Retrofret Stock # 7086. Fairbanks/Vega Style S Tu-Ba-Phone Model Mandolin Banjo (1921), made in Boston, Mass., serial # 43064, natural varnish finish, maple neck and rim, ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case. This small Fairbanks/Vega is one of the less commonly seen Tu-ba-phone configurations-the 8-string Mandolin Banjo. The Style S consists of a 10 3/4" Tubaphone pot mounting a short 14" scale neck, strung with mandolin strings for melody playing "solo or with orchestra". This is one of the loudest little banjos you are likely to hear, and quite capable of making itself heard in any string band, or even in a jazz or dance combo setting! The rim is the standard Tubaphone with bracket band, capped in ebony and bound on the bottom rim. The neck is a 3-piece laminate of stained figured maple with a bound ebony fingerboard, the headstock is rosewood veneered with a decorative cutout but no inlay. The original inset mandolin tuners have composition buttons and a floral-engraved rear coverplate. The Style S has the highest grade materials without the extensive decoration of the fancier Vegas like the Style X, for the quality minded but reserved and tasteful banjoist! Being tasteful with the often-piercing mandolin-banjo can be a challenge, but this one is more than up to the task!Overall length is 24 1/2 in. (62.2 cm.), 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm.) diameter head, and 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.). Completely original including the original carved bridge and oft-missing engraved tailpiece cover. There is an old very neatly repaired heel crack with no touch-up or overspray and some moderate wear to the neck finish. Other than that the instrument shows only generally light plating and play wear, and some divoting to the frets in the lower positions. Set up with an old quite likely original Rogers skin head, this Tu-Ba-Phone plays and sounds excellent-this is a VERY loud little instrument! Includes a nice OHSC with some damage to the lining, with an old Vega-stamped head wrench in the pocket. Excellent - Condition.
|1921||Excellent||natural varnish||Original Hard|
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