9/12/2016

1930 Vega Regent 5-String Resonator Banjo



Friday's main work in the shop was getting this good old Vega up to snuff for a customer. It's pretty late in the game for a Vega 5-string at 1930 and even features a resonator and flange which gives it some "bluegrass chops" in a sense. Being a "Regent" model, it features a simple "Little Wonder" style tonering which is a brass hoop sitting on the top of the rim and encased in a nickel-plated brass sleeve. Amazingly, the hardware and head are all original (save for the new bridge and 5th peg).

Unfortunately, it had a bad warp in the neck that I removed by a board level and refret. After that I reseated the (replacement) 5th peg, added a compensated bridge, and set it all up to play on the dot. It has a long 27" scale length and a good, professional feel. The owner uses 10s (medium strings) on it which feel a bit tense for me but work for his style.



I like the 30s-style stencil at the headstock.


Because of how much material I had to take off the board to get it straight and level, there are small "bug holes" in the 1-5 fret areas that popped out under the first layer of ebony.



A compensated bridge of some sort is a must if you play up the neck at all. This one is a standard-issue 5/8" height, too.





I love the quirky geared tuners.





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