7/21/2013

c.1930 Weymann No. 25 Tenor Banjo


Though this Weymann bears no serial number, it must date closely to around 1930 when this model was introduced. Weymann started using "Keystone State" as the brand for their entry level instruments (rather, these are more "mid grade" when compared to other brands) and this style, #25, has "Keystone State" in large script on the back of the headstock and Weymann in small. This was a shift in branding as before that most fretted products had the "Keystone State" tag on it as if the whole fretted line was named that.

Anyhow, this is a good, no-frills resonator tenor banjo. It has no tonering but has a good, sturdy multi-ply 11" maple rim with a shaped upper. It lacks nothing for volume and has a sweet, breathy, balanced tone with a good crisp focus. The hardware is all heavy-duty stuff typical for Weymann, though their older "neck reinforcement brace" wasn't installed on this model. Instead, rather than that brace plus a wedge-style neck brace, this has a single bolt-adjusted neck brace which is very practical.

Work included a new head, bridge, much cleaning, fret level/dress, and setup. In addition there was a tiny, tiny little chip-hairline crack near the nut on the neck that I glued up.


Everything is original on the banjo save a new Grover bridge and a new 11" Elite (Renaissance-style) synthetic head. This greatly adds to tone, stability, and weather-resistance over the (dilapidated) original skin head.


This has a long, 23" scale two-piece maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. Rosewood is curious to 1930s Weymanns because for the longest time they simply used dyed maple instead. The dots are pearl and the frets are in good shape. The neck is also dead straight.


The "marquetry" on the side of the resonator is a decal but it looks great. The hardware shows tarnish but it did clean up rather nicely from its grimy original state. Note that the binding on the resonator is rosewood, too (a nice touch)!




Simple friction pegs work just fine.

Note that this neck is super-slim and very fast.



The resonator back has birdseye maple veneer with a cool decal in the center.


There's the Keystone State label. The finish is overall in good, but used and worn-in shape. The back of the neck looks like it got a considerable amount of play!



The resonator comes off with one screw.


The adjustable tailpiece really helps the player set tone and slightly adjust action on the fly.


With the resonator off this becomes a nice openback, too.


The original "feet" in the resonator had been botched-up and half were loose so I popped in some foam pads in their place. These actually work better and the resonator now slips on with a slight angle that follows the angle of the neck (this feels great in the lap, actually).

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