8/08/2013

c.1924 Weymann Style 150 Tenor Banjo



This is a handsome old Weymann! It's also got the 20s-style "medium scale" of 22" which gives it more of that crisp and sustained voice of a long-scale (23") tenor with the slicker feel of a short-scale (20-21") tenor.  Style 150s like this one share the "hoop in sleeve" tonering style which is essentially the same as a Vega Little Wonder type. This gives a good, loud, sweet tone without too many irritating harmonics and overtones, and when put on a good heavy-duty multi-ply maple rim like this one has, the design sounds even better.

Work included a fret level/dress, new head, cleaning, and a full setup. The only non-original parts are a single hook/nut set (old, from my bins), new neck brace wooden shims, and the new Elite Renaissance-style head.

I must say, this is a smart-looking 'jo and it sounds and plays fantastic as well. The neck is straight and the instrument has no damage save for a tiny little old-repaired hairline dryness crack around the nut on the treble side (hard to see it).


The StewMac-supplied Elite heads are my favorite: they're Remo Renaissance heads (best tone, in my opinion) but minus the ugly Remo logo and plus a better "flesh hoop" design. This rim is a standard 11" size.


The pearl inlay is pretty stuff! Original bone nut. The headstock veneer is a stained "miscellaneous hardwood."


Smallish pearl dots in a bound board. The board itself is flat-profile and is "ebonized" maple, from the looks of it. The frets are smaller and low-ish but have lots of life left. They're very typical for Weymanns from this time.


I like that the original Grover bridge is intact. The adjustable tailpiece may or may not have been factory standard but it's certainly period. I forgot to mention that the adjuster screw on the tailpiece is new, too.


The (possibly period-aftermarket) armrest has an integral pick holder!


The rim and neck are both made from good hard maple with a walnut-colored (dark warm brown) stain. The veneer on the rim is flamed maple and the neck has some figure as well and is two-piece construction with a center strip.




The nicer openback Weymanns like this guy have the multi-lined rim "foot" which looks gorgeous. Note also the standard-issue heavy-duty hardware and additional neck support gear. These were built right!

This particular Weymann also has a slimmer, faster neck than the earlier teens models, some of which were quite thuggish.


The original Champion pegs work just fine but are friction tuners (and not geared), so as usual for the type they take some getting used to as they're 1:1 ratio.



To tighten up this additional neck reinforcement, one "unscrews" the bolt toward the player's belly. This one piece of hardware is super-practical as it really helps keep Weymanns far more stable than many competitors.



It's just a nice 'jo and very practical!

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