Weymann Orchestra Style 1 Tenor Banjo (1928)

Weymann  Orchestra Style 1 Tenor Banjo  (1928)
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Item # 12006
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Weymann Orchestra Style 1 Model Tenor Banjo (1928), made in Philadelphia, serial # 43626, natural varnish finish, mahogany neck, rim and resonator; rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

The Style 1 Orchestra model was the plainest baseline banjo in Weymann's professional "Megaphonic" line, but is still a top quality professional grade instrument retailing in the mid-1920s at the not inconsiderable sum of $160.00. This series was named for the company's patented "Megaphonic" rim with the hooks running through it, eliminating the need for bracket shoes. This unique layout is not only highly functional but the most elegant of all 1920's banjo designs. Like all Weymann banjos, this is an extremely finely-made instrument with the company's customary attention to detail evident everywhere.

The neck is two-piece laminated mahogany shaded dark with the bound ebony fingerboard inlaid with fancy shaped pearl pieces. The headstock carries a "Weymann" logo of inlaid pearl letters surrounded by an elaborate floral design. It mounts the company's patented recessed tuning pegs and a gold logo sticker on the back. The pop-on resonator is nicely figured mahogany with binding on both edges, the rim edge is bound as well.

This banjo has a decorative metal flange around the top rim of the resonator, typical of later Megaphonic models. There is a natural rosewood armrest mounted to the hoop, another stylish unique Weymann feature. Overall this is a great sounding and very classy tenor banjo from the height of the 1920's jazz age; today, nearly 100 years along it remains an excellent instrument.
Overall length is 34 in. (86.4 cm.), 11 in. (27.9 cm.) diameter head, and 3 7/16 in. (8.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 in. (559 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/8 in. (29 mm.).

This banjo has seen some use over the last 95+ years but shows some relatively light wear for nearly a century and remains in fine playing original condition. The all-original thin varnish finish has some wear overall; the resonator back and sides show some scratching and scuffing, the back of the neck is comparatively quite clean. The headstock face has some dings and dents and a spot of scraping through the finish near the D string tuner, original unknown. All hardware is original and complete except the slip-on tailpiece cover is missing. The plating shows comparatively minor wear; the hoop, hooks, tuners and tailpiece are all relatively clean. There fairly light decorative flange is fully intact, with none of the bent or broken spots sometimes seen.

The fingerboard and original frets show only light wear; the banjo is set up modern frosted plastic head and Grover bridge. As with most 1920s banjos the neck is not perfectly straight but pretty close and it plays well and sounds great, very powerful but not as overtly brash as many jazz age tenors with a richer tone. It resides in the original green-lined HSC, somewhat worn but still fully functional. Excellent - Condition.