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Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison

catspaw49 03 Sep 00 - 09:18 PM
Bud Savoie 03 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM
Mbo 03 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM
Jon Freeman 03 Sep 00 - 09:32 PM
Banjer 03 Sep 00 - 09:39 PM
gillymor 03 Sep 00 - 09:45 PM
kendall 03 Sep 00 - 10:01 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 03 Sep 00 - 10:47 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 03 Sep 00 - 10:52 PM
Oversoul 03 Sep 00 - 10:59 PM
Les B 03 Sep 00 - 11:01 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Sep 00 - 03:03 AM
Geoff the Duck 04 Sep 00 - 08:50 AM
bigchuck 04 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Jon Freeman 04 Sep 00 - 09:11 AM
Giac 04 Sep 00 - 10:23 AM
catspaw49 04 Sep 00 - 10:48 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 04 Sep 00 - 11:26 AM
catspaw49 04 Sep 00 - 11:49 AM
Giac 04 Sep 00 - 11:52 AM
catspaw49 04 Sep 00 - 11:59 AM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Sep 00 - 01:33 PM
Geoff the Duck 06 Sep 01 - 08:40 PM
Troll 06 Sep 01 - 09:09 PM
Little Neophyte 07 Sep 01 - 02:35 AM
wysiwyg 07 Sep 01 - 02:44 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Sep 01 - 03:36 AM
mooman 07 Sep 01 - 03:51 AM
kendall 07 Sep 01 - 04:35 AM
Charley Noble 07 Sep 01 - 01:40 PM
Fortunato 07 Sep 01 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 09:18 PM

Well not really.

But on another thread, Kendall Morse asked,

Why do banjo players have to have a banjo that weighs as much as a bucket of hog livers? With today's sound systems you wouldn't think that would be necessary.

......or words to that effect. Although I have no idea what the weight of a bucket of hog livers actually is, I thought this might make an interesting banjo topic. Hopefully Kendall will come back and explain more fully.

It is true that even folkies are finding the need to amplify in many venues nowadays and that many have a preference for resonator while others prefer open back. I also have a chance to direct you all to a new LINKS section called Instrument Related. In it you will find a link to Swan Banjos which you also may wish to comment on. I've been working some on that section and I could use more input from all of you. Click LINKS at the top (not the Quick Links) and then click the scroll down for Instrument Related.

So let's have a look at Kendall's question.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM

I've never owned one of those back-busting resonator jobs. Small wonder that both Earl and Ralph have back problems. My Gibson long-necker weighs enough.

Hog livers????


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Mbo
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM

Serious discussion only, here.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 09:32 PM

Interesting quiestion spaw. I think a lot of it depends on what style of banjo you want to play. As far as I understand it, the "Bluegrass banjo" was pretty much defined by Earl Scruggs using a Gibson Mastertone and the flat head tone ring itself is a pretty heavy item on its own.

People seem to want that particualr sound accoustically and for what ever reason, it seems that no other construction gives it. To the best of my knowledgs, the likes of the Stellings, Omes and Deerings favoured by the Bluegrass players are all based on the original Gibson design which also involves a pretty thick rim. These instruments are heavy without the resonator.

The Irish style tenor playing seems to me to be a lot more open with regards tone but certainly over here, the Gibson styles are popular and thinking of the links I gave you, Sully's top instruments are based on the Mastertone designs and the Clareen is based around the Gibson arch top tone ring.

In my case, I wanted a banjo with plenty of power. I used to do a lot of playing in noisy pubs and needed something that would cut through accoustically. Mine weighs a ton but it does that job perfectly.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Banjer
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 09:39 PM

Because I own both an open back and a resonated banjo and having spent many a happy hour trying to tune them both I would assume a bucket of hog livers would be easier to tune.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: gillymor
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 09:45 PM

Probably so they'd sink a lot faster when you finally came to your senses and threw them off a bridge on a strong tide. Just kidding, I'm a recovering open back player.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: kendall
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 10:01 PM

a bucket of hog livers weighs just under a hogshead barrel. (equal to 17 and1/2 bushels.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 10:47 PM

The tone ring (drum, hoop) has to be strong. I guess now that they are selling $4000 and $5000 banjos, some smart company will come along with an ALL-MAGNESIUM banjo, like the lightweight "mag" wheels on your Corvette. Would such a critter be accepted by traditionalists??? = Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 10:52 PM

Come to think of it, they could lighten up the resonator by making it out of fiberglass, or whatever that Ovation stuff is. == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Oversoul
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 10:59 PM

I refuse to stand while playing. Who started that shit anyway? Would you read a demanding bit of literature, or eat a fine meal while standing? "Pleasures of the flesh" and "eliminating" are fine on your feet. Music is best performed while the body is relaxed, allowing total concentration on the instrument. Burn me at the stake, but can I sit down while you light the fire? Mind if I smoke?


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Les B
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 11:01 PM

Is there a connection between hog livers and pig iron, which is what my banjo seems to be built with? Whatever it is, it's heavy. I assume its the tone ring and not the resonator that makes me feel like the hunch back of Notre Dame.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 03:03 AM

Banjo Johnny, Deering use a wooden tone ring in their John Hartford model and it seems to work well. Details can be found at http://www.deeringbanjos.com/.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 08:50 AM

It is all to do with physics and the way which vibrations in a solid object are transferred to sound waves in the air. If you put a vibration into a piece of balsa wood, it is rapidly damped down and produces very little volume. A more dense wood such as maple will transmit the vibrations more efficiently - try holding a tuning fork against a maple chair and observe the result. Part of what makes a banjo sound the way it does is the type of wood it is made from, but it also affects the volume produced. The second factor is if there is a tone ring, usually made from some form of "bell metal". This is the very heavy bit of the equation - it also produces a greater transmission of sound than just a dense wood - try holding a tuning fork against a bell - remember your ear plugs if it is in a belfry. NOW hold your tuning fork against the contents of a bucket 0f hogs livers - what do you hear? Not much! I hope that this answers your question! Quack.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: bigchuck
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM

To expand on what Jon said above, Deering makes a number of banjos (non-bluegrass style)in which the top of the wooden rim is shaped to act as a tone ring. The Goodtime banjos are made this way, as is the Vega Little Wonder and evidently the John Hartford model as well. I've had a Goodtime and now have a Little Wonder, and find them to be very nice banjos (and affordable). They can also be used without making your chiropractor's next boat payment for him, as they are nice and light. IMO all the tone ring style banjoes were designed to be as loud as possible at a time when amplification equipment was either non-existent or primitive at best. This is less of a consideration these days (unless you NEED to dominate a bluegrass jam).


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: GUEST,Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 09:11 AM

Bigchuck, The John Hartford model is a little different to the other models you mentioned as it actually has a seperate tone ring which is made out of a very hard wood.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Giac
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 10:23 AM

I don't usually read banjo threads, but the hog livers sucked me in, and, since I'm here, do you all know about the recently developed Tennessee Tone Rings?

They were developed at Oak Ridge, with technology from one of the nuclear facilities, the idea being to recreate an older sound.

Here is a site that explains and has a link to the main site:

clickety

Here is a site about the testing of the product that will tell you way more than I ever wanted to know:

click

The test site gives specifics about testing on various banjo brands and types.

Giac


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 10:48 AM

My gawd Giac!!! Who'd have thunk it??? I figured we'd eventually get into some interesting discussions of tone rings, but those sites are fantastic!!! Cracks about "Atomic Banjos" aside, there is some terrific info here and the Oak Ridge thing is a fascinating offshoot of all the bucks spent to begin with.

Thanks!!!........say, anything on the tonal characteristics of hog livers?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 11:26 AM

Thanks Jon, I didn't know that about the Deerings. Wonder what kind of wood? The hardest wood I've heard of is Ironwood or Mesquite. Okay, now what about the fiberglass resonator shell idea? == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 11:49 AM

The "hardness" of the wood alone is not the sole factor in its tonal properties or its suitability for applications in instruments. And that of course depends on the actual application. The fiber pattern, density, susceptibilty to cracking, moisture content, etc. all play a part.

As to fiberglass.......Again the actual composition can vary as can the type and cut of fiber used. Then there is the huge selection of graphite composites, some of which can be made very suitable for use. The problem I might suspect here would lie with tradition and not sound. Blind testing might allow a synthetic to win, but attitudes may push it to the bottom of the heap.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Giac
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 11:52 AM

Well, Spaw:

I contacted my friend, and hawg consultant, Billy Wayne Joe Bob down't th' form, and he said the only thing he knew about livers and banjers was that when his cousin Lucas Alvin was a' playin his'n three forms down, the racket was so fierce, his maw put a frash liver in the back uv it to deaden the sound. He said it wurked purty good, til the smell got so ripe it drawed flies, buzzards and yankees from miles around. Wasn't no trouble gettin' rid of the yankees, and the buzzards left after the yankees wuz gone, but them flies are still a' hoverin' around Lucas Alvin and his banjer. ~;o)

Giac


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 11:59 AM

Tell ya' what Giac........Maybe them livers ain't the way to go. Now here's some good eatin' off another part of the hog and because its also a composite, maybe it will fit in with the "fiberglass" question too.

Pickin' (My Teeth) and Grinnin'

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 01:33 PM

As to standing or sitting while playing, I generally prefer to stand while singing and playing my banjo. If doing a longish program (half hour or more) I probably would want to have a tall stool or maybe a folding chair, and sort of sit on the back of the chair and put one foot up on the seat. I almost always practice (oh, oh, dirty words!) standing, because that's the way I will perform.

Besides comfort, another reason for performing standing is showmanship. If I'm on a flat floor with the audience, that extra two feet or so makes me more prominent. Even if I'm on a platform, I think a standing folksinger is much more impressive.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:40 PM

refresh the livers!


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Troll
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 09:09 PM

My epiphone "Recording A" tenor wieghs a long ton. I always sit down when I play it but I'm in a large band. The weight comes from the bell-brass tone ring.

troll


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:35 AM

How about designing a light weight kevlar vacuum banjo where low poundage is the major selling feature. For an extra $500.00 you can get the ultra lite model with extra resin sucked out of it. There could be a lower line of fiberglass beginner banjos too.
You never know, it could start a whole new trend for the bluegrass boys.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:44 AM

hahaha---

CLICK HERE

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:36 AM

What I want to know is how well does a banjo go with gravy and fried onions?

Steve

(Let me know before I try it with mine!)


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: mooman
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:51 AM

I believe with a little research with new ultrastrong materials such as Buckminster-Fullerine with light strings (of course buckyball-ended), it should be possible to construct a perfectly good-sounding banjo that could double up, let's say on windy days, as an effective kite.

Whaddya think?

mooman


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: kendall
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 04:35 AM

Actually, the only things they have in common is the weight and the taste.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 01:40 PM

Giac - you don't suppose Oak Ridge is making those tone rings out of "depleted" uranium? :-( You've provided us with an amazing link, and I think I feel the pain of my first bluegrass song coming on.


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Subject: RE: Hog Livers and Banjos...a comparison
From: Fortunato
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 01:44 PM

Banjos just ain't as slick as hog livers in a bucket. Only deer guts on a door knob can compare.

chance


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