View Full Version : WTB: Vintage Banjo uke

04-21-2011, 09:49 AM
I'd like to buy an old banjo uke, preferably a Slingerland Maybell or in that same sort of style. I have a concert Natural Fluke and an Alvarez Folk Guitar I am looking to part with as well. Let me know what you have :) I can only spend up to around $200, though $150 and under would be preferred.

04-21-2011, 10:04 AM
How about this? I'm selling it. It's an amazing banjo ukulele...


04-21-2011, 10:52 AM
If your looking for a vintage banjo uke, you need to snatch up the one above. that IS the holy grail as far as vintage banjoles. price is very fair as well. If I had the funds I would be all over it. That said, I have one, not a Gibby like above, but I "might" be talked out of it for the right trade. Not looking for cash, but for the right trade, I can be coaches to part with "Bango"

Bango is my 1930 Harmony. You will see several posts here about his restoration and upgrade.

04-21-2011, 12:39 PM
Here's bango, my 1930 Harmony. He has a mahogany resonator, but I been playing with it off lately. The resonator and mahogany arm rest is custom, and hand made by me, as was his restoration, and new rosewood fretboard and frets, etc.


04-21-2011, 01:26 PM
Man, I'd love to have that Gibson UB-1. Unfortunately, I don't have $450 :( I should have stated that my price range is up to $200 or so.


Interesting...Would you mind posting a sound sample?

04-22-2011, 05:00 AM
I do not. But I will try and record one for ya this weekend. But I got to be honest. Bango aint for sale really. Me and him been through a bunch together, and there is allot of sentiment. And I know sentiment has no value to anyone but the one that owns it. Bango type of banjoles sell fairly regularly in un-restored but playable condition between $80-$120 give or take. Restored and what I put into Bango I would guess his monetary value to be $150-$200. To be honest, he is worth more than that to me because I have more $$ as well as blood sweat and tears in him than that, so that is a tough call. So, I can not sell him for money, because there is no reasonable money value to buy him. It would have to be a trade, and a trade for something that I feel I could get as attached to as I am of Bango. Not sure if that makes any sense, but, that's how it works for me anyway, lol..

I will try and get you a video this weekend. In the meantime, what ya got that will make Bango disapear from my bedside? (P.S. I have to know Bango is going to a good home and will be played.)

04-22-2011, 09:45 AM
Looking for restoration projects? I have two sopranos from the 20s-30s that need work, but in the right hands either could be a nice instrument.
Would sell or trade either or both at a modest price. Trade for the Fluke might be an option, too, although concert isn't my scale of choice.

04-22-2011, 10:28 AM

Understandable, man! I don't want to take that away from you. Hold onto Bango :)


It depends on exactly how much work needs to go into them! I don't mind cleaning up, polishing, making a new bridge, etc, but I'm not really capable of fretwork! I could always get the action lowered at a music store for a good price, if need be.

How much are you asking for them?

04-22-2011, 10:49 AM
The one on the right would be a cool project for the right price. Those are not hard to restore and parts are available for them to make them cool banjo ukes.. For what it is worth, Bango was in MUCH worse condition than his on the right, and look at him now.. So, don't rule that one out..

04-22-2011, 10:59 AM
Give him 1sties on the one of the right. But if he don't take it, PM me, I would like another resto project..

04-23-2011, 02:49 AM
Pictures aren't to scale, since they're both about the same size, soprano scale. I'll put together a list of their known defects and post it here this weekend.

05-01-2011, 04:20 PM
Bump! Still looking :D

05-09-2011, 09:56 AM
Hey Zac -

If the neck is straight on the below instruments, they seem worth the $.

This little Harmony-made Kleartone isn't bad: http://cgi.ebay.com/Circa-1920s-Kleartone-21-Banjo-Ukulele-Birdseye-Maple-/200605985419?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb50c6a8b

Also - the Avalon, made by William Lange, could be a good player. Price is right and Langes are very solid, good players. http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-1910s-AVALON-BANJO-UKULELE-NICE-CLEAN-READY-N-R-/330562043601?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf7087ed1

Another Lange instrument - this Bruno - looks good and clean, but it's missing some of the pot cap, so worth pretty much what the starting bid is, but not much more: bay.com/ANTIQUE-BRUNO-BANJO-UKULELE-BIRDS-EYE-MAPLE-INLAY-L-K-/230616993386?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b1d80e6a

There's a Slingerland Maybell 24 openback for sale with a starting bid of 165 - that's about what it's worth - not more, and a second model 24 openback with a starting bid of 99, which is worth in the low hundreds. But this Slingerland-made Concertone is probably the best Slingerland up right now, a nice looker other than the small crack in the pot laminate, and worth the price if it moves for less than $100. http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Concertone-Banjo-Ukelele-and-Case-B104-/260778846976?pt=Guitar&hash=item3cb7a16b00

The pickings are suddenly kind of lean on eBay just now- and the market has softened very noticeably in the last few months; good for buyers, but sellers may be sitting on what they have just now, after the sale flurry of the last few months.

05-09-2011, 11:13 AM
I think Jake's stuff is always good and he has a very good rep. With that said, this one is just outside your higher limit, but it's ready to play! He always lists his stuff with mp3 soundfiles of the instrument, so you can get a little bit of an idea of what it'll sound like.


05-10-2011, 06:36 AM
I actually just bought a Slingerland-made Old Columbia that I'm very happy with! It looks exactly like Jake's, but I got it for $120 or so. Excellent condition besides a bracket I've had to replace. I suppose later on down the road I'll need a Gibson UB-3 or another fancier model. Thanks for the help though guys!

05-10-2011, 07:40 AM
I actually just bought a Slingerland-made Old Columbia that I'm very happy with! It looks exactly like Jake's, but I got it for $120 or so. Excellent condition besides a bracket I've had to replace. I suppose later on down the road I'll need a Gibson UB-3 or another fancier model. Thanks for the help though guys!

That's great! Congrats!!!

05-10-2011, 10:50 AM
Hey, that's great, Zac. Hence your message about the tension hooks. Did Elderly or Ukulele World have what you needed?

Please post to You Tube once you get it going! i'd love to hear it.

05-12-2011, 06:34 AM
I had to buy an item from each website to get what I needed, but I got it! My luthier sanded the bridge down a little bit too much and now it rattles if I strum somewhat hard or do triplets, so I'm taking it down there today with a different bridge to see if he can't correct the job. I'd do it myself, but I'm sure I'd mess up.