Vega banjo dating
Allen screws at the neck/pot junction and a tube connecting rod (not shown) are design features from the 1960`s in Boston .Over a period of several years, the Vega line morphed into a uniquely featured Vega Martin instrument.To unravel most of the curious mystery of the legendary Bobby Joe Fenster, please scroll back on the homepage to the Sept.12, 2014 posting devoted to this interesting figure from the annals of Vega Martin banjo history. Barry The Vega Vox model was a 4 string gem that featured a brass tone ring.Although the Martin Company did not manufacture Vega banjos till a century later, a solitary banjo from the mid 19th century is appended to the exhibit to display parallel innovation in the instrument because of its increasing popularity during that era (see close-up photo). Martin briefly built a lightweight tenor banjo between 1923-26 to compete with Vega and other manufacturers whose heavier and more popular banjos had greater tone, volume, and sales. The back of the peghead of these rare banjos is imprinted with a C. Data from these logbooks are available per e-mail request from the BRC founder.This 5-stringer was manufactured circa 1845 in Baltimore, MD, by luthier William Boucher, Jr.. Martin Company acquired the Vega rights from the Bostonian Nelson Family in May of 1970 and sold the franchise overseas in March of 1979. An example of one of these 4-stringers from the 1920`s is still in the C. Dear Reader, Thanks for the photo of your Vega/Martin Pro-5 banjo. Of note, when the “Professional” 5-stringer was made in Boston in the early 1960`s, it had square MOP inlays with dots on the neck compared to the nicely designed inlays on your fretboard and seen in the 1966 catalogue.
I have purchased a Martin Vega V-45 described as 1971 production and a serial number of #327.
It did not have a tone ring or simply a steel ring like the Wonder, to keep the cost down. I have a VV IV T tenor SN: M130298 which I purchase used about twenty-five years ago for ,000.
But, the neck had the upgraded crown inlay pattern like their mid range banjos, and originally a paddle peghead design (the new scroll design appeared in 1968). Barry, I want to thank you very much for the research on my Vega. Many thanks to you and your friend Ron for putting me straight. If you have any notion of the value, I’d appreciate that too. A previous owner had deeply scratched a Social Security number into its heel.
These data were generously provided to the BRC founder in 2000 by the family owned Martin Guitar department of history.
From its early Boston beginnings, the Vega Banjo Company made splendid and now vintage instruments, including the Earl Scruggs signature model he endorsed in the 1960′s.
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The two legendary musicians in the camp photo are banjo godfather Tony Trischka and Grammy award winner Eric Weissberg (click to enlarge). Old 6 digit Vega serial numbers persisted on a yellow sticker on the inner pot until production was moved to Pennsylvania in 1972. Note the unique cluster of 3 sound apertures spaced around the tone ring of the below VIP-5 model owned by the BRC founder (SN 1364).