12/05/2012

c.1927 Bacon Style C Tenor Banjo


This no-frills tenor banjo is a Bacon-made style C model and the serial dates it to 1927. It's essentially much the same in terms of design, feel, and styling to a Vega style K though it lacks the simple hoop tonering the Vega would have and instead has a simple shaped upper section of the rim that focuses the tone.

Being a mid-late 1920s tenor it has the odd 22" medium scale in transitional tenors that means it works great as a chord-melody player and as a single-note lead player. The slightly longer scale gives it a bit more spring in its tone as well as more sustain and puts somewhat more tension on a light-gauge set of strings.

The banjo itself is in great shape but my repairs included a fret level/dress, cleaning, and new Remo Renaissance head. The original skin head was in alright shape but was clearly very worn-out and grungy. This usually means the tone verges towards tubby and dead so a new head was in order.


Bone nut, simple Bacon logo. Headstock veneer and fretboard appear to be dyed maple or pearwood.


Pearl dots in the board and the frets are all in good order. The neck is dead straight and this plays like a champ. Tone is crisp, clear, and quite loud. Because it lacks a steel (or otherwise) tonering it doesn't have the overwhelming amount of overtones that tend to need to be muted out on other openback tenor banjos.


The banjo itself is pretty clean, too, though the rim hardware definitely has some tarnish and rust spots showing through throughout. Par for the course.


I'm not sure about this bridge but aside for it and the head, the banjo is 100% original. I like these tailpieces, too!


The neck is one piece of mahogany while the rim is made from layers of mahogany with flamed/curly wood on its interior and exterior sides.



24 hooks keep this 11" head nice and tight.









Simple friction pegs with ivoroid buttons. They work nicely, though, and turn easily.


Good, heavy-duty neck brace.


Bacon stamp. This is a Groton-made instrument, by the way.



Here you can see that flamed/curly mahogany that adorns both the interior and exterior of the pot. It looks great but it's hard to shoot on the outside edge.



This comes with a beat-up old 1960s case suitable for short distance or storage but not much else.


Here's that tailpiece.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would rather have this banjo than free tickets to the Super Bowl!

wncbrokers said...

can you post what this banjo sold for?

Jake Wildwood said...

The price I sell these at is not important: I price things out differently depending on condition. Any prices quoted on this site also reflect the fact that the instruments have had any service they need to be good players. Something that hasn't been serviced won't have the same value. This is why I don't do valuations unless I can see your instrument in-hand in my shop. There are lots of hidden condition issues with old instruments.