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For Sale: John Monteleone Top Tension banjo
I have a very rare banjo for sale here from my late friend Mike Kroppís estate. This banjo is a one of a kind John Monteleone top tension banjo that John built for Mike in 1976. The banjo is, according to Mike, the only banjo where John wrote in a serial number. (He made it number 500 as a joke.) John Monteleone is one of the most famous luthiers who has ever lived and did not built many banjos. In the banjo world he is known for making the neck on Bela Fleckís style -75. He also made a neck and resonator for the great Eric Weissbergís old style -3 conversion (the banjo that he used to record Dueling Banjos.) John Monteleone is legendary for his archtop guitars and mandolins. Iíve been playing banjo for fifteen years and have only seen one other Monteleone banjo for sale.
This banjo is beautiful curly maple. The neck has bella voce style inlays in an ebony fingerboard (Mike wanted something similar to Bill Keithís banjo.) The resonator is a solid maple top tension style resonator that John built for the banjo. Recently the banjo was sent to Robin Smith for a new rim and complete set up. Before he passed away Mike had sent the rim to someone to fit a new ring and it is, unfortunately, lost. That being said, the most important parts are still there. I believe the top tension parts to be Liberty parts but only John would know for sure. The heel of the neck needed a slight refit but Robin took pictures of Johnís signature before he put it back onto the banjo.
The tuning pegs are newer waverly tuners and the tailpiece is a newer prucha four hump clamshell. Mike had the original tailpiece from his favorite old style -3 on it. But since thatís my banjo now I decided to hold onto that tailpiece.
This is one or the most beautifully crafted banjos Iíve ever seen and if I could buy it myself I would in a heartbeat!
Feel free to email me with any questions!
$4250 obo with Hardshell case.