07 March 2016

Great banjos on the market

Our good friend Silvio Ferretti, Red Wine's great banjo-player, is also a master luthier (see his Scorpion Music website): his Scorpion banjo bridges are widely held in high regard.*

Silvio has two top-class banjos available for sale, both of which he's happy to use on stage. Red Wine will be at this year's Westport festival (10-12 June), so he sends this information as it would make sense to bring one over for a prospective buyer. Sound files should soon be available, making it possible to compare these instruments with an original flathead. Silvio can be contacted by e-mail.

The first (above) is 'Blackie', a Gibson-prewar-parts-combination with a neck made by Silvio and a few new parts, as he describes below:

1) 'Blackie': based on a 1931 TB-1 rim and hardware (including armrest), Blaylock Bear Tracks flathead tone ring, chrome-plated flange from '40s -100 Gibson, straight maple Scorpion neck w/ Brazilian rosewood fingerboard (RB-75 pattern), '30s Epiphone resonator made by Gibson in style-3/75, painted dark brown though (matching neck colour of course), Krishot tuners w/ Gotoh 5th, Prucha Presto. Price is €4000 with a new Guardian HSC. Blackie has the strings at 5/64" with a .640" bridge (no buzzes, I love it) but it can take an 11/16" bridge and have the strings a little under 1/8" at the 12th fret.

2) Crowe Model Gold Star (G20JD), 1984 [above]. I bought it new in 1986, sold it and rebought it a couple or three times, bought it three years ago and I thought it was for good as it's a beast, and in great condition; but I have to part with it. Price is €3000 with a new SKB HSC. The Gold Star has two original tuners (plus the 5th) with the original MOP buttons, and Keiths on the 2nd and 3rd string. As you can maybe see... Neck is set (as originally was) for a 5/8", string height is 7/64"-1/8" at the 12th fret with it.

*See e.g. the BIB for 30 Apr. 2009.

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