5/02/2014

c.1925 Kay/Stromberg-Voisinet "Conqueror" Resonator Banjo Ukulele




So, here's the deal: everyone is looking for this kind of banjo uke! Combine 8" rim with Little Wonder-style tonering and a full-flange resonator build with a 14" semi-concert scale...? That's what we're talkin' about.

This guy got a fret level/dress, cleaning, full setup, and replacement (vintage) bridge and it's come out very sweet on the other side of it: she plays great (1/16" at the 12th fret) and has a slick, Formby-ish, tenor-banjo-cut-y sort of tone. It's also extremely loud. Everything but the maple bridge and Aquila strings is original, too, including the Rogers skin head.



The flange, tonering, and rim "skirt" below the tonering are all one piece which is quite the feat. It's very flashy in-person and combined with binding on all the edges and wood-inlaid purfling, we've got a catchy look.


Original bone nut, "Conqueror" script inlaid, and fleur-de-lis. Not bad!


Pearl dots, dyed-maple fretboard. All the wood here is maple as well but it's stained to a medium mahogany sort of color.



Here you can really get a nice look at this fella.




Ivoroid-buttoned friction pegs.






The hinged Presto "Ideal" tailpiece is pretty nice.




You can just see the edge of the "Little Wonder" style hoop & skirt tonering on the inside.


Moisture-staining on the head, but it's still in good shape.


The resonator is 1-piece and turned on a lathe rather than made from flat pieces. That's always nice to see and tends to improve forward-projection performance to my ears.

This is one of those instruments that arrived (amazingly) with basically nothing wrong: no cracks, no serious wear and tear... it just needed what a modern banjo that's been played a bit might need: fret level/dressing and setup plus cleaning.

1 comment:

Lee Bryant said...

Very nice! Is this one for sale?