5/02/2015

1938 Bacon & Day Sultana Tenor Banjo


This morning's jam was pretty darn fun! Mr. Paul from up in Burlington came down and picked up his TG-0 but while he was at it he played some tunes with us and showed off this "new to him" B&D tenor. Of course, I had to snap a few shots.

The serial inside dates it to 1938 and aside from the tuners and head, it's all-original and in great shape. I know he'll need to get his frets leveled and dressed later on, but for the time being they're good enough for gov't work. The "Sultana" moniker corresponds to B&D's Silver Bell #1 model.



Fancy, huh? This thing has two-tone pearloid all over, flamed maple under that, and bling up the wazoo. As a bonus it sounds great and plays spot-on. the big old Bacon tonering helps, though, doesn't it?


I love that 30s look. This has 3 layers of "strapping" veneer on both faces of the headstock.


The neck is fast but a little bigger front-to-back than your average Lange-made Paramount or Orpheum. I think of this as a plus because sometimes I get cramped on those.




The stylized "F" holes in the flange are very cool.


The original bridge and adjustable tailpiece are a nice bonus, too.


This lever is a knee-operated mute that comes up to deaden the instrument on the inside. Careful use of this can achieve a lot of weird tones on the instrument, but you need to practice to get the most out of it: sort of like a B-bender on a Telecaster.



I like the "bellywear" to the pearloid on the resonator.



...and those little floral touches don't hurt, either!



I won't argue with a 2-piece flamed-maple neck... stable, stable.




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