3/21/2010

c.1915 Lange-built Tenor Banjo


These are great, simple, and super-sounding tenors. Like other Lange-built catalog-sold banjos of the period (a lot were sold by Sears under the Supertone name and Lyon & Healy sold some through their catalogs, too), this one has a double-spun rim, which means the "German silver" cladding curls over on both sides of the thin-wall maple rim and forms a nice cover on the bottom and an integral "tone ring" on the top. This gives a distinct, sweet, pretty loud, and rich tone. It's not at all harsh or brash like some later thick maple rims with hoop-style tonerings.

I've taken it all apart, cleaned it all up, polished up the hardware (removing tarnish), put it all back together, and set it up. Plays real easy. It's all-original except for a new cherry nut, new Grover bridge, and strings. The original head is showing wear here and there but still going strong.


Headstock has a big white inlaid celluloid star. The fretboard and headstock veneer look like ebony but are more than likely some sort of dyed fruitwood.


Nickel-silver frets, MOP dots, with one replaced (but period parts-bin) dot at the 12th fret.


Great looking old-timer.



This pot (and all its hardware) was blackened with tarnish and filth before. It's always nice to see a pot like this looking proud again. I forgot to mention that two of the hooks and nuts are replaced, too, but with some parts-bin period replacements.


Here you can see the nice old friction tuners with the grained ivoroid buttons. Of all the friction tuner designs these are my favorite as they rarely, rarely give up the ghost.







It even has its original ebony neck brace shims. Here I've added a parts-bin dowel/rim guard plate so those shims don't rub up against the rim interior.




And to top it all off an original Elite no-knot style tailpiece. Gotta love its simplicity.

1 comment:

Oscar said...

When you received this banjo, was it impossible to keep a tune?