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Vega!

The actual Vega Company was formed in 1889 in Boston, Massachusetts. Tenor Banjos first appeared, as the Tango craze hit America between 1910 and 1914.

Website: http://www.banjolin.co.uk/banjo/vegahistory.htm
Members: 38
Latest Activity: Aug 12

Vega Links.

If you own an Vega Tenor Banjo please join this group and tell us all about it, so you may all learn more about these Banjos.
N.B. If your Vega Photo or Vega Video has not been included in the lists below, please let me know. Ta

1 ~ Vega
2 ~ Vega Banjos
3 ~ Vega Banjo History
4 ~ The Vega No 2 Banjo
5 ~ Spotting a Fake Vega
6 ~ Vega Facebook Group
7 ~ Vega Company Wikipedia
8 ~ Fairbanks Vega Banjo Gallery

Members Vega Banjos
1 ~ Vega ? ~ bodatcha

2 ~ Vega Style M - Jill McAuley
3 ~ Vega Style M ~ Dave Linden
4 ~ Vega Style M ~ Chris Youlden

5 ~ Vega Style M ~ Steve Goddard
6 ~ Vega Style M Michael O'Brien

7 ~ Vega Style M ~ Ayreforce Pyper

8 ~ Vega De-Luxe ~ GerryMac
9 ~ Vega Vegaphone ~ John Coleman
10 ~ Vega Style X No 9 ~ Ged Palmer
11 ~ Vega Style X No 9 ~ Dick Glasgow
12 ~ Vega Professional ~ Rob MacKillop
13 ~ Vega Professional ~ Poisoned Dwarf
14 ~ Vega Little Wonder ~ Fred Marshe
15 ~ Vega Whyte Laydie style R ~ Dave Hanson

16 ~ Vega Tubaphone style M ~ Quentin Page

Members Vega Videos
1 ~ Dave Linden's Vega Style M
2 ~ Chris Youlden's Vega Style M

Old Session.org Vega Threads
1 ~ Vega Tenor Banjo
2 ~ Vega Tenor Banjo?
3 ~ Little Wonder Banjo
4 ~ Tenor Banjo Assistance
5 ~ Vega Banjo String Gauge
6 ~ Vega Little Wonder vs Vega Style N
7 ~ Vega Little Wonder versus Orpheum No.1
8 ~ Question about a Vega Little Wonder Banjo

Discussion Forum

Your Vega photos

Started by Rob MacKillop. Last reply by John Feehan Oct 6, 2013. 8 Replies

Vega Style M TU-BA-PHONE on eBay!

Started by Dick Glasgow. Last reply by Peter Fenzel Nov 25, 2012. 1 Reply

Vega Style F Tone Ring?

Started by Dick Glasgow Mar 8, 2010. 0 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Peter Fenzel on December 3, 2013 at 2:39pm

Thank you, Stonyjohn and Gerry! Your caution is well placed and will be heeded. Wives and lovers can come and go, but should anything happen to my ancient Vega I would be devastated.

Comment by OpenBackGuy on December 3, 2013 at 5:13am

A concern I'll be more aware of. Many thanks.

Comment by GerryMac on December 3, 2013 at 12:58am

I agree with Stoneyjohn. Be wary of putting too heavy a string on a classic banjo for the reasons mentioned. I've been more than happy for several years now with 12 plain, 18W, 28W and a bottom G of 38W on my two old-timers, Para & Vega. They provide all the 'growliness' anybody needs without stressing the f'board.

Comment by Stoneyjohn on December 3, 2013 at 12:48am
Just a note of caution. Old vega banjos don't have any truss rod in the neck so can be prone to becoming bent if too much strain is put on them especially the 19 fret models. I use 12, 16w, 26w, 38w on my professional and would be reluctant to to put anything much heavier on.
Comment by Peter Fenzel on December 2, 2013 at 8:45pm

Thanks for the posting, OBG! When my G needs replacing again I'll try the heavier gauge W42 for fun and see how it sounds.

Comment by OpenBackGuy on December 2, 2013 at 8:01pm

I agree with your string choices, PF, those thousandths do make a difference. Both my Tubaphone and Weymann respond better to heavier strings, which a lot of experienced players know. I use sets made by John Pearse, of which they package several variants, the 'heavy gauge Irish tenor' being in .013, 20w, 28w, and 40w. I can never seem to buy one set at a time, as you can get used to the nice ring of new strings! I think a lot of what's sold as 'tenor banjo' in the general sense is gauged for the standard cgda (non-Irish/gdae) tuning, which works with lighter string gauges. I recall Angela Carberry saying in an OIMR workshop that she uses a 42w for her 4th, and she gets that nice growley sound out of it. (Of course it ain't all just the string!) You're really listening to your instrument, which is great. I guess that's part of the fun in having more than one, or trying different alterations on one, as they elicit their own varieties of tone and color. Somewhere on this very helpful site is an excellent description of how to successfully change strings, which is good because pretty much any of them begin to alter significantly after just a few weeks of playing. Many players change more often than that as well.

Comment by Peter Fenzel on December 2, 2013 at 4:34pm

I just restrung my Vega Style M for the first time by myself. It is a good thing the strings are so inexpensive, because I botched the first try completely and had to go out, buy more strings, and try again.

When I had the Vega strung professionally last December they used a lighter gauge string (.09 - .30). The G just wasn't right. It was flaccid and buzzed when picked. I put a wound .36 on, and it made all the difference. The G works just fine and has a rich depth without the buzz. I changed the E from a .09 to a .12 and like that a lot better too - less cutting.  Isn't it funny how three one-thousandths of an inch makes a difference?

This brings us to the A string. I had a simple .16 for my A. Some accomplished players swear by a wound A string, although you seldom see that in 4 string packages. To get the right tension on a wound A, you also need to increase the diameter a little bit. So I put on a wound .20 to replace my .16. This brought the A string to life, enhancing the throaty roundness of my Style M.

The D string went from a wound .23 to a wound .24, and I cannot really tell the difference for that one string. The overall effect, however, is startling, clear as a bell.

So here is my conclusion, which I offer for your consideration and/or comments: For traditional Irish music I like the medium gauge .12-.36 with 3 wound strings. Were I to play bluegrass, I would go back to the lighter gauge.

Comment by Peter Fenzel on November 18, 2013 at 3:18pm

Hi Rob! I would never say the resonator is required, nor would I say you are settling by playing the Style M open backed. You are among the blessed to partner with a Style M either way. We all tend to like what we are accustomed to.

One reason I keep the resonator screwed on is that there is no other safe place to put it. It is vulnerable unattached. The woodwork of mine still is in good shape, and it looks great. So I will probably keep playing with the resonator on.

All the best!

Peter

Comment by Quentin Page on November 18, 2013 at 12:04pm
Hello Rob I have a vega style M big pot ,which has never had a resonator and I have used it for about ten years and in that time have kept an interest in others with style M Vegas and have not seen a large pot M with a resonator,they are plenty loud enough provided your head tension is very tight,and a beautiful sound and bass volume,also the pick thickness you use will have much influence on your volume,anyhow you have one of the best banjos in the world,enjoy it dear friend. Regards Quentin
Comment by robertmacneil on November 15, 2013 at 3:01am

Got y'a - thanks for the response Peter.  I have a Style M being restored by Vin Mondello, which I'm very excited about, and am considering a resonator.  My banjo did not have one and finding one for sale for a large pot is virtually impossible.  So I might have to settle with the open back look and sound.  Although the nice light weight is a bonus.  Sounds like you and others might be suggesting that the resonator is required for quality session play?

 

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Discussion Forum

Your Vega photos

Started by Rob MacKillop. Last reply by John Feehan Oct 6, 2013. 8 Replies

Vega Style M TU-BA-PHONE on eBay!

Started by Dick Glasgow. Last reply by Peter Fenzel Nov 25, 2012. 1 Reply

Vega Style F Tone Ring?

Started by Dick Glasgow Mar 8, 2010. 0 Replies

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