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Help: Paramount Style A info?

GUEST,Gary Dufresne 24 Jan 02 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,me again 24 Jan 02 - 02:49 PM
Justa Picker 24 Jan 02 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Gary Dufresne 24 Jan 02 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Gary Dufresne 24 Jan 02 - 07:30 PM
BanjoRay 24 Jan 02 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Gary Dufresne 24 Jan 02 - 08:52 PM
Rolfyboy6 25 Jan 02 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Ernest 25 Jan 02 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,Guest, Gary 25 Jan 02 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Great! 25 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM
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Subject: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Gary Dufresne
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 02:25 PM

Hello All.

I am a guitarist doing some banjo research for a friend. He is interested in playing his grandfather's banjo, and he brought it to work. I am taking it home tonight and will re-string and figure out some stuff to show him. I plan on buying a book, because the Internet resources for tenor banjo seem to be lacking (tablature especially).

Where's the serial number? I see the same number (5178) stamped on the wood at 2 locations inside the banjo, and there is a metal plate inside too, with just words (Paramount, Wm. Lange).

The banjo and case are in tough shape, but the banjo sounds cool?

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Gary Dufresne


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,me again
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 02:49 PM

There is a typo. I didnn't mean to *ask* "the banjo sounds cool?"

I meant to *say* "the banjo sounds cool!!!"


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 03:03 PM

Info on Paramount Banjos.


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Gary Dufresne
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 03:11 PM

Thanks justa picker! I had already found that site, but I didn't know if the number I had (5178) was actually the serial number. I assume it is, so it must be a 1926 banjo.

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Gary Dufresne
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 07:30 PM

I just put some pictures of the banjo on my website. Anyone feel like giving me an opinion on what it needs?

Can anyone tell me the purpose of the little, movable arm in the picture called "thingie"?

http://users.ids.net/~dufresne/images/banjo

THANKS!


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 08:08 PM

What's most needed is for the person who put the guitar peg on the peghead to be taken outside and fed to the crocodiles. Its a fine antique banjo. If it was mine I'd replace that odd peg. If you or your luthier can't find a matching old one, replace all four with some good modern ones, eg Waverleys, and store the old ones for posterity. I've seen a lot of banjos but I don't recognize that moveable thingy - Maybe it used to hold on a scratch plate?

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Gary Dufresne
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 08:52 PM

Thank you for your response Ray.

I had a feeling someone would say something like that. if you look a little closer, you'll see that there are >2< odd pegheads! My friend mentioned that he thought his grandfather probably did that at some point.

I think you're right about it being antique. I just noticed that the frets are VERY worn where the strings hit them.

This is a luthier job, huh? I think it's a beautiful instrument, and I already told my friend that if it was more than changing strings, I would not touch it. I told him he would have to have a professional look at it.

The bridge (that little, thin piece of wood) looks like it needs to be replaced, and it has made quite a dent in the REMO top, which looks like it needs to be replaced too.

Thanks again for your help Ray.

Gary


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 12:46 AM

The little lever thingee may be a 'mute' lever, which only Paramount banjos had. I'm not sure what/how it exactly does since I never got to play with one, only look from a few feet away. Changes the sound.


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Ernest
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 01:45 AM

Hello Gary,

referring to your request I suggest that you consider mandolin tuning (GDAE) instead of the Standard Tenor Banjo tuning (CGDA). This is not uncommon among Irish musicians, there is a book by Gerry O`Connor for that style. And it has the advantage that there are loads of mandolin tablature on the net (try mandolincafe.com and its links esp. W. Knuth`s site - or jaybuckey.com; the last two sites mentionend have some easier stuff).

And that banjo is worth to have a proper set-up.

All the best

Ernest


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Guest, Gary
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 11:39 AM

Paramount made some really solid banjos in the 20's. The models ran from "A" through "F" and then some custom models such as "ne plus ulta" styles.

Most popular were the tenor banjos. I have an "F" model that I restored. It plays and sounds wonderful. Most old banjos have some warp in the neck. You would be fortunate not to find some warp. But, if it isn't too severe, it will still be able to be played. If it came with the original case, the case has some value too.

There are some replica tuners available. I bought a couple and the internal gears fit right into the new shells.


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Subject: RE: Help: Paramount Style A info?
From: GUEST,Great!
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 01:13 PM

Thank you all for the help! I think I will definitely follow the CGDA tuning advice. That's a great idea.

I took a good look down the neck and it looks just fine. The banjo buzzes a little bit, but I am almost certain ut is caused by the bridge.


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