Vega Regent 5 String Banjo (1925)

Vega  Regent 5 String Banjo  (1925)

This item has been sold.
Item # 6992
Prices subject to change without notice.
Vega Regent Model 5 String Banjo (1925), made in Boston, Mass., natural varnish finish, laminated maple rim and neck, ebony fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The Vega Regent is one of the classic 5-string banjos of the Vega line. Not a fancy top-line model, but still built with the typical extremely high quality components and a simple but attractive design. The rim is similar to the Little Wonder, made of laminated maple with tortoise celluloid binding around the bottom edge. It is fitted with basic nickel-plated hardware (open-end nuts and a heavy hoop) and the simple 1-stage sheathed tone ring. The neck is laminated maple with a bound ebony fingerboard featuring pearl dots with a single star inlay at the 5th fret. The headstock is the classic Vega shape with no adornment, just a plain dark wood cap.

This is an original 5-string instrument with matching numbers neck and rim and all dowel stamps correct and intact from a period when Vega was primarily turning to building 4-string jazz age banjos. In addition, this banjo features the largest diameter rim offered on this model, an especially desirable feature for an old-time instrument and increasingly rarely seen as late as 1925. This is a very good player's example of one of America's great workingman's banjos; not flashy in any way, but a solid performer then and now.
Overall length is 37 1/2 in. (95.2 cm.), 11 13/16 in. (30 cm.) diameter head, and 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 28 in. (711 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.).

Overall a nice example with some typical playwear in fine gigging condition. There is general finish and plating wear overall, the most noticeable loss to the varnish being wear spots to the back of the neck in the first couple of positions and around the back edge of the rim. All but two of the hook/nut sets are original; the tailpiece is an original 1910s Elite style that may well be older than the banjo. The tuners are original 1920s Planets; Most of the Regents we have seen from this period were still equipped with non-geared tuners, so these may have been a factory upgrade, or fitted to the banjo soon after purchase. The fifth string peg is a newer geared unit, but fitted with a nicely matched Ivoroid button. The original frets and fingerboard show very little wear.

This large-rim Regent is fitted with a calfskin head and has a wonderful sound: loud, round, and powerful with plenty of punch but less of the bright overtones typically heard with a more elaborate tone ring like the Tu-Ba-Phone. One of the nicer old-time banjos we have had recently; a great original 1920s 5-string solo or string band instrument at a reasonable price (not much above a quality modern copy), including a new "bump"-style HSC. Excellent - Condition.