Paramount Style A Tenor Banjo (1928)

Paramount  Style A Tenor Banjo  (1928)

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Item # 7171
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Paramount Style A Model Tenor Banjo (1928), made in New York City, serial # 9934, natural varnish finish, laminated maple rim, laminated maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black chipboard case.

Paramount's Style A was the plainest-grade instrument in the company's professional standard "letter series" line retailing at $130.00; in the 1920's this was still a fancy and expensive instrument by most any standards! William Lange's Paramount line were the most popular of all the orchestra banjos of the 1920's (along with the Vegaphone) and basically set the pattern for the 'modern' resonator banjo. These banjos were the lynchpin of the rhythm section of every jazz and dance band in the country, as well as a featured soloist's instrument.

This Style A is typical of 1920's Paramounts, with all the same construction details of the highest grade instruments. The neck and rim are of all-maple construction with rosewood-bound edges. The rosewood fingerboard has notched diamond pearl inlay, there is a marquetry strip under the fingerboard and a particularly fancy and attractive peghead design with elaborate engraved pearl inlay. This Style A is a medium-level tenor by 1920's standards but has all the sound of the best Paramounts. This is a fine example of a nearly 90 year old banjo, ready for the next 100 years.
 
Overall length is 33 1/2 in. (85.1 cm.), 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm.) diameter head, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 in. (584 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.). A lovely original example with just average light play wear, most notably some finish loss and flaking to the varnish on the upper edge of the resonator back and finish rubbed off the back of the neck around the first position. The pearl inlay on the headstock has a particularly attractive patina with all the varnish intact. The banjo retains all original finish and hardware, except one original Page tuner has had the outer case replaced by a period gold-plated one-it is only noticeable on fairly close inspection. This is an excellent player with only minor fret wear. Includes an older chipboard 5-string banjo case. Excellent - Condition.