An excellent Fairbanks banjo made before Fairbanks was acquired by the Vega Company. Thanks to a careful restoration a few years ago many of the issues that plague these very early banjos have been corrected, but in such a way the tone and feel of a turn-of-the-last-century Fairbanks has been preserved, and the appearance as well. A letter detailing the restoration by Smakula Fretted Instruments (Elkins, WV) four years ago is included, but here are some highlights:
Dyed hardwood fingerboard and headstock facing replaced with ebony, engraved inlays preserved.
Neck angle reset, new calfskin head, new small shaft tuners with old ivoroid buttons.
Cracked neck heel repaired and neck refinished with French polish.
All the inlays which are not original were engraved by Kevin Enoch (the letter details what is original and what is not).
Thanks to the thin-walled shell and Whyte Laydie tone ring, this Fairbanks Special Electric has similar tone to the legendary early Whyte Laydie models, but is airy and more "woody" sounding because the shell doesn't have the heavy brass bracket band (and as a result only weighs 5 1/2 lbs). Comes in the gig bag shown since it's on consignment but hardshell cases are available, just ask.