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  • Banjos      


    Latest Arrivals

    VB 00033 ca. 1931 Vega Vegavox IV Deluxe Tenor Banjo     EXC ++   This is one of the very nicest, classiest banjos I have ever seen. And it rings out loud and clear and plays perfectly. It has been restored by Renee Karnes several years ago and has received basically no wear since then. Here is the original catalog picture and the catalog description. ( $425.00 in 1931 = $6,653.58 in 2016 dollars) Elegance abounds everywhere on this gold plated instrument from the engraved tailpiece to the engraved inlay on the back of the peghead. Also beautifully engraved are the fingerboard inlays and the intricate inlay on the headstock which is as beautiful viewed from the side as it is from the front. There is a comforting feel to the warmth of a gold plated banjo and I think it makes for a richer sound but that could be just psychological. The resonator sides are fancy, it's true, but the back is exquisite with its elegant "De-Luxe Vegavox" star in the middle. Elegance is also evident in the long back strap extending down the back of the 5 piece laminated neck and the carving on the inlaid heel. Modern hard shell case.
    Price:   $5250.00


    DB - 0003 The Dayton 5 String Banjo ca. 1914     VG++   Dayton 5 strings don't pop up nearly as often as tenors do and this one is set up nicely and has a very pleasant mellow sound. Nicely worn 12" frosted plastic head on Charles Rauch's uniquely laminated rim. All the hardware seems original save two brackets and nuts and there is one bracket, shoe,and nut missing. The original label is present but the number is difficult to decipher but seems like a 4 digit number probably. Simple Brazilian rosewood peghead veneer and original friction tuning pegs with a possibly replaced button on the fifth string peg . The tailpiece also appears original. A fun banjo to play. Good modern hard shell case.
    Price:   $1250.00    ON HOLD

    Here's a video clip of The Dayton:


    Gibson Banjos

    TG - 00136 1939 Gibson ETB- 150 Electric Tenor Banjo     EXC   Yes this is technically a banjo because it is round. However, it is actually a fantastic electric tenor guitar with 22 frets to the body! And a wonderful original "Charlie Christian" pickup that can be sweet or growl fiercely. It plays 'like butter' - really nicely. It is completely original with no issues. Sunburst maple top has gorgeous flame as does the back looking much like the far later coveted Les Paul Standards. Pearl inlaid headstock in the TB-7 Style. Original tuning pegs which are the rare boxy Klusons. Original Volume and Tone knobs one black and one brown, and original "palm vibrato". Regular 1/4" guitar jack conveniently located on the treble side near the heel. Serial number EGE-4512 . And it has it's original racing stripe hard shell case which is worn but so nice that we had the interior and the ribbon hinges restored with vintage material.
    Price:   $3495.00

    GB - 00035 1935 Kel Kroyden (by Gibson) Conversion     VG++   Here's the real deal and you can hear it in the tone. You got your one piece flange full thickness rim same as a Mastertone without a tone ring. The flange is a Nashville Plating Co. replacement since the old one (included) was broken. And we had Larry Cohea install a Mc Peake flat head tone ring and a second co-ordinator rod (the KK rim is originally drilled for it but has only one installed) as well as a nice Wreath Pattern five string neck and then set it up perfectly with spikes at frets 7,8,9, and 10. It plays beautifully and sounds incredible. Gibson script on the headstock and Planet tuning pegs and the fabulous M.O.T. resonator with original lugs. Original case and tenor neck with original pegs, flange (and broken pieces), and brass rod 'tone ring' are available if you so desire.
    Price:   $5650.00


    Paramount Banjos

    PB - 00404 1924 Paramount Style C Plectrum Banjo     EXC   This is a fine example with good strong sound and great playability. Good neck, frets, etc. and wonderful condition. Nice old skin head. The dove pattern fingerboard inlay is Paramounts most beautiful in my opinion. The Cupid or Ludwig Van Beethoven on the first fret is a pleasureable puzzlement. And the high grade mahogany used in the neck and the maple capped rim and the resonator are beautifully accented by the colorful marquetry used throughout. Original Page tuning pegs in fine condition. Fancy headstock inlay. Carved heel. Lovely volute. (Don't ya just love volutes?) Original tailpiece and .... it's wired for .... light. (Perhaps you noticed) The serial number on the rim matches that on the dowel. The label proudly states "Piano Volume - Harp Quality Tone". No lie. Original Paramount double pocket blue lined hard shell case in pretty nice shape.
    Price:   $1795.00


    Vega Banjos

    VB 00032 1928 Vega Style N 5 String Conversion     EXC -   This is a wonderful player as well as a beautiful piece of art. The 10 15/16" head is graced with a lovely, whimsical art deco illustration of two frolicking nudes. It has the simple "rolled over" tone ring. The bottom of the metal pot cladding sits in a ledge that locates the cladding precisely on the pot. The rolled-over tone ring doesn't sit on wood, but is held a little less than a millimeter above the wood of the pot, so the simple tone ring doesn't touch wood. All the hardware is original and in good shape including the No Knot Tailpiece. There are a few nicks and scratches on the rim but nothing major. It has the original dowel stick and the serial numbers match on the dowel and the rim.   (87793)   The 26 1/2" scale length neck is mint and appears to be the work of Wyatt Fawley. Simple (and proper) star on the headstock and Planet style tuning pegs. Here's a video clip of it:

    Nice newer hard shell 'bump' case. Price:   $1695.00

    VB - 00015 1930 Vega Tubaphone #3 with Wildwood #7 Style Neck     EXC   Here's a fine sounding and playing and looking banjo for you. The 1930 Tubaphone rim which is serial # 88860 has been mated to a beautiful flame maple Wildwood neck that is finished to match the original flame maple resonator whose inside is also quite flamey and bears the Vega stamp. Exquisite Style 7 engraved inlays in the fingerboard and the Wildwood engraved inlay on the peghead. Original 4 piece flange and tubaphone tone ring. New Weatherking head . Newer planet type tuning pegs. Here is a video clip of it. Hard shell case. Great banjo for either old timey or bluegrass.
    Price:   $2250.00

    VMB - 00017 1922 Vega Tubaphone Style X Mandolin Banjo     EXC-   This may have been a custom order because it contains some of the features of the Style 9 series like the fancy marquetry on the bottom of the rim and engraved fingerboard inlays. Yet it clearly states Style X on the dowel stick. Nice engraved inlays on the headstock and original enclosed tuning pegs. Flamey maple neck and lovely carving on the heel cap. There is a solid expertly repaired crack on the heel. Bell Brand tailpiece. Seems to be a skin head that has been 'rubbed down'. Original hard shell case has seen better days. Good setup with nice comfy action and a fairly mellow (for a mandolin banjo) sound.
    Price - Consigned at:   $1695.00 Reduced Price: $1295.00


    Bacon Banjos

    BB - 00011 Late teens Bacon Special Original 5 String Banjo     EXC   This sure appears to be an original Five string neck or else it's a perfect forgery. The fingerboard and frets are in almost unplayed condition. The serial number 33360 matches up on the rim and the inside of the resonator which also has "1933" added to the serial number which might indicate the year 1933 but this seems like an older model to me. ?? The dowel has the proper Made in Groton stamp on it. All the hardware is in fantastic condition and the tuning pegs (newer hign end ones) work great. Simple inlay on the headstock. Fancy pearloid resonator. It plays great and has a good strong sound. Newer hard shell case
    Price:   $1795.00


    Other Banjos

    EB - 0007 Mid teens Clifford Essex 5 String Banjo     EXC   With its 11 inch rim spunover what looks like mahogany and a simple hoop tonering and nice skin head, this old feller gets a mighty sweet old timey sound. Scale Length is 26 3/4" and the nut width is 1 3/16" and the mahogany neck shows wear on the back and is very comfortable to play. Ebony fingerboard has lovely abalone and pearl inlays in it as does the headstock. The tuning pegs work fine. All parts appear original and match nicely and the 15a Grafton Street label proudly graces the dowel stick. Oversize chipboard case.
    Price:   $1395.00

    BU - 0004 ca. 1935 John Grey Banjo Uke     EXC   Very nice little banjo uke from the esteemed English maker John Grey. Birds eye maple back and blue striped maple sides.   10 1/4" head and 13 1/4" scale length. Maple rim and mahogany neck and dowel.   Resonator attaches with a single thumb knob. There is a dark grain line that definitely is not a crack in the heel of which we have large pictures. The letters R B E are stamped into the bottom of the heel. Friction tuning pegs with the number 13797 stamped into the back of the peghead. John Grey& Sons, London on the headstock. The piano shaped case is unique.
    Price:   $795.00


    Banjo Mandolins

    VMB - 00017 1922 Vega Tubaphone Style X Mandolin Banjo     EXC-   This may have been a custom order because it contains some of the features of the Style 9 series like the fancy marquetry on the bottom of the rim and engraved fingerboard inlays. Yet it clearly states Style X on the dowel stick. Nice engraved inlays on the headstock and original enclosed tuning pegs. Flamey maple neck and lovely carving on the heel cap. There is a solid expertly repaired crack on the heel. Bell Brand tailpiece. Seems to be a skin head that has been 'rubbed down'. Original hard shell case has seen better days. Good setup with nice comfy action and a fairly mellow (for a mandolin banjo) sound.
    Price - Consigned at:   $1695.00 Reduced Price: $1295.00

    To contact Players Vintage Instruments, e-mail us at info@vintageinstruments.com
    Or telephone:  415-669-1107   West Coast Time
    Or write to: Box 445, Inverness, Ca. 94937
    **email is best by far**
    Lowell Levinger - Proprietor


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