1937 Bacon Senorita Resonator Tenor Banjo

Bacon banjos are often the benchmark for "pro sound" in the tenor crowd. They're loud, proud, punchy, and always have a great bite that pops right through other instruments. Even this plainer-Jane Senorita model has those qualities and it doesn't even have a tonering under the hood. It's just got a shaped upper lip to the maple rim.

A note scrawled below the tailpiece on the original head read "Bought in March 1937," so we know that much about it. Fun fact: Bacon went belly-up and sold to Gretsch in late '38-'39. That makes this a Groton-made instrument but from just before the company had major "reorganizations."

As with all proper Bacons, it's a quality instrument: thicker-ply maple rim, two-piece mahogany neck, maple fretboard with pearloid veneer, fancy pearloid veneer on the resonator's back and cool binding and trim throighout. The tuners are geared and the hardware is all heavy-duty. Interestingly, about half of the hook/nuts appear to be replacements of a similar type to the originals -- and slightly earlier. This may just be a "we grabbed ABC from this box of parts and XYZ from this box of parts" at the factory, however.

Post-repairs, it plays fast and easy and sounds the biz. It's here on consignment, too.

Repairs included: replacement head, fret level/dress, side dots install, cleaning, and setup.


Made by: Bacon

Model: Senorita

Made in: Groton, CT, USA


Rim wood: ply maple

Tonering: none (shaped top edge)

Bridge: maple/rosewood

Fretboard: maple w/pearloid veneer

Neck wood: 2-piece mahogany


Tone: bright, crisp, punchy, forward, bitey

Suitable for: trad jazz, Americana, Western swing, Celtic, etc.


Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 32w, 20w, 14, 10 for CGDA standard

Neck shape: medium-big C

Board radius: flat

Truss rod: none

Neck relief: just a hair of relief at pitch -- 1/64" overall, essentially straight

Fret style: medium, tallish, Regal-like profile


Scale length: 23"

Nut width: 1 1/8"

String spacing at nut: 15/16"

String spacing at bridge: 1 3/16"

Head diameter: 11”

Resonator diameter: 13"

Depth overall at rim: 3 1/2"

Weight: 6 lb 14 oz


Condition notes: missing heel cap (but not obvious), unoriginal head (brand new Remo Renaissance), bolt reinforcement added to neck brace (hidden), lots of playwear to the finish on the back of the neck and also average playwear to the back of the resonator. Arm-rest has burn-through on the nickel plating down to the brass. One side of the armrest is no longer soldered to a 2nd support hook but it's not an issue -- it's still holding fine. The tailpiece is missing its original hinged cover.


It comes with: its original chip case.
















Comments