Windsor ‘Popular Model 3’ Five-String Banjo-£300

A nice old Windsor banjo made in Birmingham, probably in the 1920s.

The ‘Model 3’ was the cheapest of the ‘Popular’ range but is a well made instrument, featuring a mahogany neck with ebony fretboard and headstock veneers, with the rim made from beech and nickeled brass.

There are a few issues, aside from the usual scratches and scrapes. Someone has replaced the 5th string tuner with a modern one and has glued it in rather messily, meaning there is some glue around the point where it enters the neck. This has proved too difficult to remove with damaging the surrounding timber. The new tuner’s proximity to the neck means you have to be quite precise with your finger placement when fingering the fourth fret on the bottom D string without catching the tuner. It took me a couple of minutes of playing to get used to this so shouldn’t be a massive problem.

The friction tuners are old but not original, one has a slightly darker button than the others. Some of the nuts holding the hooks on are also not original. There is some wear to the frets nearest the nut but they still have plenty of life left in them. The vellum head is fairly new, high quality and is in excellent condition.

Other than that, it is a very playable banjo and sounds wonderful.

Overall length:89cm, scale length: 65cm, 11″ pot


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