1920s Lange-made Ditson Resonator Tenor Banjo

My friend, the excellent Bob Dean (who I refer to as the John Wayne of Vermont behind his back), owns this instrument and, as I recall, it was bought new by his father before him. It's been refinished at some point, but it's clearly a Lange-made product bearing the Ditson brand. What else can I say? It's a mid-upper-level instrument, has an excellent build, and sounds the business. It's got a lot of cut and pop despite that tone-sucking Remo FiberSkyn head that's been installed.

My work on it included a board plane and refret (the neck had a lot of warp in it), a dowel reglue, and a good setup. I had to use very light gauges -- 30w, 18w, 12, 8 -- as the neck was cut quite thin and added relief with my "usual" tenor gauges of 32w-9. Regardless, it plays and sounds great and has action spot-on at 1/16" at the 12th fret. Bob's a heavier-handed player, so I hope he forgives me the light strings, but I think it's necessary to keep this bird flying.

This one has an 11" rim and a long, 23" scale.

Who doesn't like pearl like that at the headstock?

The fretboard is rosewood and it actually has rosewood binding, though I had to malign that a little during the refret.

The tailpiece and armrest are '60s-era replacements, but the rest of the hardware appears to be original.

If I'm not mistaken, the rim's veneer, resonator, and neck appear to be walnut.

Grover Perma-Tension friction pegs are replacements for whatever was on here earlier.