Did a little research on Google and found an old picture of Pete playing a Vega long neck with a star on the fretboard at the 8th fret (the one next to the 5th string tuning peg). Here's the site I found the picture on...I think you have to scroll down the article a bit to get the picture: http://youtubemusicsucks.com/pete-seeger-famous-banjo-players/
I'd never notice the star until you mentioned it, so, from your description of what you've written, it sounds as though you've probably got the Real McCoy.
Unfortunately, the photo is too small and not oriented in the correct direction to be able to accurately determine the number of brackets (hooks), although from what I could interpret, it appears that there are 28.
I'm not sure at all about this (but, I am certain that there are MANY others on this site who have FAR more knowledge than me about this), but I've got a hunch Vega may have been experimenting with different configurations of the PS model back in the early days, and in doing so, may very well have made some of the "star" models with 24 brackets and other with 28. Hope someone like Mac Carter can chime in here and verify/correct this theory.
Don't know they can do this, but you might try contacting Deering and see if they can shed any light on the one you're looking at. I wonder if they couldn't look back in old records and determine exactly what model/configuration the instrument was from the serial number. Just a guess. Anyone know about this?
Happy New Year and good luck!
: Found a 1961 PS Long Neck Banjo, and from the previous thread on this subject, the
: very early models, pre-1962, are the banjos of choice. Is that correct? Preferably
: with the dowel stick, 3-piece neck, 28 hook/nut tension hoop, etc.
: This particular model is a 1961 PS, with dowel stick and 3-piece neck. But if I
: counted correctly, has only a 24 hook/nut setup. And it has a large star on the fre
: tboard at the 7th fret, whick I thought was odd.
: So, is this a keeper or not?
: Appreciate anyone's input.