c.1924 Bacon Style C Tenor Banjo

This 22" (medium) scale, 11" rim tenor banjo was made in Bacon's Groton factory and the serial dates it to 1924. I fixed two of this identical model on Friday night for a tenor guitar and mandolin player coming up from Connecticut to try them. This is the one she picked out (the head on this one made it warmer/chunkier-sounding) and while it's almost entirely original, the tailpiece, bridge, head, and one tension hook are replacements.

My work included a fret level/dress, cleaning, and a full setup. The neck had light relief (1/64" to 1/32" overall) which was addressed by leveling the frets to compensate. It plays beautifully.

The parts-bin Fiberskyn head replaced an original skin head. For someone who's going to be playing regularly with a Dixieland-style outfit I figured the reliability of a synthetic head would be nice, too!

I love the look of the inlaid yellow celluloid Bacon script. Both the fretboard and headstock veneer appear to be dyed maple. Bone nut.

Pearl dots.

The adjustable tailpiece is nice and brightens up this otherwise dull-sounding head choice. The customer requested an armrest so I fished a vintage one from my parts bin.

The rim is laminations of maple with mahogany veneer on the exterior. The dowel is stained maple and the neck itself is one-piece mahogany. It's a sharp-looking, simple instrument. I think of these style C Bacons as very similar in feel and quality to Vega style K banjo mandolin rims. They have a sweet, direct, simple, and no-frills tone and feel. It's all functionaity but because it's a Bacon, it's done right.

Have you noticed the new porch color? Freshly finished off on Friday...! We've spent a nice long week putting new light fixtures in, painting the porch, etc. -- with the result that the whole building is feeling a good deal fancier than last weekend.


Anonymous said...

Just curious, what happened to the Harmony Taropatch? It's disappeared from your comins soon list and I haven't seen any post on it.

Antebellum Instruments said...

Hey, give me a ring on it -- I found out that the neck had been spliced when I got a good look at it and was questionable and twisted, so it's been sitting pending a solution to that.