The Irish Tenor Banjo
For appreciators of this unique, fine-sounding, Lange-made tenor banjo from the 1920s.
Latest Activity: Jan 18
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I feel the need to provide a forum for appreciators of the Lange Triple-X Banjo. I am not an expert but hope to build on the expertise of others who regularly post on the Irish Tenor Banjo and other forums.
In my opinion, the Triple-X banjo is a high quality, cleverly-designed, unique-sounding, resonator banjo. It was made by William L. Lange Co. exclusively for Henry Stadlmair Co., both of New York. It was intended for the mid-priced tenor banjo market in the waning days of the tenor banjo craze in the mid-1920s. The Triple-X was only produced from early 1924 until late 1926. However, it was marketed heavily in the U.S. and Canada, and possibly Britain and Europe. Triple-Xs were purportedly made in tenor, five string, four string plectrum, and banjo-mandolin styles! To my knowledge only the tenor (17 fret and the 19 fret “Professional”), plectrum, and banjo-mandolin styles are in evidence. The models of these styles were purportedly A, B, C, & D, although examples of C and D have not surfaced.
We need much more information on this.
Being made by Lange, they were, like all Lange products, high quality for the money. Lange and his outfit contributed to a variety of unique designs and the Triple-X is no exception. The tone ring system with 10 1.5 inch tubes transmitting the tone from a hollow ring on top through the pot and into the chamber and up against a resonator has been adapted and integrated into at least two other banjos designs (lot's already posted and more later). The unique tone produced may not be loud, but is has been called sublime, complex, and sweet.
As the tone is a little quiet I would like to be able to trade tips and tricks on how to accentuate the Triple X tone (heads, bridges, etc.). Perhaps current Triple X owners can post here. My particular Triple X is of the later version of the base model A. It has an original skin head (calf or goat -- it is almost transparent) and friction tuners. I'll eventually post some sound clips or videos demonstrating the tone for those who are interested. In the interim I'd like to seek the advice of members here in identifying what kind of skin head I have and will post an image soon.
Jill McAuley, one of our forum members, has posted a video of her Triple X early version model A with a Rennaissance head and custom bridge on Youtube and it sounds very good. It will be interesting to compare the sound of my more originally set-up Triple-X to that of hers.
It would be great to hear from others interested keeping the Lange Triple-X banjo from languishing into obscurity, here or otherwise. Because there are space limitations here I have set up a Triple-X Banjo webpage where I will post more information as it comes to me. It is important to note that I am building on the hard research of some other very resourceful and knowledgeable members who will be appropriately acknowledged! Please check out the Triple-X Banjo Website: http://www.lockyphoto.com/triplexbanjo/. I need to . T
I already have one individual sending me images of their beautiful B Model that I will eventually post. If you're interested in submitting images of your Triple-X or have useful information please contact me and I will post it!
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