3/12/2011

c.1910 Bruno (Lange-made?) 5-String Banjo


I can't help but think that this instrument was made by Lange for Bruno, the New York distributor/retailer. The neck profile, pot assemly, top part of the headstock (mid part looks like Stewart or Weymanns, c.1900), and general "feel" recall Lange-made banjos for catalogs. This one, however, vs. the typical Supertone (Sears catalog) Lange ventures, is of a slightly nicer quality -- maple neck and rim, half-spun rim top (making a nice rolled tonering integral to it), good heavy duty hardware (all of which is 100% original), and of course nice looks!

My work on it included a fret dress, cleaning, and setup (as well as a new 5th string pip). It plays fantastically and has a warm, loud, and sweet tone.


Really cool inlaid flowerpot motif on the headstock with MOP Bruno script.


Cool "diamond" inlay on the fretboard. All the tuners have these nice original ivoroid buttons which gives a good classy appearance.


Strings are 09 lights.


10 5/8" diameter head feel great in the lap while providing plenty of volume.


Original Grover Non-Tip bridge.




Good sturdy maple neck.


Hooks/nuts/tension hoop/shoes -- all good quality hardware.




With Jos Rogers head (sort of like the "Remo" of the times -- a mark of quality in this case).


Ebony neck brace shims.






Really a nice, no-frills, classy 'jo.


Original Elite tailpiece, missing some top (adjuster) posts but still functional.

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