John Alvey Turner
Home. History. Inventory. Accessories. Strings. Banjo Parts. Contact Us. 5-String Banjos

All banjos sold as shown with calf vellum or plastic head fitted, except as detailed in description - please check if unsure. We are happy to change as required but will charge accordingly - please let us know prior to purchase


c.1930s, sunburst maple neck, mahogany resonator, spunover rim, nickel plated parts, ebony fbd/phd  with fancy pearl inlay, crown cutout flange (as per banjoleles),  Grover geared tuners, almost unplayed original condition, bright tone ideal for folk or string band stylings, EC, OHC



Clifford Essex

“Concert Grand”

c.late 1930s, natural maple, ebony fbd with pearl block inlays, ebony phd overlay with floral inlays, nickel plated hardware, ‘Whyte Laydie’ style tonering, replaced tuners, neck reset for 5/8” bridge, no cracks/repairs, original bill of sale c.1940 from CE included, rare late model with full resonator/flange, great player for string band/folk stylings, EC, OHC



Clifford Essex

“The Paragon”

c.1932/3, Brazilian rosewood, ebony fbd & phd overlay with fancy engraved pearl inlays, nickel plated hardware, patent archtop tonering, replaced tuners, repaired seam separations in resonator, from last batch of standard Paragons (top tension model introduced c.1933), extremely rare Brazilian rosewood construction (less than 10 known) and great player for string band/folk stylings, EC, OHC



Gibson “Granada” Special

c.1990, presentation model to Curtis McPeake in Nashville (letter of provenance from Curtis included), shaded amber stain, fabulous flamed maple neck & resonator, gold plated hardware, profusely engraved tension hoop/tonering/flange/armrest/tpce cover, rosewood fbd with ‘30s prototype ‘flying eagle’ inlays (not used on production instruments), Keith tuners, 1 pce flange, flathead tonering, unique and spectacular custom instrument from Greg Rich era, some wear to gold plating but otherwise no repairs/refin etc, monster sound, orig.Gibson hard case, EC



Gibson RB-250


c.1964, nat.mahogany, ebony fbd with fancy inlays, ‘fiddle’ phd with Kluson ‘stairstep’ tuners, nickel pltd hardware, flathead tonering, 2 pce flange, all original and no repairs or damage, bluegrassers default setting for that classic tone and playability, EC, OHC



Ozark DeLuxe

PacRim,  c.2000s, sunburst, flamed maple, gold pltd fittings, ebony fbd, profuse abalone inlays & borders, inlaid eagle's head on resonator, Gibson style flathead tonering & 2 pce flange,  ('Keith' tuners shown are not included), a few chips & nicks but otherwise minor playwear, discontinued model with great tonal projection and a decorative delight, VGC, OHC



Recording King RK-80

China c.2000s, natural finish mahogany neck & resonator, gold plated hardware, ebony fbd with ‘hearts & flowers’ mop inlays and thick white binding, 1 pce flange, flathead tonering, Greg Rich designed recreation of ‘30s Gibson off-brand, some wear to gold plating but otherwise no repairs/refin etc, this model now discontinued, easy player with vintage vibe and big sound, HC, EC



Warwick Grover (Coventry)

c.1980s, golden brown stained flamed maple, nat.maple binding, ebony fbd with fancy pearl inlays, cast bronze flathead tonering, 1 pce flange, nickel plated, high quality Mastertone style bluegrass banjo from esteemed maker (now in New Zealand), EC, HC



5-string Banjos - Resonator

WE BUY, SELL AND EXCHANGE all fretted instruments - guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, Hawaiians, resophonics - in fact, anything cool, interesting or unusual!

Worldwide courier delivery can be arranged at cost.



b/s = back and sides : btn = button : inl = inlaid

fbd = fingerboard : pgd = pickguard : phd = peghead : pce = piece

tpce = tailpiece : t’shell = tortoiseshell

mop = mother of pearl : aba = abalone : adj = adjustable

HC = newer hard case : OHC = original hard case

OSC = original soft or semi-hard case : GB = gig bag


Mint/as new = all original unplayed condition

EC (Excellent Condition) = all original, no repairs/refinish unless noted, some playwear

VGC  (Very Good Condition) = basically all original, may have minor repairs/refinish but no other issues unless noted, moderate playwear

GC (Good Condition) = generally sound, possibly some repairs/refinish, may need work as noted, moderate to heavy playwear

PC (Poor Condition) =  Issues and work required as noted

5-string Banjos - Open Back & Zither


Zither Banjo

c.1920s, all beautifully figured Brazilian rosewood construction, ebony fbd with ornate engraved pearl inlays, exceptional original condition with no damage or repairs, good player, EC, GB



Eastman EBJ-WL

NEW, recreation of 1903 A C Fairbanks “Whyte Laydie #2”, natural maple, 10¾” rim, 26” scale, ebony fbd with engraved inlays and “gryphon” in phd, updated with geared tuners and carbon fibre rod in neck, outstanding value for a high quality instrument OHC



J.E. Dallas

c.1910, 10 ½” spunover rim, 27” scale length, mahogany neck with beautiful floral heel carving, ebony fbd/phd with fancy pearl inlays, new geared tuners, set up with new calfskin head and nylon strings, sweet player with rich & full tone, GB, EC




“Oriental deLuxe”

recent, nat.maple, 11” rim with 'no hole' flathead tonering, rosewood fbd & phd overlay with fabulous 'tree of life' abalone inlay, carved heel, geared tuners, nickel plated parts, fancy Far East confection that plays easy and has plenty of power and projection, EC, HC.



Vega “Little Wonder” Conversion

original c.1920s Vega 10 15/16” rim with spunover tonering, 26” scale, nickel pltd hardware,  new neck in the style of a Vega ‘Whyte Laydie’ no.2, nat.maple, ebony fbd with fancy engraved inlays and ‘Gryphon’ phd, original calfskin head, new geared tuners & ‘no knot’ tpce,  easy playing frailer with a vintage vibe, HC, EC (Optional period resonator available as shown in pics +£60)



All these instruments are set up with steel strings unless otherwise noted. Originally, however, these banjos were usually strung with gut and we are happy to set up the instrument of your choice in the 'classical' style with the modern nylon string equivalent and a slightly higher action to suit.

Please let us know your requirements.

To view photos: