The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Tenor

Vega Style X No.9 Tenor Banjo, 1926

Vega Style X No.9 Tenor Banjo, 1926

Here, we’re looking at a Vega Style X Number 9 Tenor Banjo, built in Boston during 1926. Typical of higher end banjos of the era, it is adorned with engraved Mother of Pearl Inlays which are in lovely condition, and the engravings have been re-filled. The banjo features a tube-a-phone tone ring and Maple is used for the neck and dowel. The heel is hand carved, also typical of the era.   The backstrap, the wood covering the back of the head, plus the head plate, are Rosewood.  

Vintage
Price: $3150 CAD
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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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Gibson ES 150 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1939

Gibson ES 150 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1939

The Gibson ES 150 was one of the earliest production electric guitars, and perhaps the first successful Electric Spanish – as distinct from Electric Hawaiian – guitars. Built from 1936 to 1956, the Gibson ES 150 is full bodied non-cutaway archtop guitar with a solid Spruce top and Mahogany for the back, sides, neck, body blocks and back bracing; the bridge and bound fingerboard are Rosewood, and for the period, it’s expected that the ‘Brazilian’ is silent. Brazilian Rosewood has become exotic and restricted, but at the time it was very common.

Vintage
Price: $5799.99 CAD
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❌SOLD❌ Vega Deluxe Electric Tenor Banjo Sunburst Restored, 1937

❌SOLD❌ 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

This instrument has sold

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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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