1910s Orpheum (Lange-made) No 1 5-String Openback Banjo

Original-neck Orpheum 5-strings are few and far between and highly sought-after. They have a clean, clear, loud, and precise sound that's getting close to "Gibson pop" but not quite there. It has a bit more of that wider, Vega Tubaphone sustain compared to a Gibby ring. Yeah -- it's just plain good. These have a longer scale length than average, too, so they've got a stronger "snap" than the average old-time banjo.

This one is owned by the granddaughter of the more-or-less original owner and she had me go through it, modernize it, and get it ready to roll. It'd already seen a bit of work in the past, though it seemed to mostly be aesthetic fixes rather than setup-side.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, new Waverly geared pegs, a new Remo head, new compensated bridge, and setup.

Setup notes: though the neck has a hair of backbow, it plays well and action is a fast 1/16" at the 12th fret. Strings are 10s to help pull the neck closer to straight.

Scale length: 27 1/8"

Nut width: 1 3/16"

String spacing at nut: 15/16"

String spacing at bridge: 1 1/2"

Head diameter: 11 1/8"

Depth overall at rim: 3"

Rim wood: ply maple

Fretboard: ebonized maple

Bridge: maple/ebony

Neck feel: medium C-shape, flat board

Neck wood: maple

Weight: 6 lb 10 oz

Condition notes: it has a replacement section of "rim cap" and the tailpiece, while older, is not original. The tuners, head, and bridge are replacements, too. There's definitely playwear and usewear throughout but overall it looks grand. The rim hardware is all original, too, which is nice to see.