The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59934   Message #958056
Posted By: BlueSage
23-May-03 - 02:44 AM
Thread Name: Banjo Talk - Long Neck and Head Tension
Subject: RE: Banjo Talk - Long Neck and Head Tension

Don't give up on your long neck yet. Keep experimenting with the head tension, string gauges, head type, ect., until you find the sound you are looking for. The banjo is the "hot rod" of the acoustic world; there are many variables you can tinker with to change it's sound.

As far as the lower tones are concerned, they are the only reason for owning a long neck. If you aren't getting a tone you like when playing open or capoed on the first fret, try hiring an experienced banjo luthier/repair person to help you "set it up".

I, too, own a Vega/Deering long neck and I love the sound in E and F. I set my instrument up with a fiber skin head and cranked it up pretty tight. I also experimented with different string gauges until I found the combination that worked best with the longer scale length.

I don't believe the instrument is "limited" below the 3rd fret. Just listen to the recordings of John Hartford to hear how effective a low tuned banjo can sound. Or, if you'd like, I could "home" record a few tunes on my long neck and send you a copy on CD. It would give you an idea of the sound I was striving for when I set up my own banjo.

Send me a personal message if you are interested... Mike