1/31/2014

c.1930 Globe Resonator Tenor Banjo




I'm almost entirely sure that this banjo, while marked "Globe" at the headstock, was made by Oscar Schmidt. I know there are a lot of Oscars passing through the shop here these days, but when I bought this I wasn't even guessing. I bought it for the cool headstock!

Work included a dowel reset, new synthetic head, new parts-bin 5/8" vintage bridge, a replacement 1st fret, fret level/dress, cleaning, and setup. The headstock also had a tiny chip-out hairline in its mid-section that I glued and clamped up as well. The result is a punchy, no-frills resonator tenor that won't out-fight a Bacon or Lange for volume but certainly gives you more than enough to cut in a jam session.



It's a 21" short scale tenor with a bigger C-profile mahogany neck with just a hair of a V-shape in its first position. The rim is 10 7/8" diameter and I just happened to have the right size Remo Renaissance head on hand (my fave type). The tonering on this guy is a simple steel hoop.

The inside of the rim and dowel has no finish and I've found that pretty typical of a great many OS banjos I've handled.


The celluloid nut material is also typical of Oscar Schmidt. Don't you love that headstock shape? It's so cute and folksy.


The original frets are leveled, dressed, and good to go. They're fairly low but that was standard at the time anyhow. The neck is straight with the exception of an under 1/64" relief on the treble side (tiny).


An adjustable tailpiece is a nice original feature, as is the plated-brass armrest.


I think you might be able to see the stamped "Globe" mark a little easier here.


The resonator and rim veneer are mahogany as well. There are plenty of nicks, scratches, and small dings throughout the finish of this instrument but it still looks good.





I just love that headstock...!

The shafts and screws of these tuners are original to the banjo but I replaced the buttons and "legs" as the originals had deteriorated past usefulness. These work just fine.


The resonator comes off with just that one bolt. It's not very exciting on the inside -- unstained interior, hex lugs for the shoes, and an adjustable (via bolt) neck brace which means tightening up the neck to the pot is easy and worry-free.



...another shot of that adjustable tailpiece.

No case with this guy, but just about any 4-string tenor resonator case should fit it.

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