View Full Version : B & D tenor banjo - 1929 special #1 w skin head, tuned like baritone uke!

04-13-2017, 07:35 AM
Very sweet old tenor banjo. New tuners, recent neck angle adjustment. Tuned and plays like a baritone uke. I've found this to be a great way to uke skills on an instrument that is loud enough to use in an ensemble.

$400 plus shipping ($49) or pick it up or work out a way to meet half way if you are in NY or New England - might be possible.

Paypal gift or regular paypal but for that add the 3%. I'm selling this for way less than I have in it, but I have another I like better (and that cost a lot more). With the new tuners and all this is great banjo - and it is really easy to remove the resonator if that appeals to you.

Here's some details on it:

1929 B & D Special #1, wood rim (no tone ring model), recent skin head, new Gotoh Tuners, 19 fret model

This banjo plays great. A recent neck adjustment, recent skin head and new tuners have have made it a joy to play. It has many bumps and bruises but none fatal and none that affect it's playability. The resonator hardware, brackets, inlays, tailpiece and hoop are all good. It even has the original B & D arm rest that is actually attached to two of the brackets (it can be moved or removed if necessary).

other details:

The action at the 12th fret is about three 32nds of an inch (approx 2.5 mm) above the fret - with a bridge that is slightly higher than 1/2 inch - so there is some room for adjustment.

New Gotoh planetary 4 to 1 tuners are terrific and look appropriate. There are 2 very small screw holes along side each new tuner, left from the non-functional grovers that had to be replaced.

The resonator can be removed with one bolt. It's also easy to remove the connector on the dowel stick that holds the resonator bracket - so this banjo can quickly be adapted as a comfortable open-back. In fact, better than most because the rim is wide enough that the brackets don't protrude beyond the end of the rim.

The neck angle was recently adjusted to improve the action. A very thin metal strip was installed between the neck and the hoop where the neck meets the body. This is a common adjustment on older banjos. All of the internal neck hardware is solid, no stripped screws, everything is snug and proper.

The finish on the neck is worn from playing, but the contour is good - very comfortable and no wear beyond the finish.

There is a very slight twist in the neck - I have pictures that might help see this, but it is so slight that it is hard to see in a picture. Contact me if you like more pics. I would say the twist is one or two degrees toward the treble side - also not unusual - does not affect the playability, feel, intonation or anything else - one probably wouldn't notice it unless you looked for it. The frets are worn about half way. I tried to include a picture of that (at the fifth fret). The fret wear goes all the way down to the 12th fret and is consistent throughout. I don't think the banjo needs a fret job yet - and given it's age it will probably be fine for some time - but it might play even better with new frets. The fretboard isn't grooved - only the frets are worn. The neck has very thin binding - it matches the fretboard so it is hard to see - the binding is in excellent condition - no loose pieces or gaps . It currently has light gauge strings and Chicago tuning (like a baritone Ukulele or top four strings of a guitar). Current string guages are 11,15, 22, 30 - currently strung up to be tuned D G B E (lowest to highest).

Shipping to CONUS is $49. I will accept returns if you pay the shipping back to me and it is returned in the same condition as received. I will loosen the head a little to ship it - a bracket wrench is included (and the same wrench works on the resonator bolt).

The case is more than serviceable. Other than a torn pocket cover, it's in pretty good shape. The cloth case covering on it was in pretty bad shape, especially on the corners, but that has been reinforced with gaffer's tape and the case handle is also gaffer taped.

Feel free to ask questions - in fact, please do. The shipping is costly so I would want you to know what you're getting as best as possible. Additional photos could be available.

If you live in New England or New York shipping might be avoided by local pickup or meeting "half-way". Contact me to discuss this possibility.

Thanks for looking!

04-13-2017, 11:55 AM
More pics: