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Thread: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

  1. #1

    Default Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    It depends on who you use for comparison. One of my friends recently bought quite a few Victorian guitar tuning machines from someone who had acquired them gratis as part of a bulk purchase from Reuben Reubens. Reuben who died last year may have owned the biggest personal banjo collection in the world. This little film from 1979 was made when he was ready to break the 600 barrier. I think he got up to about 900 when he sold them all to a Japanese institution or collector. His wife appears pretty relaxed about the collection, well she was at that point! Anyway, it is good to see somebody that makes one feel a bit of a non-starter, and it is always great to see a really eccentric character.

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=197619307277774

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Looks like many a mandolinist's vision of hell!

    That said, quite a charming piece. And yes, a true eccentric.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    He says you "have to spend two hours in the evening and practice." He's right about that - it took me roughly two hours to learn to play the banjo (get fluent with the bum-ditty). Maybe he hates banjo music?

    Very Oniony/Python-esque

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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Thanks for posting this. I always love to read about people who make me look so moderate in this area.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Looks like John Bernunzio got at least 100 of them...

    https://bernunzio.com/johns-corner-a...s%20in%20Japan.

    The rest going to a Japanese collector.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  7. #6

    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    That was an interesting article by John Bernunzio. I read somewhere that Reuben began collecting electric motors- I think his father was an electrical engineer- before he became a pirate! Interesting, that he went on to kitchen appliances from banjos!

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    If I may address the question as posed in the title, apart from its fine attention-getting service - no. I suppose I could get rid of the two MandoBirds, as the Ryder has rendered them completely useless. I doubt they'd fetch enough to make the effort of selling worthwhile, so I have spares. And even though I have all the mandolins I need, I still have a hankering for this or that. I think I really want just one that will do everything I want, and just haven't found it yet. So I tell myself. Regarding the type of instrument that's the main focus here ... yes. I have one mandolin-banjo that has been left in the shop for 25 years or more, and that's still too many.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    No, I'm usually short one

    But it is on order
    Last edited by Bill McCall; Feb-23-2021 at 6:18pm.
    Play it like you mean it

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    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Thank you, I feel much better now.

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Just watched the video from the OP. That's pretty weird. He had so many, yet his skill level was not great. You have to wonder about the psychology of that.

  12. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Yes. And I don't care.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    No judgement intended. Everyone's different and it's all good. It's just curious. All his walls were covered. I wonder if he had favorites, and if there were a bunch that never got played.

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    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    That video is 42 years old.
    I'd like to know what happened to that collection of dirty old banjos.

    Classic hoarder behavior BTW. That wasn't about the instruments at all.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCarJoe View Post
    That video is 42 years old.
    I'd like to know what happened to that collection of dirty old banjos.

    Classic hoarder behavior BTW. That wasn't about the instruments at all.
    Yes, this calls out loudly for a follow-up story as if by a ringing resonator banjo - or a hundred of them!

    I think this goes beyond classic hoarder behavior. It's so focused, and shows so much single-minded dedication, even devotion, to the object of the collector's affection. For sure, that's what it is, all right, just taken up a few levels.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Distressed Model John Ritchhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    He must have kept leaving his banjo in the back seat of his car.
    We few, we happy few.

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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Not yet.

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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Museum curators generally can’t paint or sculpt either. First, you start collecting all the interesting kinds of Pez dispenser, next thing you own eBay (apocryphal, but cute). I must have more than 100 cameras that will never see film. The cars are the worst, since they take up a lot of space and can’t just be left alone. This lockdown year, and buying everything online has got me going on instruments, which combine a guarantee of repair adventures with some sonic ones, little of which require my now unavailable shop, travel, other people or very hard work.
    But appliances and antique electric motors is where the big bucks are.

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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    I can think of at least 10 instruments that I would like to sell, just never seem to get around to it.
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    Registered User usqebach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Interesting article.

    I think I just may have the world's largest collection of banjo mandolins:

    I currently have 3!
    Jim Sims

    " Amateurs practice until they get it right - professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    With apologies to Steven Wright...

    I have a hobby. I have the world’s largest collection of banjo mandolins. I store them in landfills and attics all over the world. Maybe you’ve seen some of them.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  27. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Are you talking to me?

    I had felt some miniscule twinges of guilt about my accumulation/collection and then, many years ago had visited a friend in the midwest whose husband had multiple buildings to house his collection of 19th century steam engine and steam-powered vehicles. Phew!
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Right? And how many cars does Jay Leno own, for another example? Never mind Steven Wright (just this once), I think of George Carlin's bit about how people need two houses nowadays - one for themselves, and one for all their stuff.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  29. #23
    Jo Dusepo, luthier Dusepo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    No. :D
    I am a luthier specialising in historical and world stringed instruments. You can see more info at my website.

  30. #24
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    Still you keep making more!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

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  31. #25
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Have Too Many Instruments?

    I have the smaller Tsumura book and the many of the minstrel banjos pictured there IIRC came from the Reuben Reuben collection. Very interesting looking things. I am friends with a few of truly serious collectors. Unlike me, these folks have amassed quite a pile of rare and unusual instruments and many of these end up in museum collections.
    Jim

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