1922 Bacon Orchestra Style B Tenor Banjo

Groton-made Bacon instruments are always a joy once they're done-up. This one's landed for consignment via a local customer and he played it in octave mandolin (GDAE) tuning for years. Unfortunately, I think these short-scale Bacons sound best in standard CGDA or "Chicago" DGBE pitches. They absolutely shine in that range and have a chimey, sweet, direct voice with overtones that stack-up nicely behind the fundamentals instead of competing with them. So -- that's why I have this strung-up for standard tuning in the video.

Some work had been done on it in the past and as a result it has nice, 4:1 geared tuners at the headstock and a replacement, synthetic head. It looks and sounds like a Remo Renaissance but the color is a little different from brand-new ones. Both these changes make a huge difference for the better vs. original friction pegs and a tired old skin head. My work was to get it playing correctly.

Work included: a fret level/dress, fix of a popped-out/chipped-out last fret and fretboard, neck angle adjustment, hidden bolt-reinforcement of the neck joint (behind the neck brace's rim-plate), side dots install, new 1/2" bridge, and a good setup. Action is spot-on at 1/16" at the 12th fret, the neck is straight, and string gauges are 32w, 20w, 13, 9 for CGDA tuning.

Scale length: 20"
Nut width: 1 3/16"
String spacing at nut: 15/16"
String spacing at bridge: 1 3/8"
Head diameter: 11"
Side depth: 2 7/8"
Rim wood: ply maple w/maple veneer
Neck wood: two-piece maple w/center strip
Fretboard: ebonized maple
Neck shape: medium C/V shape, flat board
Bridge: Grover maple/ebony
Nut material: bone
Tonering: Bacophone/"donut" ring

Condition notes: replaced head, replaced tuners, mild playwear throughout, but otherwise incredibly clean for its age. It looks great!

It comes with: its very tired, original case -- in "walk about town" condition, but maybe not suitable for gig-to-gig slinging.