1973 Vega by Martin Folk Wonder 5-String Banjo Used
This Vega Folk Wonder banjo was made by C. F. Martin shortly after Martin acquired the Vega company. It's very much like the Boston-made Vega models from the 1960s, but with a nicer finish, more interesting neck inlays, and a real rosewood head plate on the neck instead of the black paint Vega had relied upon. Martin's iconic script logo appears on the back of headstock and also on the interior wall of the wood shell. It appears pretty much as it did when new, but a Shubb sliding 5th string capo was added and it now has a Waverly Fiberskyn 2 head. This banjo is fitted with a lightweight Little Wonder tone ring, a style that dates back to the early 1920s.
Martin's purchase of Vega was well-intended but ill-timed, as the banjo was declining in popularity as the folk music boom of the '60s faded (folk rock had little use for banjos). Vega banjo production ended in 1979 and Martin sold the Vega trademark. Only 124 Folk Wonder models like this one were made. Everyone agrees that Martin greatly improved the overall quality of the Vega models they produced, and this is an excellent example of a mid-century American open back banjo.