Turtle Hill Banjo Company

 Gold Tone

NechvilleNechville Helimount Banjos

Bart Reiter

Stelling Banjos



Turtle Hill
Banjo Company
David E. Schenkman
P.O. Box 2866
La Plata, MD 20646
301-274-3441
 
Used Banjos
5 String Resonator - 5 String Open Back - Four String

Click here for our
New Banjos page


Below is a list of used banjos currently in stock. See something of interest? We will be glad to furnish a complete description and price on request.

 What's New in Banjos
5 String Resonator Banjos
BOOK: 1001 BANJOS. This is the most spectacular book ever written on the subject. We have a virtually new copy, still in the original box, at an attractive price.

Spectacular Custom Banjo with Prewar Gibson rim (serial number 9711-30). This one-of-a-kind banjo has a solid pearl fingerboard and peghead overlay, with a beautiful vine inlay which, unfortunately doesn't show up very well in my pics. The resonator is inlaid on the back and sides. The metal parts are gold plated; the flange, tension hoop, armrest, and tailpiece are heavily engraved. The condition is wonderful, with just a tiny bit of  wear on the first three frets. There is abalone binding around the resonator and on the neck. If you are looking for a showpiece banjo that sounds great, you can't do better than this! Pics

Custom banjo with prewar Gibson 40-hole archtop tone ring. Maple neck and resonator; wreath inlay. Although this banjo was evidently made about fifteen years ago, it is in nearly like new condition, with only a tiny hint of fret wear. It is a really nice sounding archtop. Pics

2015 Bellbird Banjo Co. Custom Carillon. This beautiful banjo was built in Australia by Peter Nahyusen. The wood is premium curly maple, with a stunning blue nitrocellulose lacquer finish. It has a red maple block rim, with a flathead "New Heritage" tone ring. It sounds as good as it looks, and is in like-new condition! Pics

Deering Jens Kruger with Tenbrooks tone ring. Maple neck and resonator, with radiused fingerboard. This amazing banjo is in absolutely like-new condition. The black neck binding is partially gray, as can be seen in the pic; Deering has agreed to take care of this, if the new owner so desires. You won't find a nicer one! Pics

2003 Desert Rose Salt Creek Custom
. Mahogany, with a beautiful resonator (which can't be seen well in the pics). Tony Pass Timeless Timber rim. We sold this new and the owner never tried to learn to play, so it is in virtually mint condition with just a tiny bit of fret wear.
Scott Zimmerman is one of finest builders in the world; unfortunately he isn't currently making banjos, so they are few and far between. Pics


2001 Fender Prototype Concert Tone. This one-of-a-kind banjo was built as the result of an agreement between Fender and Scott Zimmerman for a possible Fender re-entry into the professional banjo market. The wood is American walnut with a beautiful burl resonator. JLS #4 tone ring and 3-ply rim. The label is signed and dated by Scott, and there is a letter from him verifying the above. It is in virtually new condition, with not even a trace of fret wear! 
Pics

Frankenbanjo. This banjo belonged to Banjo Newsletter founder Hub Nitchie, and he called it his "Frankenbanjo" because he would experiment with different tone rings, etc. The rim is from a 1927 Gibson style 3 Mastertone; the label is intact. The tube and plate flange appear to be original. The tension hoop is grooved. The tone ring is an unplated 4-hole archtop, such as were used by Gibson in the 1950s bowtie banjos.. The neck and resonator are obviously not Gibson; I have no idea who made them. There is some wear on the first few frets and it would benefit from a good setup, but it doesn't sound bad as is. The banjo is being sold exactly as received, at a very good price. Pics

2006 Gibson Flint Hill Special. Maple wood. Gold plated and engraved metal parts, with Keith "D" tuners. Hearts & Flowers inlay. The pegheard is bound in abalone. Serial number 06-001. Thius banjo was given to Earl Scruggs, who presented it to a relative as a gift. Other than a tiny bit of fret wear, the banjo is virtually like new; I doubt that a nice one exists. Autographed by Earl on the head and also on a second label on the rim. Pics

1993 Gibson RB-3 banjo with wreath inlay. This banjo is in exceptionally nice condition, with just a very tiny bit of fret wear on the first three or four frets. It comes with the original case and the combination lock hinge is broken, as is the case with many of these. If you are looking for an RB-3, you will have a hard time finding cleaner one than this! Pics

Gibson "Retro 4" Limited Edition
, circa 2007. Only 40 of them were made, and this is number 37. Walnut neck and resonator, with chrome plated hardware. "Mastertone" is inlaid in the fiddle cut peghead, as Gibson did on the 1925 Mastertones. Hearts & Flowers inlay on a rosewood fingerboard. With the exception of a tiny bit of wear on the first few frets, this banjo is in mint condition. It belongs to Bill Emerson, who consigned it to us when he visited our shop recently. Pics


1927 Gibson Granada. FON 8886. The previous owner installed a Mitch Meador conversion ring on top of the original 40-hole archtop ring. It can be easily removed if the buyer so desires. A decent 5-string neck of unknown make, with the original tuning pegs and pearl knobs. Worn gold plated parts. New coordinator ronds, and one missing resonator thumb screw. The neck has a little fret wear, mostly on the 2nd fret. A really nice sounding banjo!
Pics

 

Gibson one-of-a-kind Florentine, circa 1930. This is undoubtedly the rarest prewar Gibson archtop banjo in existence! From the front it looks like a regular Florentine, with the ice cream cone peghead and scenes of Italy on the fingerboard, but the resonator and neck carvings are completely different than on any other banjo. It also has one piece flange construction, which is found on only a few Florentines. See Four String banjos below. -- Pics

1930s Gibson KK-10 conversion. The pot is all original except for the tailpiece. The flange is pulled up a little, but is better than most; it is very solid. Richie Dotson made a new 5-string neck with Flying Eagle inlay, and installed one of his new Dotson 75 flathead tone rings. A great sounding and very powerful banjo! Pics

1930s Gibson KK-11 conversion. The pot is all original except for the tailpiece. The flange is pulled up as usual, but is very solid. Richie Dotson made a new 5-string neck with Reno inlay, and installed one of his new Dotson 75 flathead tone rings. This is an excellent banjo in all respects. In my opinion, TB-11 and KK conversions are absolutely the best bargains in bluegrass banjos. Pics

1929 Gibson TB-2. One piece flange. Very nice condition and 100% original. The flange is solid and not badly warped. We had this listed as a tenor, and have added a new group of pics of the banjo with a new Florentine Special inlay neck built by Wyatt Fawley. Call for details if interested. Pics

1925 Gibson TB-3 banjo. New mahogany 5-string neck by Richie Dotson with Hearts & Flowers inlay. Ball bearing tone ring. The pot still has the skin head. The resonator has a very dark, almost black, stain and appears to be original, but I can't be sure. One of the resonator lug nuts is missing. Original Presto tailpiece and new Gotoh tuners. A good banjo at a good price! Pics

1926 Gibson TB-3 
with ball bearing tone ring. We had a new 5-string neck made, and the resontor was refinished to match. The pot is 100% original except for the tailpiece, which is a new Presto. One of the resonator screws is missing. It still has the original skin head. Pics


1927 Gibson TB-3 banjo. New mahogany 5-string neck by Richie Dotson with Wreath inlay. No-hole archtop tone ring. The pot in very nice condition and is 100% original, including the tuners and Presto tailpiece, except for the armrest which is newer. This is a really nice prewar banjo. Pics

1927 Gibson TB-3 banjo. New mahogany 5-string neck by Richie Dotson with Hearts & Flowers inlay. No-hole archtop tone ring. The pot in very nice condition and is 100% original; it still has the skin head. If you are looking for a prewar archtop, look no further. Pics

1931 Gibson TB-3 with one piece flange. Very nice condition. The resonator has been refinished and it looks "right." The flange is very solid, with no problems. We have a great 5-string neck for it, made by Wyatt Fawley. Call for details if interested (1472). Pics

1928 Gibson TB-6 with Checkerboard binding. 40-hole archtop tone ring. This banjo is exceptionally nice in all respects. I assume it was a custom order, since it has a honey maple finish instead of the usual Argentine gray. With a new 5-string neck, this would be a great bluegrass banjo. Pics

1930s Gibson TB-11 conversion. The pot is all original except for the tailpiece. The flange is about as flat as they get. Richie Dotson made a new 5-string neck with Wreath inlay, and installed a Hopkins flathead tone ring. This banjo is a real powerhouse, with tone to match! Pics

Huss & Dalton Owens Mill. Mahogany. We sold this new in 2003 and it has been kept in wonderful condition, with just the the usual fret wear at the first  few frets. It is a really nice banjos in all respects! Pics

Nechville Phantom in walnut, circa 1999, with maple binding and cocobolo fingerboard. We sold this new, and the owner traded it back on a Nechville XXX. Other than a little normal fret wear, it is in like-new condition. Pics

1991 Stelling Carolinian. Cherry neck and resonator. Only 7 or 8 were made of this rare model. This one is unique; it has a new Tony Pass ThinSkirt rim and a graphite tone ring (the only such ring that Stelling ever had). Condition is excellent, with only a little fret wear. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind Stelling that is much lighter than any other Stelling, this is it! Pics

2005 Stelling Crusader Deluxe. Mahagony, with gold plated and engraved tailpiece, armrest, and tension hoop. It has the Tony Pass rim, as made. Condition is like new on this great banjo! Pics

1993 Stelling Sunflower. This banjo has been taken care of very well and is in great condition, although it does have  the expected fret wear, and a few marks on the side of the peghead. The wood is exceptionally attractive. I installed a Tony Pass Lost Timber rim for the owner a few years ago; the original rim comes with the banjo. Pics

Turtle Hill Bluegrass Woody with radiused fingerboard and bound peghead. Maple neck and resonator. One piece flange, and Tony Pass Thin Skirt rim and wooden tone ring. We sold this new and the buyer decided he wanted an openback banjo. Although technically used, it has hardly been played and is in like new condition. Pics

1928 Vega #9 Artist Tubaphone with 5-string neck. Gold plated metal parts, with engraved flanges and tension hoop. The sides of the resonator are also engraved. The reproduction 5-string neck was made by Mike Ramsey, and has engraved inlays and a carved heel. The original tenor neck comes with the banjo, as do the original brackets and hooks and Ottenger tailpiece. This rare banjo is in excellent condition, and sounds great with the resonator on or off. Pics

Back to the top
5 String Open Back Banjos
Mike Ramsey Presentation Grade with 11" pot and Whyte Laydie style tone ring. Curly maple neck with extremely fancy inlays, beautifully carved heel. The tension hoop is engraved. Scale is approx. 26 inches. Like new condition. Pics

Mike Ramsey 12" Fretless with Presentation Grade inlays. Brass hoop tone ring. Curly maple neck. Scale length is approximately 25.5 inches. The tension hoop pl;ating is dull, but the banjo is in like new condition. Pics

Mike Ramsey Minstrel Banjo. Excellent condition in all respects. Made in Appomattox, Virginia. Pics

Mike Ramsey fretless with Stelling tone ring.
That's right; you read it correctly. This banjo wandered into my shop about fifteen years ago, and has remained in the back room until now. It was built while Ramsey was in Ohio; serial number is 190. Scale length is approximately 25." The tone ring is a flathead Stelling, and is marked as such. It apears to be aluminum, but I haven't removed it. I talked with Geoff Stelling and he remembered it as an experimental ring, but didn't recall how it left his shop. So, it is absolutely a one-of-a-kind instrument. Sounds great, and is in excellent condition. Pics



1912 Vega banjo mandolin pot with fancy 5-string neck
. 10 1/8" pot with fibreskin head. The wonderfully inlaid curly maple neck was made by David Ball, one of the really great banjo builders. It has a scale length of approximately  24" and is in mint condition, with virtually no fret wear. This is an opportunity to acquire a work of art that is also a wonderful banjo. Pics

1928 Vega #9 Artist Tubaphone with 5-string neck. Gold plated metal parts, with engraved flanges and tension hoop. The sides of the resonator are also engraved. The reproduction 5-string neck was made by Mike Ramsey, and has engraved inlays and a carved heel. The original tenor neck comes with the banjo, as do the original brackets and hooks and Ottenger tailpiece. This rare banjo is in excellent condition, and sounds great with the resonator on or off. Pics

1928 Vega Tubaphone with Mike Ramsey curly maple neck. Fancy Tubaphone style inlays on peghead, fingerboard, and on the back of the peghead and heel. Backstrap. 10 15/16" pot. Scale is approx. 26 inches. Like new condition. Pics

1923 Vega Little Wonder with 10 15/16" pot. We have no idea who made the neck, but it was done many years ago. It is well played although, surprisingly, there is only a tiny bit of fret wear. The pie-plate resonator spins off. This is a really nice sounding banjo, and just the thing for a horse lover! Pics

1925 Vega Little Wonder. 10 15/16" pot. The new 5-string neck was built by by Scott Morgan. The pot is original, and although it shows that the banjo had plenty of hard use, it is solid. The brackets have been replaced with newer ones. There are four small screw holes on the bottom of the rim where a resonator was once attached. Pics

Vega Little Wonder. 1928. 10 15/16" pot. This banjo started life as a tenor. It now has a new 5-string neck made by Wyatt Fawley, with an engraved griffin inlay on the peghead. Pics

1921 Vega Style N. We had Wyatt Fawley build a new mahogany neck with torch inlay. Other than some rusty brackets, two of which don't match the others, the pot is in decent condition. This is a really nice sounding banjo. Pics

Back to the top
Four String Banjos
(Tenor unless otherwise specified)

1929 Gibson TB-1. Bracket and shoe construction. This banjo is 100% original, and should be a good instrument for anyone wanting a fairly inexpensive tenor. The resonator has numerous scratches. The original case is in fair condition (they weren't all that good when new). Pics

1927 Gibson Bella Voce with 40-hole archtop tone ring. Gold plated and engraved. The wood appears to be rosewood, which is much rarer than the usualy seen white holly. The neck was broken at the heel and repaired at one time, which is probably not significant since the new owner will no doubt have a new neck made. With the exception of the tailpiece, which is modern and nickel, the banjo is all original, and even has a neat pick guard. Overall condition is nice. This will make a wonderful bluegrass banjo with a new 5-string neck. Pics

1928 Gibson TB-6 with Checkerboard binding.
40-hole archtop tone ring. This banjo is exceptionally nice in all respects. I assume it was a custom order, since it has a honey maple finish instead of the usual Argentine gray. With a new 5-string neck, this would be a great bluegrass banjo. Pics

Gibson one-of-a-kind Florentine, circa 1934. This is undoubtedly the rarest prewar Gibson archtop banjo in existence! From the front it looks like a regular Florentine, with the ice cream cone peghead and scenes of Italy on the fingerboard, but the resonator and neck carvings are completely different than on any other banjo. It also has one piece flange construction, which is found on only a few Florentines. -- Pics

2000 Ome Artist Series custom silver Magician. Silverspun tone ring and maple wood. The metal parts are heavily engraved (even the pick holder) and chrome plated. The resonator is carved on the back and sides. Although seventeen years old, this banjo is in virtually new condition, without a mark on it anywhere, and only the barest hint of fret wear. According to Ome, a new one like this would list in the $6500 range and probably take a year to make. Pics


Back to the top