Gibson (used) Kel Kroyden KK10 tenor converted to 6-string banjo

Tag No 78-7347 Used
This item is NOW ON SALE!

#ISI1815, excellent condition, housed in a newer Harptone black tolex covered plush lined hard shell case.

Virtually every Kel Kroyden that is not presently a tenor was once a tenor banjo, and was converted to whatever it is now by the judicious application of a replica neck. This one was born a tenor (just like Pavarotti) but around 1968 it was converted to GB – that means Guitar-Banjo – by the addition of a script logo inlaid, double-cut headstock, the Reno pattern (flying eagle) inlaid 21-fret neck with an ebony fingerboard, crème binding on said board, and a Mastertone bell-bronze tone ring. Remember, this banjo retains the yearned-for one-piece flange prewar pot – exactly that pot for which every five-string banjo player on earth craves and raves. A person reading this can only imagine how loud this thing is, but it really is. Wow – is this strong!

Quite remarkable really – it could substitute for the church bells in just about every normal-sized church in any suburban neighborhood. (For a cathedral you might need a top tension.) The headplate and back of headstock have crazed nicely – it has an old-looking headstock and there are crazing lines on the back of the one-piece mahogany neck. These may be due to air getting in under the lacquer - they are not typical looking crazing lines, but they are not cracks or separations, it's only cosmetic.   Did we mention that the fretboard width at the nut is 1 13/16"?   It is a prewar style neck, and in that time period they were manly.  Still, we do not find it difficult to play.  There is a small neck bow, and the truss rod is not removing it (sadly) but still it plays on the happier side of easily.

The resonator is just about perfect, retaining its four-leaf flower or star pattern surrounded in a Deco circle against a background of yellow celluloid (known as yelluloid). The nearly black finished sides of the resonator are themselves bound in crème ivoroid. Three thumb screws hold the resonator to the one-piece flange that has the same 23 sequential ‘rectangle shapes with a ‘U’ on each end” that Mastertone banjos have. The head presently on it is “water clear.” The inside of this banjo’s resonator and rim are clean as can be.

We have seen a couple of Kel Kroyden rims that had a serial number, but 95% of them don’t and this one hasn’t. This has the one full-length coordinator rod and one blessed stump. The flange, thumb screws, coordinator rods, brackets, hooks and nuts are original prewar but the tailpiece, armrest and the bridge are newer. Comfortable this is to play, yes, with a generous 1 13/16th” nut width, but the back of the neck is low profile and it’s easy to play. Tuners are newer Planetary style with large pearloid buttons. It has the adjustable truss rod with the bell-shaped plastic cover, held in place by two screws. No original tenor neck was provided. Inside the case, along with a used antique Bill Russell capo and the original card that came with the Harptone resonator banjo case, is a sealed set of “Folklore Center/Fretted Instruments” brand “Spanish Guitar – One Complete Set – Light Gauge” and then the word “Extra” is rubber-stamped, “321 6th Ave., New York, NY 10014.”   We are appreciative of the scholarship of Tom Keeney who scores a perfect "10."

Does anybody reading this memoir remember Israel G. Young’s The Folklore Center, on the second floor, next to the Waverly Theatre on The Avenue of the Americas? Some of us practically grew up there. This banjo is a throw-back to the distant past, when Mark Silber, Michael Katz, Jonathan Biltchik, Roger Sprung, Marc Horowitz, Eric Weissberg, Steve Arkin and many other New York-based luminaries played real good for free around the fountain (presently being disassembled and moved) at Washington Square Park. We remember the Reverend Gary Davis playing tunes on his guitar-banjo; this instrument reminds us of his iconic sound. If you’re seeking to play a bodacious version of “Dill Pickles Rag” (1906) this is the instrument on which to do it.  

The SALE Discount Price is $4,118.00 and Our SALE Cash Discount Price is $3,995.00.

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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