Rettburg & Lange owned the company that made Paramount, Orpheum, Langestyle, Super Paramount, Super Orpheum, and several other subsidiary brands. Most the banjos made by Lange were full scale (19 fret). Realizing that there were many players with small hands, or younger, smaller people who wished to learn what were the most popular instruments of its time, they produced their short scale - 17 fret - banjos as the “Orpheum” brand.
There were three models in this line, interestingly labeled No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The No. 3 practically glowed in the dark, it had some much abalone and mother of pearl inlaid into it, and extensive carving at the heel, but even the modest No. 1 (this one) has a large fern inlaid in pearl in the multi-cut stained pearwood headplate, along with "Orpheum No. 1" while 8 of the inlay positions are fanciful symmetrical decorations made up of impressionistic flying birdies, a spray of etched diamonds, or flourishes of flora. The head remains skin and measures approximately 11 1/8th" in diameter. It has a nut width of 1 1/8th", a fingerboard width at 7th fret of 1 5/16" and at the last fret the fingerboard measures 1 1/2".The tailpiece is an unsigned "No-Knot" style and it has 24 brackets, nuts and shoes. The back of the maple neck is a five-piece construction (having the two vertical laminates of pearwood for strength), the back of the rim is plain blonde maple and so is the dowel. It features the standard square wooden (maple) dowel that is stamped with the serial number, the usual tensioner device where the neck joins the body on the inside of the rim.
The heel is pearwood capped and bordered by maple and dark wood; and this dark-light-dark motif continues down the wooden interior dowel. Said dowel retains its twin ebony wedges and chrome plated tensioner. Tuners are original 4 un-geared machine heads with grained ivoroid buttons and an adjustment screw for tension. The exterior of the rim is birds eye maple; the slightly plainer interior of the rim bears twin cream, red and black ceramic plaques that read "Orpheum” and “Made by Rettberg & Lang, New York.” Its tone ring is hollow, much like ourselves, nickel-plated brass and is suspended by a series of metal supports. Although there is a small amount of fret wear, mainly below the 6th fret, there is little sign of fretboard erosion. Our workshop has performed its world class set-up, fret cleaning and restringing and consequently this fine banjo is now ready to play and perform with for the next 4 to 5 generations of banjo-playing plectrum flexers.
NOW ON SALE! OUR PRICE WAS $1129 BUT NOW: