Exc.(-) Condition. This banjo has some slight fret wear, but is in otherwise great condition.
Mahogany resonator. Mahogany neck with Rosewood fingerboard. Nickel tuners with pearloid buttons.
Good beginner banjo, set up to play with nice, low action.
$279.00 w/ HC
Mid 1930's Gibson Kel Kroydon KK-11 Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc.(-) condition. Made by Gibson, marketed under the "Kel Kroydon" brand. This is the same banjo that Gibson named "Style 11." All-orignal hardware in great condition, except for newer Presto tailpiece. Flange shows very litle warping.
Double-conversion - This banjo was originally a tenor with a bead, brass tone-ring on the 3-ply Maple rim. Now it is converted to 5-string with a radiused Ebony neck, with Bella Voce inlay. Also, the bead ring was removed, and the 3-ply Maple rim was cut to fit a Tennessee-20 flathead tonering. All of the work was done very well, new Waverly tuners with Ivoroid buttons were installed in the new neck. The color of this TB-11 was the dark blue color on the rim and resonator sidewall, and the neck color is a great match to the original color of the resonator and rim. The neck has a full profile with a 1 1/4" width at nut
This banjo is really setup well, it sounds and plays great.
$4,450.00 w/ Newer Gibson HC
1927 Gibson PB-3 Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc(-) all original condition. Original armrest top plate missing.
"No-Hole" Archtop with Plectrum neck. Plain Maple neck and resonator, with the classic handsome look of brown lacquer over cherry red wood stain. Diamond inlay pattern. Original small frets. Original nut. Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard.
All original hardware (except for armrest plate), with the Nickel plating in very good shape. Presto tailpiece. Grover "Pat." pancake tuners. Two-pc 'tube-and-plate' flange.
These "No-Hole" tonerings represent the earliest "major" tone ring that Gibson used. Simply put, it is the same ring as a "40-Hole" tone ring, but without any holes drilled into the inside wall of tone ring. Comes with old Calfskin head in excellent condition.
Excellent banjos for converting to 5-string - all you do is put a neck on it that is cut for 2-pc flange (and buy one more string).
$3,750.00 w/ OHC
c.1934 Gibson RB-11 All Original 5-string Banjo 'In Stock'
Excellent Original Condition.
Parts are original and in fine working condition, including 1-pc pot metal flange and pot metal tension hoop.
This is same model as used by Earl Scruggs in his early days of bluegrass. The RB-11 is very similar to an RB-1, with both having a Maple 3-ply rim and a "brass bead ring", instead of a full 3-lb cast tone ring. In previous times, these 'simple tone ring' models from Gibson were relegated to junior status. But in today's world we seem to be actually listening with our ears and an open mind. Nowadays, the almost universal thought about these 'brass bead ring' banjos is that they sound surprisingly close to original Flathead banjos that have the full flathead tone ring.
This banjo has the original blue finish with pearloid fingerboard, headstock overlay and resonator back. Instead of inlays, Gibson used silk screen art on the pearloid, and sealed it with lacquer. Some blue finish is worn on resonator sidewall, and back of neck shows significant wear and finish flaking.
Original Grover Pat. offset dog-ear tuners, with original friction 5th peg - all with matching cream colored buttons. Original 3-ply Maple rim is in great shape. No serial number or label inside rim, but batch number #9938 is written on neck heel. "4X" is written on inside back of resonator. All metal parts and all wood parts are original and in fine playing condition. This banjo has had recent new fret job - neck is very straight, frets are great...
Now, about the tone... It has been observed many times by myself and others that when you hear one of these "brass bead ring" banjos in a great jam or on stage, the listener has no clue that they are hearing a lighter tonering. The player can feel the difference mainly because these lighter banjos tend to resonate to the point of shaking in your hand while you are playing. All-in-all, they have a very satisfying professional pre-war sound that is loud and full of expression and character.
Nowadays, cost-wise, you can find a "retrofit", "converted" or "restored" old pre-war Gibson Flathead banjo for $40,000 and up. Fine examples with original 5-string necks (very rare), usually cost $65,000 and up. These RB-11's have great original pre-war sound at a fraction of the cost. And, these banjos have now been "discovered" by the general population, so buy now and watch the values go up from here.
This fine old pre-war Gibson RB-11 comes with 2 cases - the original 5-string case, as well as a Price flight case.
The tone is great and it just feels 'alive' while you are playing it...
$11,450.00 On Sale... $10,500.00 with Original 5-str Hard Case
VG(+) Condition. The back has heavy lacquer checking throughout, as well as some belt scratches. The back of the neck is in fairly clean condition, with just a few minor marks. Original parts and hardware.
Maple resonator with cream binding. Maple neck with dyed pearwood fingerboard. Ebony peghead overlay with The Gibson logo.
Recent Gibson Copy Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc. Condition. No dings, no dents, no wear. Greg says: 'This is a really well-made Gibson Copy with Great Sound!'
"Old Factory Floor" 3-ply rim, made from 140+ year-old Maple. Gary Price no-hole flathead tonering.
Highly figured maple neck and resonator. Multiple WH/BK/WH bindings on top and back of resonator, and along fingerboard. RB-4 style "flying eagle" inlay pattern. Seems to be Prucha hardware throughout. Ptacek pre-war style 2-band tuners and Schaller 5th string peg, all with matching Ivoroid buttons.
This is a very good professional banjo with great playability and sound.
$2,650.00 On Sale... $2,495.00 w/ Gibson HC
New Huber TrueTone Kalamazoo Banjo 'In Stock'
Mahogany resonator. Flamed Maple "speed neck". Radiused Rosewood fingerboard with pearl inlays. Pearl Kalamazoo block inlay at 21st fret. Nickel hardware. Nickel tuners with Ivoroid buttons. Resonator has cream bindings and two concentric circles on the back. Ebony peghead overlay with Huber logo and Fleur de Lis inlay in pearl. "Truetone" trussrod cover.
A lot has been said about these newer "Truetone" banjos. They really are quite close in tone and timbre to authentic 1930's Gibson flathead banjos. There is a quick, satisfying attack with nice resonant growl.
Not only is this banjo made well, but it is also made using great materials, is set up well and has great projection and atttack.
Exc. Condition. There is a moderate amount of fret wear on the fingerboard. The neck has a couple of light scratches, and the back has a few dings but the banjo is in great shape overall.
Mahogany back, sides and neck with "Heli-mount" frame design. The "Heli-mount" design allows easy adjustment with even tension of the head. Back, sides and neck are all multiple bound with Ivoroid. Custom neck with radiused Rosewood fingerboard with no inlays (there are position marks on the side). Nechville Bevelled armrest added. The 5th string tuner is on the peghead (photos coming soon).
This is a nice banjo, good sound and easy to play.
1984 OME Monarch Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc condition. Minimal previous player wear - slight fret wear with no dents, some small dings and small lacquer chips.
Nickel Schaller tuners. All original nickel hardware. Nicely figured flamed Maple neck and resonator and rim. The outer play of 3-ply rim shows very nice flame figure to match resonator side walls. Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, peghead overlay and heelcap. Grained ivoroid bindings on resonator and neck. Two-pc neck, with attractive Rosewood stringers along center of back of neck with thin Maple between them. Very nice decorative multiple wood layers showing on sides of fingerboard, peghead and heelcap. Concentric circles in back of resonator. R.R. spikes at 7th, 9th and 10th frets for 5th string capo'ing. Tasteful inlays of abalone and pearl in peghead and fingerboard.
Pot construction is with 3-ply Maple rim, bracket shoes and plate flange. This system allows a player to easily change from resonator "bluegrass" banjo to open-back frailing banjo, just by taking off the resonator and flange plate.
This is a fine banjo that would be a nice addition to anyone's collection. It plays great and sounds fine.
$2,000.00 w/ HC
2004 Prucha Basic Deluxe Banjo 'On Hold'
Exc. Condition. This banjo is in great original shape. Some moderate fret wear on first position frets, light sign of arm wear on armrest and a small area of wear on the Remo head... Otherwise this banjo is in really great overall shape.
Mahogany resonator and neck with cream bindings on top and back edge of resonator and along fingerboard. Rosewood fingerboard with Pearl cut-diamond inlays. Nickel Ptacek pre-war style 2-band offset main tuners and Schaller 5th - all with matching Ivoroid buttons. Ebony peghead overlay with J.Prucha and "floral" inlay in Pearl. Nickel clamshell tailpiece.
Nice Mahogany sound with lots of grit and growl.
$2,450.00 w/ HC
New Prucha New Model w/ Elaborate Inlay Design Banjo 'On Hold'
Maple banjo. Exciting new model from Jaroslav Prucha featuring many fine components. 24-fret radiused fingerboard showing beautiful new inlay pattern. This inlay pattern breaks tradition by spilling over from main fret position with tendrils flowing into frets above and below. Unique peghead flourish. JPrucha logo inlaid at top of peghead. All inlays very high-grade Abalone. Abalone truss rod cover. Highly figured Maple resonator and neck. Multiple tortoise bindings on top and back edge of resonator and fingerboard, with wooden marquetry purfluing next to binding. Hardware is a tasteful mixture of black nickel and gold with elaborate, deep hand engraving everywhere. Gold 2-band tuners with gold Schaller 5th.
You don't have to be sitting down to enjoy the banjo, but it is probably a good idea to be sitting down the first time you see it.
* Price and more information to follow...
$6,950.00 w/ HC
New Saga SS3 5-string Banjo 'In Stock'
New. Aluminum uni-pot construction, with shoe and plate flange. In my experience, these aluminum rim banjos have a much better sound than most of the thin multi-ply wood rims. Tastefully appointed, with nice simple inlays in the peghead and finerboard and bound resonator. Planetary tuners.
This banjo is our main choice for a young player or for an adult starter. These are made well enough, and sound good enough, that for many people this banjo would be 2 or 3 steps higher than he one they had when they started learning banjo.
These don't come perfect from the factory, however, and we do lots of tweaking and 'dialing-in' when setting these up. But the reward in tone is worth the effort in set-up. New from Saga, they retail for a little over $900 including the Superior Hard Case. But that doesn't include the $50 of professional set-up that we do to each one as they arrive here. But we offer it to you, of course, for lots less...
$679.00 w/ Superior HC
2004 Scorpion Mahogany Banjo 'In Stock'
VG(+) Condition. Serial Number #0. Minor touch marks on the resonator and back of neck. Some light fret wear.
Mahogany neck and resonator. "Tennessee 20" tone ring mounted on Tony Pass 500TS rim. Rosewood fingerboard with modified "flying eagle" style inlays. Ivoroid bindings on resonator and fingerboard. Multiple Ivoroid concentric circles on back of resonator. Hand-made custom wooden armrest by Cliff Avery installed on banjo. 5-star planetary tuners with Schaller 5th tuner, all with matching Ivoroid pegs.
Great mahogany sound. Excellent "pop" in the attack from the lowest notes on the 4th string to the highest notes on the 1st string. Has a rolling resonance when you play.
$2,750.00 w/ HC
New Williams "Custom" w/ Beautiful Burled Walnut Resonator Banjo 'In Stock'
"New Old Stock" condition. Highly figured Burled Walnut resonator, with straight-grained Walnut neck. Cox 3-ply Maple rim with Prucha flathead tone ring.
* This banjo was kept by Will Williams for 3 years as a new banjo, as part of his personal instrument collection. Now he has decided to sell it.
Double-cut peghead with Hearts & Flowers inlay pattern in headstock and flat rosewood fingerboard. Ivoroid bindings around top and back edge of resonator and along fingerboard. Nickel Krishot pre-war style "pancake" tuners with Schaller 5th peg.
This banjo sounds very good. It gives you the beauty of burled Walnut, and with a very good "growl".
$3,250.00 w/ OHC
Like New Williams "Grangeville" Custom Gold Banjo 'In Stock'
Exceptional original condition. The resonator has a couple of small dings on it, otherwise this banjo is in great shape. All the gold is in very nice original condition, even the armrest and tailpiece.
This banjo has the same key components as the Williams "Kenny Ingram" model... the "Old Factory Floor" 3-ply Maple rim & the Burlile Tonering. And, it has that pre-war Gibson sound.
Beautiful straight-grained Mahogany banjo. Tasteful antiqued ivoroid binding around top and back edge of resonator and along fingerboard. Rosewood flat fingerboard with Hearts & Flowers inlay pattern. Double-cut peghead. Ebony peghead veneer with Williams logo pearl inlay, pearl Hearts & Flowers peghead pattern and solid pearl truss-rod cover. All gold plated hardware. Gold Keith standard tuners, with gold Schaller 5th, all with matching ivoroid buttons. R.R. spikes at 7th, 8th, 9,th, 10th frets for 5th string capo'ing.
It is very rare for Jim Burlile to ever plate one of his tone rings - most people use them just with the original polished bronze look... But according to Jim Burlile, this is one of only 2 that were ever plated gold!
Set-up talk: This banjo is a 'special' one in that it sounds great when set up "tubby", or a "little tighter", or "snappy" set up. Rolling, growly resonance...
The banjo looks fabulous, with no problems and showing no ill treatment. It sounds great, too. It is full of energy and has very active resonance when you are playing it. The condition is really great...
$5,450.00 On Sale... $4,950.00 w/ HC
2007 Williams "Kenny Ingram" Banjo 'On Hold'
Exc. Condition. The resonator has a couple of scratches and dings, and the head shows a little wear. Neck and frets are both in great shape.
Bound Mahogany resonator with two concentric circles. Bound rosewood fingerboard. Jim Burlile tonering, Maple "old-floor" 3-ply rim. Mahogany neck, Rosewood fingerboard with elaborate pearl inlays. Keith standard tuning pegs with Ivoroid buttons. Railroad spikes on 7th & 9th frets.
Wonderful dynamic tone that is comparable to pre-war style banjos... It has the "Mahogany growl". A great professional sound with lots of presence.
$5,450.00 w/ HC
2011 Williams "Montana" Banjo 'On Hold'
Exc. Condition. Almost no sign of fret wear. Some light marks here and there on resonator.
Double-cut peghead. Flat Rosewood fingerboard with diamonds and bows inlay pattern. Don Elkins' old wood 3-ply Maple rim. Prucha/Ptacek pre-war style flathead tonering. Pre-war style 1-pc pot metal flange. Fingerboard and resonator have white binding. Mahogany resonator back has 2 multiple concentric circles. Waverly 2-band tuners. Speed neck.
Players are used to Will Williams hitting very close to the mark to the old pre-war sound in his Mahogany banjos. This is no exception. Mr Williams carefully mates tone ring weight with wood rim density, to make sure the vibrations that resound thru the tone ring are handed off in a manner to fully activate the wood rim. Again, its a very good Mahogany sound.
$2,995.00 On Sale... $2,850.00 w/ HC
c. 1996 Wynn Custom Banjo 'In Stock'
VG(+) Condition. No big marks or dings, just average signs of player wear. There Light scratches on the back of the resonator, and a small amount of fret wear. Back of the neck and peghead are in great shape.
Mahgoany resonator with light sunburst finish and Ivoroid bindings. Mahogany neck, Ebony fingerboard with pearl inlays. Ebony peghead overlay with Wynn logo and pearl inlay.
John Wynn was a celebrated acoustic luthier from Branson, Missouri. Almost all of his instruments were unique in appointments, and this one is no exception.
$2,100.00 w/ HC
2012 Yates Ron Stewart Model Banjo 'In Stock'
Exc original condition. mahogany banjo with almost no signs of prior ownership. No fret wear, no bangs, no dings, no repairs.
Its not very often that you see a 'torch' or 'flowerpot' inlay in a banjo... but the one in the headstock on this banjo looks just great. The inlays in the Rosewood fingerboard as well as the peghead overlay, are Yates' design that are reminiscent of the old "Flying Eagle" pattern. Ivoroid bindings along to and back of resonator and along fingerboard. Concentric circles in back of resonator.
Waverly 2-band pre-war style tuning machines, with Schaller 5th peg. Tuners have matching ivoroid buttons. R.R. spikes professionally installed at 7th, 8th and 9th frets for capo'ing in A, Bb, B.
3-ply Maple rim with "no-hole" archtop tone ring. 1-pc pot metal flange. Presto tailpiece.
This is a very good sounding banjo. I have always favored "no-hole" archtop banjos over "40-hole" archtops. There just seems to be more presence in the mid-range and low-range, but still with clear strong highs.