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Regular Banjo

Gibson TB250 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1969

Gibson TB250 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1969

THere we have a Gibson TB250 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, built during 1969 at the historic Parsons Street shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This model was built from 1994 to 1996, and models from 1960 on bear the Mastertone name. Gibson banjos were the center of the banjo universe for decades, but with the rise of serious amplification and rock music, the banjo as an instrument fell out of popular favour. It was still found in various music genres, particularly Irish, traditional jazz and bluegrass, but not much beyond them.

Vintage
Price: $1450 CAD
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Bacon and Day Super Tenor Banjo, 1927

Bacon and Day Super Tenor Banjo, 1927

It’s always interesting to see vintage pieces like this Bacon and Day Super Tenor banjo, built around 1927 at the Bacon Banjos shop in Boston, Massachusetts. The Super Tenor was built from 1920 to 1927. From 1906 to 1920, noted musician Fredrick Bacon sold banjos under his own name. In 1921, he partnered with David Day and while the company name remained Bacon, many instruments were branded Bacon and Day. Bacon, and Bacon and Day, operated independently until 1940 when they were purchased by Gretsch;  the line was discontinued in 1967. 

Vintage
Price: $1549 CAD
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Vega Deluxe Electric Tenor Banjo Sunburst Restored, 1937

Vega Deluxe Electric Tenor Banjo Sunburst Restored, 1937

Here we have a real rarity from around 1937 – a restored, refinished and replated Vega Deluxe Electric Tenor Banjo, and they meant ‘Electric’ – this has a pickup! The Vega company was one of the older banjo builders in the USA, having started during 1881 in Boston, Massachusetts and acquiring the A C Fairbanks company assets in 1904 following a devastating fire at the Fairbanks plant. By the 1040s Vega was fading, and in the 1970s C F Martin purchased the company and held it until 1989 when Greg Deering bought it and re-created the Vega line.

Vintage
Price: $4995.00 CAD
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Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1926

Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1926

Built from 1925 to 1937, the Gibson TB 3 Mastertone tenor banjo was a popular though relatively unadorned instrument, used in jazz and banjo orchestras. As the popularity of tenor instruments waned, many of these banjos were converted with 5-string necks. This example is in largely original condition, save for the tuners.

Vintage
Price: $2500 CAD
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Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1927-28

Gibson TB 3 Mastertone Tenor Banjo, 1927-28

The Gibson TB 3 Mastertone tenor banjo – the TB actually stands for Tenor Banjo – features a plain Maple rim and resonator, with Mahogany for the neck and Rosewood, likely Brazilian given the date, for the fingerboard. The tone ring and flange designs changed at least three times during the TB 3’s production. Initial 1925 and early 1926 models used a classic ball-bearing tone ring, then for later 1926-1928 a solid archtop tone ring, and finally the flathead tone ring for 1929.

Vintage
Price: $4700 CAD
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Gibson PB3 Plectrum Banjo, 1927

Gibson PB3 Plectrum Banjo, 1927

Built largely with Maple, the Gibson PB3 used solid Maple for the neck and pot, and Laminate Maple, stained Mahogany, for the Resonator. The fingerboard is Rosewood – and at the time, even though this was an ‘entry level’ instrument, that meant Brazilian Rosewood. The classic inlay set is executed in Mother of Pearl, with the engraved MASTERTONE block at the next to last fret. All the original hardware is present, including the Grover pancake tuners.

Vintage
Price: $4350 CAD
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