The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Vega Professional Tubaphone Openback Banjo, 1920s Pot 1960s Neck

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This is a Vega Professional Tubaphone openback banjo, with a neck from the 1960s and the pot from a 1923 Vega Tubaphone banjo, a conversion common in the 1960s. Vega, now owned by Deering Banjos, is one of the oldest American banjo brands, founded in 1881 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

This lovely old banjo is a mix of two Vega banjos: a product of 1960s Hootenanny era.  The neck is a circa 1963 Vega Professional Model in good condition with minimal fret wear made when Martin Guitars owned the Vega company.   This model was $340 in 1963. . . quite a substantial investment at the time.

The pot came from a 1923 Vega Tubaphone banjo that almost certainly was built with a Tenor or Plectrum neck.  The warmth and power of the legendary Tubaphone tone-ring system was highly respected and in the 60s and 70s, many fine tenors had their necks removed and were converted to 5-string banjos.  

It is currently setup at standard clawhammer action of 6/64 with a new Fiberskyn head installed.   Lower action could be achieved with the aid of a neck reset

The Presto Tailpiece is probably original or at least “period” and it has the tiny hole drilled in the face to allow the 5th string to pass through.  Later on these tailpieces were re-jigged and made with a slightly larger, oval 5th string hole at the factory.

By Grant MacNeill,  Banjo Specialist

This Vega Professional Tubaphone is sold with a hard shell case.


Price: $1,999.00 CAD
  • Model: Vega Professional and Tubaphone
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 50653
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 13/05/2020

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.7lbs 3.5kg
  • Scale Length: 685mm 27in
  • Nut Width: 30.8mm 1.21in

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