&D's, & you can use the Oettinger 5 string tailpiece.

Apr 17, 2024 - 11:08:31 PM

13128 posts since 10/27/2006

Anybody wanting a scan of the 28 page Fender Banjo catalog from the late 1960s — early '70s, send me a message and I'll attach it to return email. There is an address change on one page, otherwise, they are identical.

The top of the line was the Concert Tone Custom. I knew someone who had a 5 string. Wow! 


 

Apr 20, 2024 - 12:29:36 PM

328 posts since 2/21/2012

I own a Fender Concertone Custom Deluxe, PLECTRUM with the owners name in place of Fender on the peghead. NOT sure how he managed to get Fender to do that ? It is one of the rarer PAINTED Eagle carved in the back of the resonator,
IF Scott Zimmerman sees this post it also has the. Name “ Cathy” on the
rim label ?

Apr 22, 2024 - 1:32:46 PM

13128 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by banjowilly22

I own a Fender Concertone Custom Deluxe, PLECTRUM with the owners name in place of Fender on the peghead. NOT sure how he managed to get Fender to do that ? It is one of the rarer PAINTED Eagle carved in the back of the resonator,
IF Scott Zimmerman sees this post it also has the. Name “ Cathy” on the
rim label ?


Are you sure it's a Fender? Salstrom Banjo, the company that became Fender's banjo works, also made a Concert Tone Custom.

Whichever it is, the Custom had the carved eagle; the standard Concert Tone did not. Here is page 23 from the 1968 Fender catalog. PM me for a scan of the entire thing.


 

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