Turtle Hill Banjo Company

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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


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

Pics

 
Bellbird 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 tone ring. It sounds as good as it looks, and is in like-new condition! 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

2003 Desert Rose Salt Creek Custom. Mahogany, with a beautiful resonator (which can't be seen well in the pics). Tony Pass Timeless Timer 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

Deering Jens Kruger with Tenbrooks tone ring. Maple neck and resonator, with radiused fingerboard. This amazing banjo is in like-new condition. You won't find a nicer one! 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

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. It has a decent 5-string neck of unknown make, with the original tuning pegs and pearl knobs. There is just a little fret wear, mostly at the 2nd fret.  Worn gold plated parts. New coordinator rods, and one missing resonator thumb screw. A really nice sounding banjo! Pics

1928 Gibson Granada. This was Steve Sparkman's banjo, which I acquired in trade for his "dream" banjo, a 1927 style 5 no-hole. The banjo was started by Gibson in 1925, as the peghead inlay indicates. In 1928 they finished it, in the process changing the tone ring from ball bearing to 40-hole archtop. Steve had Frank Neat build a really nice 5-string neck. The pot is all original; gold plating is nice, although the armrest has a repair. Pics

1930 Gibson Granada; one piece flange. FON 9522. 100% original, including the armrest mute system. The flange is pulled up, as usual, and was probably replated some time back, but it is very solid. The tension hoop has been crudely repaired near the tailpiece. This will make a wonderful conversion with the addition of a new 5-string neck! Pics

2006 Gibson Flint Hill Special.
Maple wood. Gold plated and engraved metal parts, with Keith "D" tuners. Hearts & Flowers inlay. The peghead is bound in abalone. Serial number 06-001. This 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 nicer one exists. Autographed by Earl on the head and also on a second label on the rim. 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. 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


1970s Gibson RB-250. Decent overall condition with practically no fret wear. There is some green vertigris on the metal parts which could be cleaned. The tube has a break, which is harmless because it is stable as is. If you are looking for an RB-250 at a great price, look no further. No case. Pics

1929 Gibson TB-2. One piece flange. Very nice condition and 100% original. The flange is solid and not badly warped. It is pictured as a tenor, and it is available this way or 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 wall lugs is missing. Original Presto tailpiece and new Gotoh tuners. A good banjo at a good price! Pics

1926 Gibson TB-3 banjo 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

1928 Gibson TB-3 with a no-hole archtop tone ring. The banjo is as clean an example as you'll ever see; the pics don't do it justice. Richie Dotson just completed a new 5-string neck with Hearts and Flowers inlay. Pics 

1932 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

1925 Gibson TB-4. Ball bearing tone ring. Nice 5-string neck by Robin Smith, with Flying Eagle inlay and rosewood fingerboard. New Presto tailpiece. The resonator has the expected scratches, etc. The banjo still has the original skin head, and it has a really great tone. 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. I've never owned one of these with nicer gold plating. The new 5-string neck was made by Richie Dotson. Pics

1930s Gibson TB-11. 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

Mullins Bluegrass Special with tunnelled 5th string.
Built by Clancy Mullins in 2016,  it has a prewar Gibson hoop type tone ring (as used on TB-1, etc.) maple neck and resonator, Pass-Schaeffer old wood rim, Waverly tuners, and Price tailpiece. Great condition. Pics

Ome North Star Custom. Mahogany with tung oil finish and a beautiful rosewood fingerboard. Amber tuner buttons and antique brass metal parts. Renaissance head. This was custom made with a radiused fingerboard and Ome's HG-50 tone ring. It is in virtually unplayed condition, with no marks, scratches, etc., and only a bare hint of fret wear on the first couple of frets. The banjo is a real cannon! 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      

1996 Stelling engraved Masterflower. We sold this banjo new, and the purchaser has taken good care of it. There is only a little fret wear, and the wood is nice. There are numerous marks on the resonator (belt buckle) but they are only seen when it is tilted at an angle; nothing is through the finish. Beautiful claro walnut wood, and all the metal parts on the pot are engraved; even the tone ring. No truss rod cover; the owner kept it because it has his name engraved. This is one nice 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. Maple neck and resonator. One piece flange, and a Tony Pass Thin Skirt rim and wooden tone ring. It also has a bound peghead and a radiused fingerboard. We sold this new and the buyer decided he wanted an openback banjo instead. Although technically used, it is virtually unplayed and in absolutely like new condition. Pics



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 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 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

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

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Four String Banjos
(Tenor unless otherwise specified)


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

1916 Vega Tubaphone. This early Tubaphone has the 10 3/4" pot, which many players prefer to the later 10 15/16" pot. It has a 17-fret neck. The banjo is in nice condition, and still has the original skin head. There is a little rust/darkening on some of the brackets, as usual. Pics

1920s Vega Vegaphone with Tubaphone tone ring; serial number 89120. This Tubaphone has the 10 15/16" pot and a 19-fret neck. The brackets have been replaced with later ones. Original (and rare) Grover tuners and engraved Presto tailpiece. Pics


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