Paramount Style A Tenor Banjo (1929)

Paramount  Style A Tenor Banjo  (1929)

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Item # 7796
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Paramount Style A Model Tenor Banjo (1929), made in New York City, serial # 13031, natural varnish finish, laminated maple rim, laminated maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell 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 the late 1920's Paramounts, with all the same construction details of the high 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 banjo additionally has several distinct later features adopted at the end of the 1920's. The body shell's metal sheathing is perforated in a decorative design, the armrest is the rounded "hot dog" style and the tailpiece is fitted with a flip-down mute device that is both clever and effective. The neck has an adjustor built in just under the front edge of the rim enabling nearly instant action adjustment. This Style A is a medium-level tenor by 1920's standards but retains all the quality and 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.). This banjo is extremely well preserved, fitted out with an older plastic head (marked "The Liberty Banjo Company") but otherwise original and complete. Even the fragile Page cast-housing tuning pegs are intact 9there is one small crack in the base of the C tuner, but it is fully functional). There is some minor finish wear, most notably a lot of the old ambered lacquer has flaked off the heavily inlaid headstock facing and a chip off the back of the neck in the 10th fret area. A fine-sounding example of a Paramount from the fully-developed late 1920's series-one of the classic tenor banjos of all time. Includes a nice 1960's era HSC, festooned with period stickers. Excellent Condition.