1926 Vega Senator (Little Wonder) 5-String Openback Banjo

It's not very often that I get an original-neck, Vega 5-string banjo from this time in the shop. This is a "Senator" model which means it has the "Little Wonder" tonering at the top of the rim -- a great "old time" or "folkie" choice because it's a chimey, sweet, simple-sounding ring but still offers good volume and cut for an openback. It's also got a long, 27" scale which gives some extra ring and sustain to the tone.

Other than the head and an added neck-brace spacer/plate (old, from my parts-bins), the banjo appears to be entirely original. It's in good shape and plays like a champ after repairs, too. I don't really need to talk overlong about how good these are because Vegas are often thought-of as generically at the top of the game for 1910s and 1920s old-time banjo equipment. There's a reason they're popular.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, cleaning, bridge compensation, adjustments, setup...

Rim wood: maple

Tonering: Little Wonder (hoop-in-sleeve)

Bridge: 1920s/1930s Grover 2-foot

Fretboard: ebonized wood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast!)
String gauges: 9s

Neck shape: medium C/V

Board radius: flat

Neck relief: just the teensiest relief (essentially straight)

Fret style: small/lower

Scale length: 27"

Nut width: 1 3/16"

Head diameter: 10 7/8"

Depth overall at rim: 2 3/4"

Weight: 5 lbs 2 oz

Condition notes: it's all-original save the replacement Remo head. It even has the "cammed" No-Knot tailpiece intact. The pegs are all original friction pegs (they work fine but are annoying in the way friction pegs are) and the 5th peg "leans" a little but is secure. If this were my banjo I would probably install geared pegs of some sort (Gotohs! Waverlies! Rickards!), and if you're interested, I would do that FOC but would need the parts costs covered. There's minor use-wear throughout, side dots have been added, and there's a little chipping where the fretboard meets the pot, but none of this is serious and mostly it just looks great.

It comes with: a cheesy old chip case that serves for storage or light use.