1882 Fairbanks & Cole 5-String Openback Banjo

It's pretty hard to argue with an old Fairbanks & Cole 5-string like this guy. If you're into gut-strung, period banjos, they're a nice catch when you can find one as the build quality is high and they tend to have a warmer, sweeter sound than the likes of SS Stewart or similar. They're also -- ya know -- pretty.

This one was in for a setup and refit for its 5th peg (the pegs were swapped to Pegheds-style geared ones but that was slipping-out), but it wound-up getting a pretty heavy-handed fret level/dress job and a lot of setup work, too, to get it playing bang-on. It does, now, and it's a pleasure to play it. The old skin head looks grand, too.

Per its serial, this lines-up as an 1882 instrument. It's mostly-original save pegs, head, bridge, and tail.