View Full Version : ebay banjolins

Mar-23-2006, 10:57pm
I have been looking around for a vintage banjolin. There always seem to be a few available on Ebay, but of questionable heritage. This causes complications for me, as there aren't any luthiers on Bonaire, and I don't think there are any in all of the Netherlands Antilles.

One thought was to bid on the better looking examples and have one shipped to a reputable shop, have the shop take care of the little problems that the seller forgot to mention, and then ship it to me. Elderly Instruments refused to cooperate with such a plan, but GoldTone said fine.

So ... anyone used GoldTone as a repair shop? Any caveats? Recommendations? Comments on my whole insane plan?


Mar-24-2006, 8:02am
I have purchased 4 instruments from ebay. All of them needed work. With three of them I would have saved money by purchasing at our local used instrument store. This store sells guaranteed, excellent instruments for some of the highest prices on the planet.

There are 4 Mandolin -banjos for sale in the classified section of Mugwumps Online. Three of them are owned by Mikle Holmes, the site administrator. They are 2 seven inch diameter Weymanns and one 7 1/2 inch Fairbanks-Vega. The Weymanns are $425, the Vega $525.

Another seller has a 10 1/8 inch Fairbanks-Vega Whyte-Layde for $1,000. These are all good prices and both brands are excellent American made instruments.

I have no financial interest in these instruments.

Good hunting

Ken Berner
Mar-24-2006, 10:06pm
Today I received my latest winner from eBay. It is a 1922-'23 Fairbanks-Vega Style S Tubaphone mandolin banjo. I am already in the process of cleaning it up, which won't take very long. It is in extremely good condition, but the case interior is a little ragged. The enclosed tuners are a little stiff and the neck angle needs adjusting, to get the action down some; will probably sand the bottom of the bridge as well. I used to own a 1910 Tubaphone, which I let slip away a few years ago, in a state of insanity. The tone is exceptional in these particular models.

Apr-06-2006, 8:35pm
Well, I won this one.

ebay banjolin (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7403445211)

Hard to go too far wrong for $98.00. His Civil War claim is pretty obviously bogus. Anyone got any idea of how old this one actually is? I've got it mentally classed as "older student model of indeterminate origin."

Michael Gowell
Apr-07-2006, 1:44am
kww - I like that instrument - it's very plain but that makes it kind of elegant. #5-string banjos and mandolins were both popular before the turn of the last century, circa 1890, but as I recall a hybrid instrument didn't come around until the jazz age demanded high volume instruments.

Adam Tracksler
Apr-07-2006, 5:52am
Gold tone fixed my banjo. they were quick and good.

steve in tampa
Apr-07-2006, 8:47am
I've gotten a couple of good ones and some stinkers. Never paid more than 75 for any of them. Got some for parts. Eventuall will have the "one" that I will use on a couple of numbers for intros/outros.