Deering introduces Vega Vintage Star banjo

Deering Banjos has introduced a new model under the Vega name, a professional grade open back banjo called the Vintage Star.

Vega once made some of the most highly desirable banjos in the world, five string, plectrum, and tenor models, first under the Fairbanks name, eventually switching to Vega. The company’s fortunes shifted in the 1940s, but saw some resurgence in the ’50s with the Pete Seeger longneck model. Vega was purchased by C.F. Martin in the 1970s but they didn’t do much with the name, other than a Sonny Osborne model that generated some attention. Deering bought the name in 1989 and has continued to build banjos based on the Vega designs.

The goal with the Vintage Star, according to Deering, was to present an old time banjo with the look and feel of the vintage instruments made by Vega during their hey day from the turn of the 20th century into the 1930s, but built using construction techniques of the modern day meant to take the rigors of touring.

The pot consists of a 12” maple thin rim, with a Dobson tone ring, held together with shoe and screw bracket assembly. It is attached to the neck using a dual coordinator rod system for ease of adjustments, and comes with a 12” Fiberskyn head installed.

The walnut neck has a striking fingerboard of streaked ebony with dot inlays and an adjustable truss rod. It is made to the same slender shape as the classic Vegas, with the fingerboard scooped past the 17th fret.

Deering produced this video to introduce the Vintage Star, featuring Clinton Davis taking the banjo through its paces.

The Vega Vintage Star comes with a hard shell case, and is offered for sale from Deering and their worldwide network of dealers for $2299. Further details can be found online.

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John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.