Gibson (used 1930- '33) Kel Kroyden Banjo KK-10 Conversion to 5-string

Tag No 32-3795 Used
This item is NOW ON SALE!

#ISI-2146, Kel Kroyden tenor banjo converted to 5-string, in very good condition with newer TKL hard shell five-string case. A NEARLY $1500 PRICE REDUCTION!

Kel Kroyden was a subsidiary brand of the Gibson Company.   The model originally came with no tone ring, and also no adjustable truss rod.   However, it is now after-market equipped with a modern 5-string neck with an adjustable rod, and a 1989-1990 Huber 20-hole flathead tone ring.  Kel Kroyden banjos are said to have been produced only between 1930 and 1933 – during the pits of the Great Depression -- and they typically have no serial numbers. They are easily distinguished by having a large “flower” stenciled onto the back of the golden-yellow pearloid (celluloid) resonator.

This banjo, which probably started out in life as a 19-fret full-scale tenor, has been converted to the bluegrass paragon it always yearned to become. It not only has the greatly desired one-piece flange that fans-of-the-prewar Mastertone love to find, it also has the Steve Huber bell bronze tone ring that makes the Welkin vibrate unceasingly. It is fitted with a nicely crafted replica five-string neck, made with East Indian rosewood fingerboard bound in which/ivoroid plastic, decorated in the modern “geometric mirror image pattern with a flying bird at the last fret” inlay pattern of a prewar RB-1 or a modern RB-250, inlay pattern starting from 1st fret. The double-cut headstock presents the script mother of pearl “Gibson” logo and a collection of ferns, flowers, and, twin lower-case effs facing one another.  It has an East Indian rosewood fingerboard and it plays effortlessly.   The neck shape is “standard U; the nut width is 1 3/16th” and the string spacing at the Huber brand bridge is 1 11/16th”. 

Interestingly, a prior owner of the original tenor banjo (whose name has been lost to history) subtly etched his initials in at least 6 places on the banjo. “CDC” appears on two of the three thumbscrew heads, on each of the three L-brackets under the flange, on the inside coordinator rod stem, and on the inside of the wooden rim. There are small separations – a space between the binding and the celluloid, in various places around the back of the resonator, due to shrinkage.  However, these are not moving and there are no actual cracks.  Fans of “Earl’s Breakdown” will rejoice that this banjo is fitted with two Keith de-tuners.   All of the tuners are geared and all have matching-shape large pearloid buttons – however the two Keith tuner buttons are slightly less iridescent than the other 3 buttons.  

The banjo has been fitted (in the past) with a modern, Mylar, “5-Star”brand frosted head; said  head shows some typical skin oils.    The felt that originally protected the bottom of the neck at the neck opening on the resonator is missing and will, by our workshop, be replaced.   There was once a broken off piece of flange (upon which somebody may have attached a strap at one time, which is why it broke off), that was welded back into place.  This is in the first cut-out located on the treble side of the heel of the neck (when you look straight at the banjo).  This small area is recessed now, or perhaps the metal is worn to a lower profile by the strap or the strap’s clip end.  It appears that the finish on the back of the neck from fret 1 to fret 18 was, at one time, masked off and had finish removed.  Huber refers to this as a “speed neck.”  From years of being played, however, the finish on the back of the neck has rubbed up to semi-gloss.

The back of the resonator still retains its yellow celluloid with painted black flowers and border keystones. The “Presto” flip-open tailpiece and armrest are undoubtedly newer replicas but the brackets, flange, three corrugated thumb-screws, all internal components including the nuts, appear to be original Gibson circa 1933 equipment. It turns out to be exceptional sounding, a pedigreed celluloid-veneered puppy of the highest order. 

This WAS $6180 but it is NOW ON SALE.

Our SALE Discount Price is $4,639.00 and Our SALE Cash Discount Price is $4,500.00.

Sorry, this item has been sold.
You may still add it to your want list, and we will contact you if your desired instrument comes in!

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