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View Full Version : Wanted: Stromberg-Voisinet resonator



Jnobianchi
08-12-2010, 07:52 PM
Yes - I know this is the longest of longshots, but I have a Stromberg-Voisinet banjo uke that's in great shape, but it is missing its resonator. The resonator that was originally mounted on this model was the mahogany with back inlay and decal and white celluloid binding, and the facing side was graced with a flanged plate adorned with 18 slots - see here:

http://www.banjoukes.com/Manufacturers/Strongberg-Voisinet/Stromberg.html

It may also have mounted this flatter resonator with 24 holes:

http://www.banjoukes.com/Manufacturers/Strongberg-Voisinet/BusterBrown.html

Yes, as I said, a ridiculous longshot. The uke plays wonderfully as is, but that screw in the back looks lonsome...and it cries out for fixing.

Thanks

ukebeatsguitar
08-20-2010, 02:15 PM
I am just ecstatic and HAVE to reply to any post that says anything about a Stromberg-Voisinet Banjo uke. I have one, it needs fixed, but they're really beautiful instruments. Sadly, it's really hard to find anything about them. I have the Buster Brown style resonator, but I won't sell. That little banjolele in the corner just waiting to be fixed makes me smile just to look at her.

The article you linked to is the only place I've ever found information on it. It's a shame really. Sorry I can't sell you it's resonator, but my UAS is really bad right now, and it was my Great- Grandpa's. Good luck to you I really hope you find a resonator for it.

-Nathan

Jnobianchi
09-08-2010, 09:50 AM
Well -

I didn't, but I did just pick up a late '20s Stromberg-Voisinet in Excellent condition for $175. A total bargain, it only needs a head replacement. Much like the head replacement I will need when my wife finds out I've gone and bought another one.

How can I hide a banjo ukulele in a three-room Manhattan apartment?

:D

Pukulele Pete
09-08-2010, 11:37 AM
Hey........I want one too . I've got a Stromberg-voisinet banjo uke looking for a resonator. Wait, that means I'd need a new case. Never mind.

ukebeatsguitar
09-10-2010, 12:12 PM
I'm getting my Stromby fixed in a few weeks! :D I will post pictures.

EDW
09-10-2010, 04:38 PM
http://westernmass.craigslist.org/msg/1922607043.html

ukebeatsguitar
09-11-2010, 09:18 AM
http://westernmass.craigslist.org/msg/1922607043.html

Strange, never seen that Stromby either.

Jnobianchi
10-04-2010, 09:15 AM
That's because that isn't one. Its a Sears Supertone, made by Lange. A beautiful instrument.

Here's my new Stromby I bought from Elderly last month - put on a new head and dressed the frets - it's sounding really good now: http://elderly.com/vintage/items/180U-1182.htm

Speaking of, the Stromby in the link below is one that somebody should snap up. It would be me, but my wife is ready to KILL ME.

http://elderly.com//vintage/items/180U-1087.htm

Look at that absolutely CRAZY synthetic material. I once say that called Duralene or faux crocodile skin - though it really doesn't look anything like crocodile skin...

ukebeatsguitar
10-04-2010, 03:43 PM
I'm so glad that there are other Stromby players on this earth. (: I should get a call from the luthier sometime this week. I'm so excited!! After we took the banjo uke to the luthier. We walked across the street to a small guitar shop, and what do I find? A Stromby of course! It was in worse shape than mine, which was in pretty good shape to begin with, and it wasn't for sale. Sadly. But, the man who owns the shop claims that he sold Tiny Tim his last ukulele when he lived in Des Moines.

Jnobianchi
10-05-2010, 05:46 AM
Cool - please do post pictures. I collect all pictures that I can find of SVs; I've never seen a catalogue - I doubt there was one - so I'm trying to mass as much visual information as I can to determine the basic models and options. So far, I've ID'd two 7 inch pot models and four options with 8 inch pots.

Tiny Tim? Excellent! I live in Greenwich Village and my family remembers when he used to hang out among the musicians in Washington Square in the 50's and early 60's and play ukulele. He was, even then and there, regarded as odd. :D

ukulele-melee
10-10-2010, 10:18 AM
I don't have a resonator for sale but I do own the same model SV as the 1st link in your original post, including an original case. These things really bark! They can be hard to play as the necks are very narrow and I sometimes pull strings off the edge when fretting. I can take pictures or measurements etc if anyone needs it.

ukebeatsguitar
10-11-2010, 12:06 PM
I don't have a resonator for sale but I do own the same model SV as the 1st link in your original post, including an original case. These things really bark! They can be hard to play as the necks are very narrow and I sometimes pull strings off the edge when fretting. I can take pictures or measurements etc if anyone needs it.

Would you happen to be willing to sell just the case?

ukulele-melee
10-12-2010, 02:12 PM
Not at this time. If I get a better hard case at some point then I'd have no problem letting this one go. It's well worn with lots of character.

Pukulele Pete
10-14-2010, 03:00 AM
Just a little side note on my Stromberg-Voisinet.When I got it the old head had "USS Case" written on it. I did some research on it and the ship was in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. The ship was sunk later in the war. It's not real proof but I think my banjo uke was in Pearl Harbor during the attack.

Teal_Jeep
10-28-2010, 03:13 PM
Wow! I am so happy to find other people who have a Stromberg-Viosinet Ukulele Banjo! My grandfather gave me his way back in 1965. It has been sitting in my closet collecting dust all this time.

We moved to Alabama 2 years ago from Michigan, and I finally found a place in Homewood, Alabama that would re-string it and get it back to a playing condition. It is in the shop now...a real old family String shop. Just the kind of place you'd think would be in Alabama

I'll post a picture of it when I get it back! It is great there are more of them around!!

Jnobianchi
11-01-2010, 10:32 AM
That's great. Please DO post your pictures.

As for collecting these - there's an 8" ope back S-V on ebay right now: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280583129946&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

It's id'd by the seller as a luthier's project, but its in good to VG condition - the only issue are the tuners' plates on the headstock - easily removed and cleaned, or replaced. Just needs a cleaning, strings and a bridge and its ready to go.

I'm debating whether or not to bid on it, but I know the missus would have my head...

Jnobianchi
11-05-2010, 05:49 AM
I posted this in the Marketplace forum - but just in case you didn't see it...http://cgi.ebay.com/Unknown-Banjo-Ukulele-Guitar-/300489430801?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45f690d711 Very similar model to both of mine - but different resonator back.

TwoTrax
11-10-2010, 01:59 PM
How do you post pics in a post instead of a link. Trying to show you my S-V Uke that is almost restored. It has the plasticine stuff on resonator, rim and a diamond of it on the back of the peghead.

Kanaka916
11-11-2010, 03:50 AM
How do you post pics in a post instead of a link. Trying to show you my S-V Uke that is almost restored. It has the plasticine stuff on resonator, rim and a diamond of it on the back of the peghead.
See this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?2738-F.a.q.&p=36173#post36173). . . it involves using an image hosting site like photobucket (http://photobucket.com/). You'll be posting a more detailed image than using the attachment.

chadp
11-12-2010, 12:09 PM
http://www.banjohangout.org/classified/18453

TwoTrax
11-13-2010, 09:47 AM
See this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?2738-F.a.q.&p=36173#post36173). . . it involves using an image hosting site like photobucket (http://photobucket.com/). You'll be posting a more detailed image than using the attachment.

Thanks, that was a big help.

TwoTrax
11-13-2010, 09:53 AM
Here's some pics for ya. These are as I found this old gal, there is some history in with all that dust cobwebs and spider egg sacks.

http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0075.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0066.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0063-1.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0065.jpg

TwoTrax
11-13-2010, 09:56 AM
Some more pics;

http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0079.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0096.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0081.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0080.jpg

TwoTrax
11-13-2010, 09:59 AM
As she is today, the resonator is not ready yet;

http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0155.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0160.jpg
http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0145.jpg

TwoTrax
11-13-2010, 10:15 AM
Here she is next to an unknown maker banjo ukulele from ca. 1930;

http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z429/TwoTrax/Banjo/100_0781.jpg

Jnobianchi
11-15-2010, 06:12 AM
Whoa -

thanks Two Trax, and also Chad P, for the S-V riches here! It's funny, but these are both the same basic model, the dark stained maple with the non-flanged resonator, the same as mine. The differences are fascinating - Chad P's has the purfling inlay around the resonator rim - which is pretty rare - in addition to that on the pot and the ring around the resonator back screw. It's also got that birdseye maple inlay; they really took some pains with these to make them look good; my Ludwig was only made with a decal round the rim - very basic in comparison.

Two Trax - you've got that COOL synthetic material - I've seen that application called Duralene and Faux Crocodile Skin. Elderly just sold the exact same model covered with Duralene on the pot and resonator - with the Duralene diamond on the headstock - for $150 - cheaper than it should have been because the dowel was cracked through. That's just the neatest looking instrument - and I bet it sounds good.

Quick question: did yours have a tone ring? Mine do not, though it looks at though Chad P's example has a small tone ring integral to the pot rim.

Thanks again, guys. These are great photos!!

TwoTrax
11-15-2010, 08:33 AM
John,

No tone ring but I was thinking of making one for it. Just need a ring roller and some 1/4 inch brass rod. I saw the one at Elderly, actually they had two but only one with the duralene. I was going to buy them both but they were gone by the time I got around to it. I only live an hour away so the next time they offer any I'll be there.

Tim

Jnobianchi
11-15-2010, 08:49 AM
:D I actually picked up the other one, and then, two weeks later, the duralene model was also gone - When I saw your restoration project, I thought for a minute it was you that picked it up! :)

FYI - I just saw that Jake at Antebellum Instruments has this FANTASTIC top of the line mahogany S-V uke with a five piece neck and flat plate flanged resonator: http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2010/10/c1930-stromberg-voisinet-kay-banjo.html

I'm at my limit, but maybe one of you guys is interested. I have an inquiry into him to find out what he's asking for it.

TwoTrax
11-15-2010, 09:30 AM
My S-V originally belonged to Elmer J. Johnson, an early executive of the FFA (Future Farmers of America). He wrote 2 books and had a presidential appointment in the South Pacific. His autograph is what is on the old head, along with a sticker from an old rodeo show based in Belle Fourche, SD. The seller thought it was decoration and sold it as such ($49). It was a wallhanger for a long time and they thought that's what it was made for. I love misclassified listings on eBay. It was well played, finger dents all over the fingerboard, kind of makes it easier to play, your fingers actually land in the correct spots for easy fretting.

It took me days to research Elmer Johnson, but it was fun. I bought an autographed copy of one of his books also just to get an autograph to compare to. It was his.

Not related but, I even found out that one time Bob Dylan appeared with "The Band" and was identified as Elmer Johnson. He went by many other aliases as well.

Jnobianchi
11-15-2010, 09:42 AM
Wow - that's extremely cool information, all around. It's great to have the history of your instrument in hand like that, and know that someone notable originally owned it.

What you say about eBay is true enough. You often see terrible instruments in awful shape listed with a BUY IT NOW of $500; likewise, I bought one that was listed as a luthier fix-it-upper project, and all it needed was to be cleaned and have strings and a bridge put on it. Amazing. :D

Maiyah888
03-12-2011, 09:18 AM
Well -

... it only needs a head replacement. Much like the head replacement I will need when my wife finds out I've gone and bought another one.

How can I hide a banjo ukulele in a three-room Manhattan apartment?

:D

Bahahahahahahaha!

You're as bad as my buddy hopkid -- he has high-end Kamaka UAS *shudder* and his wife has given him a year-long time out b/c he bought 3 ukes in 4 weeks.

Jnobianchi
03-14-2011, 06:21 AM
That IS bad. :)

ukuleland
05-10-2013, 07:39 AM
I was going through banjo ukulele listings on ebay as I always do one evening and came across a banjo uke labled as unknown. It was $120 and super vintage, I bought it before even hardly looking at it, I just knew it was meant to be. I then researched what I had bought out on a whim and I now own that duralene model stromby. Its not in the greatest shape, scuffs, scratches, and some new age hooks replacing some missing shoes and hooks but, im certainly content.

Pukulele Pete
05-10-2013, 08:36 AM
I was going through banjo ukulele listings on ebay as I always do one evening and came across a banjo uke labled as unknown. It was $120 and super vintage, I bought it before even hardly looking at it, I just knew it was meant to be. I then researched what I had bought out on a whim and I now own that duralene model stromby. Its not in the greatest shape, scuffs, scratches, and some new age hooks replacing some missing shoes and hooks but, im certainly content.

How about sharing some pictures

strumsilly
05-10-2013, 09:42 AM
they really seem to like their mother of toilet seat. this ain't a banjolele though
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?80566-look-what-I-just-bought-a-ukelele

ukuleland
06-11-2013, 09:02 PM
How about sharing some pictures

I would share some pictures but my phone wont do it... idk why just says uploads disabled. If youd like pics send me an email and i can give em to you that way. Formbyforme@gmail.com