The Windsor Company of Birmingham, England was the UK’s largest stringed instrument manufacturer prior to 1940, when their factory was destroyed by German air strikes. They made banjos of all kinds and sizes; and the Paramount Supremus was one of their highest-tier instruments. Original 5 string versions of any 1930’s era banjo are hard to come by at best, which makes this Windsor even more of an interesting find. You’ll notice that there is no 5th string peg on the side of the neck, as was the norm with US-built instruments. Rather, the 5th string tuner is located at the center of the peghead, and the string passes under the fingerboard through a brass tube that exits behind the 5th string nut at the 5th fret. Very cool, and perfectly functional.
The instrument features 4 slightly newer planetary tuners, and one original ‘Pancake’ tuner on the 5th string. Ebony fingerboard with nicely cut pearl inlays, excellent modern frets, 27.25” scale, 1-5/32” nut. Walnut neck and dowel stick; spun-over beech rim with 28 brackets; raised hoop arch-top tone ring; walnut resonator. Nickel plated brass flange, brackets, and heavy weight notched tension hoop. Finely engraved Pyxe tailpiece. And all of it is in perfect working order!
A fine sounding 5 string, but nothing like a Gibson. It’s warmly toned, and has a wide complement of overtones. A very rich sounding instrument – with a voice that falls somewhere in between a Mastertone and a Vega Little Wonder!
With original hardshell case
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