1930s Harmony-made Collegiate Resonator Banjo-Mandolin

This lightweight, punchy, direct-sounding old banjo-mandolin was owned by one Mr. Louis Robino of Taunton, MA. He was a songwriter and, apparently, an Italian-American who loved old Italian melodies considering the sheet music (one of which is one of his compositions) in the case.

Otherwise, it's a solidly-built mid-grade instrument and features simple construction and a simple look other than the stenciled decoration on the back of the resonator. The owner between Mr. Robino and myself added a new Remo Renaissance head, new bridge, and replacement tailpiece, but otherwise the instrument is original.

While it has a Collegiate (PMICo) brand at the headstock, this is a Harmony-made banjo-mandolin.

What I like best about this is is simplicity of tone -- it's very fundamental and has a warmth a lot of banjo-mandolins eat-up in a bitey, pronounced treble range. This has that nice "clucky" sound to it that I've always liked and am used to from Vega banjo-mandolins but not much else.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, side dots install, tuner lube, cleaning, neck-bolt reinforcement of the neck joint (it has an adjustable neck brace, too), and setup.

Setup notes: it plays spot-on with 1/16" action at the 12th fret and a straight neck. Gauges are 32w-9 (GHS A240 set) in phosphor bronze. I compensated the bridge as much as I could.

Scale length: 14"
Nut width: 1 1/8"
String spacing at nut: 1"
String spacing at bridge: 1 3/8"
Head diameter: 11"
Resonator diameter: 13"
Rim depth: 3 1/8"
Rim material: ply maple
Tonering: simple hoop ring
Neck wood: poplar or maple
Fretboard: ebonized maple
Bridge: mahogany(?) and ebony, compensated top edge
Neck feel: medium C-shape, flat board

Condition notes: replacement bridge, head, and tailpiece, but otherwise original. There's a lot of finish-wear to the back of the neck and a bit around the edges of the resonator, but overall it's pretty clean. Someone played it a bunch, is all!

It comes with: an original chip case in OK shape (for storage), old sheet music, some old string packets, and the air of history. I like that information on the original owner was kept with it.