1960s Harmony Reso-Tone 5-String Banjo

I took this in as a trade-for-work because I'm a sucker for Reso-Tone instruments made by Harmony. The rims on these are molded, the necks are nice and stable, and they're lightweight which means it's fun to pick them up and play. Heavy banjos can sometimes feel like... a chore? ...despite how good they sound.

This one needed the usual work but now that it's done-up it plays bang-on and has a woody, mellow tone that reminds me of 1900s-era, thin-rim banjos like old Supertones and the like. These have a longer scale length and a skinny (side-to-side) neck profile which makes them feel quick.

Repairs included: fret level dress, new geared 5th peg tuner (re-used original button), new Remo Renaissance head (original had split), replacement bridge (lightly compensated), addition of two neck-attachment bolts hidden under the original neck brace plate (this is key to making these instruments nice and stable), two railroad spike installs (at 2 and 4), cleaning, and setup.

Made by: Harmony

Made in: Chicago, IL, USA

Rim wood: molded

Tonering: none

Bridge: ebony/maple

Fretboard: ebonized pearwood/maple

Neck wood: poplar w/steel reinforcement rod

Tone: woody, mellow, sweet, sustained

Suitable for: folk, old country, old-time, folk-rock

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 9s

Neck shape: medium-deep C/U

Board radius: flat

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-small

Scale length: 26 3/4"

Nut width: 1 1/8"

String spacing at nut: 7/8"

String spacing at bridge: 1 1/2"

Head diameter: 11”

Depth overall at rim: 2 1/2"

Weight: 3 lb 11 oz

Condition notes: it's all-original save a replacement 5th tuner (geared), new head, and replacement bridge. I also added side dots. It's pretty clean overall with minor usewear and scratching on the back of the neck and heel. Frets are almost full-height after level/dress and in good order. I added two "railroad spike" capos for the 5th string at 2 and 4 (for capo to A and B).