Vega (used, 1967) Pete Seeger Long-Neck 5-String Open Back Banjo

Tag No 39-2558 Used

#A127336, in excellent condition with original hard shell case.

This banjo is cleaner than most – the sunburst finish on the back of the three piece maple and possibly walnut (stripe) neck is largely un-faded and only minimally worn.  That wear takes the form of noticeable capo marks (horizontal impressions) in the back of the neck up to around the 8th fret, and other small nicks and dings on the neck, edges of the headstock, and on the stained maple rim (inside and out) but, to repeat, the overall banjo is in far cleaner condition than many we have seen.   It retains, for example, its original “Vegalon Weatherproof” logo Mylar head, frosted on the outside and translucent on the inside – and the head doesn’t show the extent of finger oils that most original heads do. It has its five original Grover “Pat. Pend. U.S.A.” legend tuners including four geared guitar tuners on the headstock and one matching non-geared Grover chrome plated tuner at the fifth string extension.   The black ebony fingerboard has 24 frets; the fifth string on this model doesn’t flare out from the four string portion of the neck until the 7th fret.   It comes with a sliding fifth string capo on the bass side of the fingerboard – its last owner says it came from the Vega factory this way --  perhaps it was special ordered with the feature, perhaps it was added -- but, the good news is that it has a sliding fifth string capo which can come in handy when playing in higher keys. 

If you would like to read our extensive discussion of the history of the Vega Pete Seeger model long neck 5-string banjo please click this link:

This banjo has the twin nickel-plated adjustable coordinator rods, the 24 nickel-plated brackets, the 24 large Phillips head screws and washers on the inside of the rim that hold the 24 shoes in place; it has the 31 hole Tubaphone tone ring that sets this model apart when it comes to tone and timber.   The 11” diameter head shows a small amount of skin oils but is, again, cleaner than most.  The banjo is equipped with a Gibson style chrome-plated armrest and a flip-open unsigned five-string chrome-plated tailpiece, both of which we’re going to state appear original.  The ivoroid bound ebony fingerboard hosts 10 mother of pearl dotmarkers in 7 fret positions.  The headstock is uniquely scalloped with a large central point facing to the heavens at the top; below that is the “VEGA” name in mother of pearl block letters; below that is a five-pointed star and below that is a plastic spear-point truss rod cover held in place by three screws – to make sure that it doesn’t get up in the middle of the night and run off with the sliding fifth string capo for an evening of flirty frivolity.   The nickel plating on the pot shows normal light dullness from time and exposure to the atmosphere.   

On the interior of the rim is the standard yellow rectangular label that reads “The VEGA Co., Boston 15, Mass. Patented U.S.A.; No. A-127336, Model ‘Pete Seeger’” [the model name is hand-written but not in Pete’s own hand –it was done by a Vega employee].  Then it says:  “To remove neck:  Loosen large nut and rod nuts.  Do not change small socket screws in rim as these are set for proper string action.”   We’d just like to say “Kids, do not try this at home.  Leave the adjustment of this banjo to an experienced banjo repairperson.  We will have set it up to perfection.”    On the inside of the case pocket are some picks, capos, bracket wrench and instructional materials left there by the banjo’s original owner and these are shown in an accompanying photo on our website listing for this piece.    

With this banjo you can own a piece of folk history.  This instrument was the weapon of choice for The Kingston Trio, Bob Gibson, of course for Pete Seeger, and for many of the acoustic folk groups of the 1960s.   Stan’s old friend, Erik Darling, is shown with his long neck banjo hanging from a stop sign on the cover of his first (self-titled) album released on Elektra Records in the late 1950s.  Almost no other fretted instrument visually defines The Folk Revival as does a Vega Long Neck Pete Seeger banjo.    And now, this remarkably clean example can be yours. 

Our Price is $4,385.00.

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!

Additional Photos (click for expanded view)

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