A reader writes:
I have a Washburn 4 string, 17 fret, Style D tenor banjo with a solid wood back. Can't find a serial number. Was told, when I bought it in 1969, that it was old, but I have no idea what that meant. I'd like to know more about it (including value)but mostly its history and status. Any suggestions? Thanks.
(Very helpful www sites, incidentally.)
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Thanks for getting in touch.
The actual Washburn company made a lot of instruments a century ago.
Is the resonator held on by a single screw in the middle? That goes pretty far back.
Is the pot wood or metal? Metal goes way back, too, but the better banjos of a century ago used wood pots, so wood doesn't necessarily mean a newer banjo, just maybe a better one..
I am NOT an expert on these, but I would love to see photos, and maybe if I post them someone else will know more about them.
Also, do you play? Those were used for Dixieland/Ragtime/Jazz back in the day, but nowadays, some are used for Celtic-inspired music. I should ask if it's playable, too.
Sorry, too many questions.
Have a great evening - Paul