1940s Kay-made Resonator Tenor Banjo

A local customer dropped this guy off for some light work a while back. He'd wanted it fixed-up enough so that he could play it, but I fear for him as a new player because he wanted to retain the original skin head and friction pegs. These are the two items on any banjo (aside from banjo ukes, maybe) that I think of as "standard swap-outs" -- meaning the stability of a synthetic head is nice to have and the functionality of geared units is really a must if you're playing steel-string banjos much at all.

Oh well! Despite itself, it sounds and plays like a champ after repairs (a fret level/dress, side dots, new bridge, shimming/bolt-reinforcement of the adjustable neck joint, etc.) and I've got it tuned "Chicago-style" in DGBE tuning.

I've seen so many of this type of Kay-made tenor banjo that I get deja vu whenever one comes in. This one's unbranded but has the usual features -- including a simple hoop tonering. It's got a long-scale (23") neck and, as usual, the neck was a little warped when it arrived but that was ameliorated during the leveling process on the frets.

Tone-wise these are loud and almost metallically-swampy in character with skin heads. There tend to be a lot of stacked-up overtones that are distracting until one damps the string-afterlength behind the bridge (as I have here with some foam under the tailpiece cover). That cleans-up the sound a bunch.