Skip Navigation Website Accessibility



Bacon A-Scale Five-String Conversion (c. 1921)


Add to Cart


Scale Length: 19"
Nut Width: 1.19"
Neck Wood: Maple
Fretboard Wood: Ebony
Peghead Overlay: Ebony
Peghead Inlay: Bacon-style torch inlay in abalone
Fret Markers: None
Nut Material: Bone
Spikes: None
Tuners: Non-original 5-Star planetary tuners with tan buttons
Rim Size: 10.5"
Rim Wood: Maple
Tonering: Cast Bacon tonering
Brackets: 20
Tailpiece: Nickel-plated no-knot
Head: Skin
Armrest: None
Case: Period-appropriate hard-shell case
Need More Specs? Contact Us!


You'd be hard-pressed to find a banjo more unique than this little Bacon A-scale from around 1921, which stands apart from the pack as one of the most unusual instruments in our shop right now. Originally built by famed banjo luthier Frederick Bacon around a hundred years ago, this diminutive-but-powerful open-back probably started its life as a banjolin, before being converted to an A-scale five-string by noted builder Wyatt Fawley sometime within the last twenty years. Mr. Fawley's neck is very playable and has an authentic sound and feel that suit it very well to Bacon's pot, and the grain and finish of the maple matches the original almost perfectly. Sonically, the banjo has a robust sound thanks to its highly unique internal resonator, one of the calling cards of Mr. Bacon's work, and beneath the resonator, a large cast tone-ring helps this little instrument punch well above its weight class.

Keeping in mind the alterations made to the banjo, we consider it to be in very good condition, especially considering its age. The tailpiece is non-original, and the fretboard inlays are excellent modern reproductions of the inlays that probably would've been on the instrument at the time of its initial construction. The neck is almost totally devoid of scuffs and scratches, and the pot is in impressive condition with a below-average amount of finish checking. It's currently set up for nylon strings and plays very well in all positions. Included in the price is a period-correct hard-shell case.

*Photos from our inventory, actual grain patterns may vary Slightly. Contact us for details.