When you see a Fender banjo it's easy to think "import" since the company has been bringing in Fender-branded banjos for Asia for decades. mandolins, But in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fender made some excellent banjos in California that rivaled and even surpassed the instruments that Gibson was making at the time. Their secret was in the mid-1960s they bought Salstrom, a small company that made excellent instruments in Oregon, Illinois. Apart from changing the name on the headstock, Fender didn’t monkey with the design or construction of these fine banjos. This Artist model was second only to the top-of-the-line Concert Tone, which had gold-plated metal parts. Note wear to finish on the back of the resonator (photo 11) but fret wear is only slight and condition overall is excellent.