Second Life Banjo

At Second Life banjo Every banjo is guaranteed and will be repair at no charge if defective.

 Shipping is included in the price for Canada and continental United States. The $120,00 budget for shipping will be refunded if the banjo is picked up at the shop.  Delivery time is usually 4 days after payment unless some modification are required by the buyer. 

Hard Shell case are included for most banjos. If you do not require a hard shell case the $150,00 budget for the case will also be refunded. Please read the banjo description  to make sure that the case is included.  

Railroad spikes ( fifth string capo) are installed for free. 


Every banjo is professionally set up and is ready for playing. All components have been put together with the most care and accuracy.  

I accept returns within 7 days after reception and give complete refund if the banjo is defective or does not correspond to the description . Other reasons may also be taken in consideration . ( Return and  shipping costs are not refundable )


 PLEASE TAKE NOTE:   The restored vintage banjos for sale  have small bruises or scratches. None of those will affect the banjo solidity or sound. Because some components are close to 100 years old, every part of those instruments have been carefully inspected, cleaned, polished and repaired when needed.


Arcand Old time Classic banjo.

$ 2150 USD

  • 11 inches by 1/2 inch thick black walnut 2 ply rim.
  • Hand made raw brass bracket shoes.
  • 1/4 inch raw brass round rod rolled tone ring.
  • Side grooved raw brass tension hoop.
  • Raw brass shoe bracket bolts, nuts,and hooks. 
  • One piece hand made black walnut neck with ebony fingerboard and headstock veneer. Adjustable truss rod.
  • Raw brass Rubner tuning machine with ebony buttons. ( the smootest tuner I ever seen)
  • Jamaican goatskin from Jeff Menzies.
  • Hand made Arcand brass tailpiece.
  • Arcand walnut / wenge bridge.

Plated Second Life banjo / Carl Arcand no 1277-4. All new banjo ready for a lifetime of music. 

Shipped with a hardshell case, a key wrench and a spare set of string.

S.S.Stewart special banjo.

$ 1350 USD

S.S.Stewart special banjo. Original pot, fingerboard and headstock veneer. All the original inlays are in very good condition, Original frets. The calfskin head is not new but recent.

New hand made cherry neck with adjustable truss rod, Gotoh tuners,25 5/8 inches scale. 1 1/4 inch at the nut and 1 7/8 inch at the heel. Medium gauge steel strings action is 1/8 of an inch between the strings and the last fret. The action can be raised or lowered using the neck adjuster. New wire armrest, new tailpiece. 5/8 inch bridge, Can be strung with nylgut at no charge. Serial number 17944

Shipping and TKL hardshell case included.



Plated Second Life banjo no 1270-4 and ready for another century of music.

Old Time banjo No.1275-4

$ 1250 USD





Nice and solid 10 5/8 inches x 1/2 inch thick maple/ brass spunover rim from a John Grey early 1900's banjo. The rim has been refinished, New raw brass shoe brackets, hooks,nuts and Armrest. 

Natural goatskin mounted on a brass flesh hoop.

New black walnut neck.25 1/2 inches scale, scooped fingerboard, 17 frets, Ebony fingerboard and headstock veneer and heel cap. Adjustable 2 way truss rod ( neck heel access) 1 3/8 inch at the nut and 2 inches at the heel, Mother of pearl inlay and dots. Gotoh tuners. Bone nuts.

Nice low action for comfortable playing with a 5/8 bridge. medium gauge steel strings. Sweet old time sound.

Ready for another century of music. Plated Second Life banjo/ Carl Arcand no.1275-4


History of John Grey & sons Ltd. :


Vega Little Wonder large pot with a new neck

$ 1850 USD

Vega Little Wonder 11 13/16 inches pot assembly from 1924 serial number 63192 in excelent condition. All original hardware. Original dowel stick and the U-clamp.

New 2 pieces hard maple neck with Ebony fingerboard, head stock veneer , back plate and heel cap. 26 3/16 inches scale, 1 3/8 inch at the nut and 2 inches at the heel. Mother of pearl inlays copied from a Bacon Professional model. Adjustable 2 way truss rod accessible by the back of the heel.

 Comfortable neck with a 1/8 of an inch at the last fret action setup with a 5/8 inch bridge.

  • Natural calfskin
  • Moon bridge
  • Gotoh tuners
  • No knot tailpiece
  • Medium gauge steel strings.
  • Superior hardshell case.

The banjo was sold in 2015 to a client who recently asked me to trade it for a short scale banjo because of a shoulder operation. There is no paying wear and is in the same condition as when it was build.

Deep and poweful forth string,clean and popping highs, This is one of my favorite banjo for sound and playability.

A unique instrument plated Second Life Banjo No.1230-4



A scale with Bacon tone ring

$ 1050 USD

Very nice and in like new condition 10 1/2 inches in diameter by 1/2 inch thick one ply hard maple rim with maple veneer,a one piece birdseye maple cap and  an original Bacon tone ring,

The hardware is all original and in excellent condition.


New hard maple straight grain neck with a black walnut center strip, Ebony fingerboard and  heel cap, 24 inches scale, 1 3/8 inches wide at the nut. Adjustable 2 way truss rod accessible by the back of the neck.

Calfskin head mounted on a brass flesh hoop. 

Gotoh tuners.

No Knot tailpiece and wire armrest both nickel plated brass.  

Can be tuned up to A scale without the use of a capo. Deep and clean voice in G or double C tuning, Punchy with bells in the highs and still has a deep forth when tune in A scale. Low action and very easy to play.

I  reduced the price from $1150,00 to $1050,00 including shipping due to a splinter made while carving the neck. It has been repaired during the finishing process and will never affect the banjo playing or sound. There is also a small knot that was hiding in the wood and appeared during the carving. I would say they are birthmark!

Ready for another century of music.Second life banjo No. 1274-4

1893 Fairbanks Electric serial No.14620

$ 1450 USD

Fairbanks Electric banjo from 122 years ago.

The original tuning pegs were replaced a while ago by Grover Champion tuners that still do the job perfectly. 

All the hooks, nuts, bolts, bracket shoes and the tension hoop are original and in very good condition. The 10 5/8 inches in diameter rim is also in very good condition. The brass '' Electric'' tone ring is stamped Pat.Dec. 30 1890. The goatskin is recent. 

The frets, the inlays and the fingerboard are also original but the ebony fingerboard needed to be re glued.  I also installed a truss rod to correct the neck bow. I re laminated one layer of pearwood that was falling apart and re glued the fingerboard that still had the maple and redwood laminations on. The neck is now straight with the correct relief and is strung with steel strings. The headstock veneer needed to be replaced. The cherry neck has been partly refinished.

The action is  1/8 of an inch at the last fret with a 1/2 inch Moon bridge.The scale is 25 inches. Fingerboard is 1 1/4 inch at the nut and 1 7/8 inch at the heel.

The No knot tailpiece and the Vega wire armrest replica are also new. 

This is not a collector's grade banjo because of the added parts but it's a great sounding and easy to play old time banjo with a history and a memory.

Plated Second Life banjo No 1273-4 and ready for another century of music. 

( The price is actually $1180,00  if the banjo is picked up at the shop and without a the TKL hardshell case. )

Arcand Hearts and flowers No 1271-4

$ 2640 USD

This new banjo was build to deliver the warm mahogany tone combine with the cast bronze tone ring sound.


The hard maple rim was turned to fit a rare cast nickel plated bronze one piece flange and a Rick Kulesh prototype 20 hole tone ring.

Mahogany resonator blank made by Jimmy Cox.

Hand made mahogany one piece neck, Double action truss rod. 1 1/4 inch at the nut and 1 7/8 inche at the heel . The neck is very comfortable. 

Ebony fingerboard and head stock veneer.

Mother of pearl inlays.

Gotoh tuners.

Kershner tailpiece.

Nickel plated brass hardware.

Ivoroid bindings and maple headstock binding contour.

Deep and powerful this unique bluegrass banjo will not let you down. 

TKL hard shell case included.

Build to last by Carl Arcand in June 2017 with top quality parts and a lot of love in my work. Plated Second Life banjo  No. 1271-4 

Arcand Dobson banjo 1269-9

$ 1750.00 USD

This Dobson style banjo was build with the best parts on the market. Shipping and TKL hardshell case are included in the price. 

  • One piece neck made of North American black cherry wood aged on my shop for 4 years.
  • Adjustable truss rod, Ebony Fingerboard and headstock veneer.
  • Gotoh tuners.
  • Unbleached bone nut.
  • Mother of pearl inlays.
  • Jeff Menzies's  Jamaican goatskin head.
  • Bill Rickard's Dobson tone ring and hardware.
  • Hand made neck angle adjuster made by me.
  • 11/16 inch Ebony/maple bridge.
  • Medium gauge steel strings.
  • Wenge rim cap with marquetry binding.
  • 11 inches diameter hard maple 3/8 inch 2 ply rim.
  • 25 1/2 inches scale.

Hand made in Ulverton, Quebec, Canada.  

George P. Matthew fretless banjo

$ 875 USD



Circa 1890  George P. Matthew Fretless banjo with all the original hardware parts and original neck. 

The neck and the inside of the rim has been re finished, new goatskin head, new ebony pegs, Every piece of hardware has been cleaned and polished.  The nickel plating has a lot of wear and the brass is showing. 

The neck / dowel stick have been reset for an easy to play action. New bridge, nylon strings and original bone nut.

Very good sounding banjo ready for another century of playing. 


Born in St Pancras London in 1858, he was the youngest with three elder sisters and it appears he never knew his father. At aged 13 he was living at 121 Gt College Street with his mother Helen (b 1827) who was a Pianoforte seller.

He moved to Birmingham where at aged 22 he was working as a "music seller" and “living in” as a servant to a Mr E A Barton. In 1885 his son was born but his wife soon died and by 1891 he was living with his 5 year old son George Philip and mother-in-law in Birmingham where he established a factory firstly in Hockley Street and then at Soho Hill Works, and was listed as an instrument maker and employer.

He married his 2nd wife Sara Sparrow in 1899 and by 1911 had retired from the business and moved to Strathmore, Southbourne Grove, Prittlewell in Essex with three daughters aged 7, 5 and 3. He died there on the 26th February 1929 leaving his estate of £5091 to his widow Sara.

Not only did he sell a wide range of instruments bearing his own name but he made banjos and zither-banjos for other wholesale and retail firms (such as Ball BeavonRose Brothers, J. Thibouville, Lamy & Co., Rose Morris & Co.) to brand as their own. "Down South" was a brand of JTL made by Matthew.


1921 Orpheum No.2 serial No.14151 short scale 5 strings banjo.

$ 2950 USD

1921 Orpheum No.2 Ruttberg and Lange banjo.Serial number 14151.  


Beautiful 12 1/4 inches in diameter hard maple 5/8 of an inch thick rim with a one piece maple cap and a very nice cap binding. The pot assembly is all original with large close end ball hook nuts. The bracket shoes and bolts, the tension hoop and the tone ring still have the original plating is very good condition. The nickel plated hooks are new.  The wood rim has been cleaned and lightly refinished with tru-oil. 

The 24 5/8 inches scale ebony fingerboard and headstock veneer are mounted on a hard rock north America sugar maplewood neck  laminated with ebony, maple and bloodwood.

A double action truss rod is installed in the neck to prevent neck bow or twist. The hand cut MOP inlays have the same patterns as the original tenor neck.

The set up includes a calfskin, a 5/8 moon bridge, a Presto or Kerschner tailpiece (at your choice), Gotoh tuners, medium gauge strings, bone nut,nickel / silver frets.

Neck dimensions are 1 5/16 inch width at the nut and 1 15/16 inch at the last fret. the thickness of the total neck is 7/8 inch from first to sixteen fret. Strings action is set at 2,2 mm at the last fret.

The banjo can be tunes in open G and in the key of A without capoing the neck. The sound is rich and deep in open G tuning, clean with a lot of voice when tuned in the key of A.  

The original untouched tenor neck is included. It's complete with all the inlays. Would benefit a frets job and the repair of small chip of ebony on the headstock veneer. 

A Superior hard shell bump case is included.

5 days shipping with Canada Post and USPS is included for United states of America and Canada. 

Plated Second Life Banjo No. 1252-4 and ready for another century of music.


Ruttberg & Lange Orpheum No.2

$ 2650 USD

Ruttberg & Lange Circa 1918 Orpheum No.2 restored pot assembly. 11 1/8 inches head, new brass 5/16 inch round rod tone ring, Original hardware, new rim cap with herringbone insert. 

New hand made hard maple neck with African ebony fingerboard and head stock veneer. Mother of pearl hand cut inlays, silver/nickel frets, 26 3/16 inches scale, 1 5/16 inch width at the nut and 1 15/16 inch at the heel. The ebony head stock is framed with birds eye maple like the No.2 special model. The heel carving is a replica of the original's tenor neck lightly enlarged to fit a 5 strings size neck.

New calfskin head. 

Waverly 4/1 ratio 2 band tuners and a Gotoh fifth string tuner.

Moon bridge. 

Unbleached bone nuts. 

New nickel plated brass wire armrest.

New tailpiece by Greg Galbreath.

Superior hard shell case included. 

A restored banjo with a fantastic sound. Loud, punchy with a great voice . Set up with a 5/8 bridge. Easy to play with a low action on the strings. Plated Second Life Banjo No 1251-4 and ready for another century of music. 



J.B. Schall 11 13/16 inches rim with a cherry neck No.1247-4

$ 1640.00 USD

J.B. Schall large rim with a new hand made neck.

  • The 11 13/16 inches diameter pot is in excellent shape with no structural issue . All the hardware is original with the exception of one hook nut and the new nickel plated brass armrest and no knot tailpiece.
  • The cherry double spunover pot is 2  1/8 inches deep by 3/8 inch thick the cladding is nickel/ silver. 
  • New calfskin mounted on a 1/8 inch brass hoop.
  • The new hand made neck is made of a one piece hard and heavy black cherry wood Laminated on both sided of the headstock with ebony, this s a very comfortable and solid neck. Scale is 26 1/4 inch, width of the fingerboard at the nut is 1 3/8 inch and 2 inches at the heel. Double action truss rod accessible by the neck heel.
  • GotoMh tuners.
  • oon bridge.
  • Nickel / silver frets
  • Bone nuts
  • Medium steel strings.
  • Hand cut M.O.P. inlays.

This is a one of a kind sweet old time sounding banjo. Comfortable and easy to play with the low action and a well balanced neck.
Ready for another century of music, Plated Second Life Banjo / Carl Arcand No. 1247-4


Old Time 1243-4.. Cole banjo reproduction.

$ 2250 USD

 Unmarked late 1800 or early 1900 very solid 5/16 inch thick hard maple with a Nickel Silver double spunover large 12 1/4 inches in diameter rim. It's the first one I see like this: The top of the rim is flat with the nickel cladding flat on top if it. Then there is a 5/16 inch diameter steel tone ring that holds in place with 2 steel pins. At first I taught of changing that steel tone ring for a brass one of the same dimension but waited to see how it sounds first. Well it's just great the way it is now. It reminds me of the Fairbanks and Vega banjos that also had a steel tone rings back in the same time period. 

Hand made black walnut one piece neck with ebony back plate and peg head veneer. Hand cut and engraved mother of pearl inlays,

  • 26 3/16 inches scale fingerboard with nickel silver frets and scoop platform at the 17th fret. Width at the nut is 1 3/8 inches and 2 inches at the heel.
  • Gotoh tuning machine
  • The bracket shoes and the tension hoop are also original to the pot. I had to groove the tension hoop where the fingerboard in joining the rim. it was un notched probably because the original neck had an extended fingerboard.
  • New calfskin head with solar system planets and their most important moons names. 
  • Aged Raw brass hand made neck angle adjuster. I made it very similar to the ones on the Cole banjos. The strings action is actually set at a shy 1/8 inch at the last fret but can be raised by simply using this adjustment system. Depending if you are a hard player or not.
  • The dowel stick brace that tightens the neck to the rim is quite unusual. it has top and sides adjustments screws. 
  • 5/8 heavy gauge moon bridge,
  • Original Fairbanks/Vega wire armrest. 
  • New nickel plated brass No Knot tailpiece. 
  • D'addario special custom 11-22 steel strings.
  • Superior hard shell case.

This is a one of a kind great sounding banjo. Loud and clear with bells singing with the highs and deep plunkys on the low notes. A real pleasure to hear and to play.  

Plated Second life banjo / Carl Arcand No 1243-4







Old time No. 1238-4 Nickel / silver spunover rim with a new fretless neck

$ 2475 USD

Beautiful 1/4 inch thick hard maple rim covered with a nickel silver double spunover skirt. it is in excellent shape with no cracks and close to perfectly round.

 A few small bruises are souvenirs from over a century of playing.

New black walnut one piece neck with a 14 inches radius wenge fingerboard. . 26 3/16 inches scale. neck width at the nut is 1 3/8 inch and 2 inches at the heel. Bone nuts, nylgut classic banjo strings. Abalone fleur de lis inlay and dots to every note position. 

Natural calfskin mounted on a square brass hoop. 

The original tension hoop has been modified to accept round hooks. 

New raw brass tension shoes, and hooks. 

Original hook nuts.

Gotoh raw brass tuning machine with amber buttons.

Hand made Ebony tailpiece with a abalone star. 

9/16 inch cherry/ maple bridge. 

Plated Second Life Banjo no. 1238-4 and ready for another century of playing. 

Superior hard shell case included.

Insured 4 days shipping included.





Whyte Laydie No.1219-4

$ 1950 USD





Hard rock north America maple banjo with a whyte Laydie tone ring.

  • 11 inches hard maple x 2 ply rim with a 1/4 inch thick ebony cap and a Whyte Laydie nickel plated brass tone ring. 
  • Tension hoop, bracket shoes, hook nuts are nickel plated brass, shoes bolts and hooks are nickel plated steel. 
  • Presto nickel plated brass tailpiece and N.P.B. armrest. 
  • Thick natural white calfskin mounted on a square brass flesh hoop. 
  • North America hard curly maple one piece neck with Ebony fingerboard, head plate, heel cap and back plate. Mother of pearl star, dots and side dots. Adjustable 2 way truss rod. Bone nuts. Nickel / silver frets.  
  • five star tuners with real ebony knobs and Waverly straight post fifth string tuner.
  • Neck dimensions are 1 1/4 inch at the nut, 1 7/8 inch at the heel, 26 3/16 inches scale with 22 frets. action is 1/8 of an inch at the last fret.
  • The banjo is strung with medium gauge strings.

This one of a kind banjo was build with top quality parts. Easy to play with and with a great old time sound, a lot of volume and good sustain. The Whyte Laydie tone ring is well known to be one the best for open back banjos.  Build in February 2015 and plated ''Second Life Banjo / Carl Arcand No:1219-4   




W.H. Plumbridge early 1900 classic 5 strings banjo

$ 1250.00 USD


Born in 1856 John E. Dallas started to make banjos with J E. Brewster in a small workshop in London's Oxford Street in 1873. At the height of the banjo boom he was making banjos and zither-banjos for other firms and teachers and some of the latter whose "branded" instruments were made for them by Dallas included W.H Plumbridge (Brighton)

This is a very high quality and in very good condition classic banjo from early 1900. 

The 11 inches diameter heavy rim is made of 1/2 inch thick walnut with a nice profile and a heavy gauge nickel plated brass spunover. The large bracket shoes are nickel plated with some plating wear so the raw brass is showing on some of them.

The hoop and the tension nuts, bolts, brass hooks and hook nuts are all original and plated brass with some wear so you can see the brass underneath in some areas. One shoe bolt is a replacement. 

The original brass tension hoop and  tailpiece have been recently re plated with nickel.

The one piece walnut neck with maple lamination is perfectly straight. The Ebony fingerboard with the nice mother of pearl stars and dots look like it was never played. The action is  easy with a 5/8 inch moon bridge. 

 I am not certain if the calfskin is the original or a replacement from long time ago.

The original nickel plated brass tuners with pot metal buttons are in excellent condition and hold the tension correctly.

 The banjo is strung with Nylgut strings but I can change them at no charge for ultra light steel strings if you prefer the steel strings sound. 

 This very rare and beautiful banjo delivers a deep forth string and a great old time sound. Despite a few bruises and small scratches the banjo show no playing wear. 

 Neck dimensions are 1 3/8 inch at the nut and 2 inches at the heel. Scale is 27 inches.  Weight is 6,5 pounds.

Plated Second Life Banjo No. 1201-4 restored by Carl Arcand in January 2014.