Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


What Banjo Do You Play?

GUEST,Chip A. 09 Apr 02 - 11:38 AM
mooman 09 Apr 02 - 11:49 AM
Steve Latimer 09 Apr 02 - 11:51 AM
Steve Latimer 09 Apr 02 - 12:01 PM
X 09 Apr 02 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Les B. 09 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Apr 02 - 12:46 PM
Jimmy C 09 Apr 02 - 01:03 PM
Rick Fielding 09 Apr 02 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 09 Apr 02 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Bluebeard at work 09 Apr 02 - 05:58 PM
Charcloth 09 Apr 02 - 10:28 PM
Lynn 09 Apr 02 - 10:39 PM
GutBucketeer 09 Apr 02 - 10:58 PM
Coyote Breath 09 Apr 02 - 11:12 PM
Lonesome Gillette 10 Apr 02 - 12:00 AM
Coyote Breath 10 Apr 02 - 12:31 AM
Auxiris 10 Apr 02 - 02:24 AM
Mooh 10 Apr 02 - 05:03 AM
BanjoRay 10 Apr 02 - 08:05 AM
John P 10 Apr 02 - 08:09 AM
Jon Freeman 10 Apr 02 - 08:20 AM
RangerSteve 10 Apr 02 - 08:30 AM
Uncle Jaque 10 Apr 02 - 09:29 AM
Charley Noble 10 Apr 02 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Russ 10 Apr 02 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Chip A. 10 Apr 02 - 10:49 AM
X 10 Apr 02 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Russ 10 Apr 02 - 01:15 PM
Steve Latimer 10 Apr 02 - 02:13 PM
Mark Ross 10 Apr 02 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 10 Apr 02 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 10 Apr 02 - 03:00 PM
Mooh 10 Apr 02 - 03:21 PM
X 10 Apr 02 - 04:09 PM
BlueSage 11 Apr 02 - 03:09 AM
Steve Latimer 11 Apr 02 - 10:10 AM
Art Thieme 13 Apr 02 - 06:14 PM
greg stephens 13 Apr 02 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Spot (GUEST) 14 Apr 02 - 09:47 AM
X 14 Apr 02 - 12:13 PM
lardingo 14 Apr 02 - 01:51 PM
Orpheum 15 Apr 02 - 11:19 AM
X 15 Apr 02 - 11:34 AM
Mark Clark 15 Apr 02 - 12:09 PM
Steve Latimer 15 Apr 02 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Mark Ross, on the road 15 Apr 02 - 12:28 PM
Steve Latimer 15 Apr 02 - 12:40 PM
Mark Clark 15 Apr 02 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Bob 15 Apr 02 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,beachcombera 15 Apr 02 - 04:54 PM
X 16 Apr 02 - 03:06 PM
Knitpick 17 Apr 02 - 12:14 AM
Jon W. 17 Apr 02 - 12:08 PM
JedMarum 18 Apr 02 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Tommy K 27 Oct 03 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Oct 03 - 08:38 PM
CelesteF 28 Oct 03 - 10:14 AM
InOBU 28 Oct 03 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,TomC 28 Oct 03 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,cookieless Chip A. 28 Oct 03 - 01:19 PM
Leadfingers 28 Oct 03 - 01:29 PM
Mary Humphreys 28 Oct 03 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 28 Oct 03 - 02:17 PM
Jon W. 28 Oct 03 - 07:14 PM
Joybell 28 Oct 03 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 29 Oct 03 - 08:29 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 29 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM
Guy Wolff 29 Oct 03 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Tom Akstens 29 Oct 03 - 12:53 PM
bigchuck 29 Oct 03 - 01:24 PM
Ernest 29 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,JB 30 Oct 03 - 02:05 PM
Guy Wolff 30 Oct 03 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 31 Oct 03 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Wah Ban Zhu 31 Oct 03 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,martin.byrne@ntlworld.ie 31 Oct 03 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,raa2world@yahoo.com 10 Oct 05 - 10:43 AM
Tradsinger 10 Oct 05 - 02:07 PM
kendall 10 Oct 05 - 04:22 PM
DonMeixner 10 Oct 05 - 05:36 PM
Dave Hanson 11 Oct 05 - 05:04 AM
Sweetpete 03 Apr 07 - 12:15 PM
BanjoRay 03 Apr 07 - 12:51 PM
MARINER 03 Apr 07 - 02:33 PM
wysiwyg 03 Apr 07 - 04:18 PM
Songster Bob 03 Apr 07 - 04:57 PM
Charley Noble 03 Apr 07 - 05:36 PM
Leadfingers 03 Apr 07 - 06:48 PM
Charley Noble 03 Apr 07 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,banjoman 04 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM
Leadfingers 04 Apr 07 - 07:17 AM
kendall 04 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM
Charley Noble 04 Apr 07 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Meredog 18 Aug 07 - 09:16 AM
Banjiman 18 Aug 07 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,holland 17 Sep 07 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Stewart 17 Sep 07 - 05:17 PM
JedMarum 17 Sep 07 - 05:23 PM
sandy d 28 Dec 07 - 02:46 PM
Mooh 28 Dec 07 - 03:14 PM
Dan Keding 28 Dec 07 - 04:22 PM
Riginslinger 28 Dec 07 - 04:39 PM
Leadfingers 28 Dec 07 - 04:57 PM
Leadfingers 28 Dec 07 - 04:58 PM
chazkratz 28 Dec 07 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,QuestionMark 29 Dec 07 - 03:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Dec 07 - 11:05 AM
Stringsinger 29 Dec 07 - 03:57 PM
john f weldon 29 Dec 07 - 04:50 PM
haddocker 29 Dec 07 - 05:01 PM
Patrick_Costello 30 Dec 07 - 11:44 AM
John MacKenzie 30 Dec 07 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Mats Hennig 30 Dec 07 - 04:25 PM
Songster Bob 30 Dec 07 - 04:25 PM
Alaska Mike 30 Dec 07 - 06:25 PM
Jim Krause 30 Dec 07 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,Dan Egger 28 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM
Banjovey 28 Mar 08 - 08:11 PM
Escapee 28 Mar 08 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Dan Gibson, Dallas, TX 29 Mar 08 - 11:09 PM
banjoman 30 Mar 08 - 09:31 AM
Tim Leaning 30 Mar 08 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Patrick_Costello 30 Mar 08 - 10:16 AM
Escapee 30 Mar 08 - 01:09 PM
Tim Leaning 30 Mar 08 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 31 Mar 08 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 01 Apr 08 - 12:36 PM
Sean Belt 01 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM
Mooh 02 Apr 08 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Doug 28 May 08 - 06:03 PM
Escapee 28 May 08 - 11:23 PM
kendall 29 May 08 - 07:18 AM
MissouriMud 29 May 08 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Big Larraldo 29 May 08 - 12:06 PM
BanjoRay 29 May 08 - 12:09 PM
MissouriMud 29 May 08 - 03:41 PM
MikeT 29 May 08 - 04:07 PM
DonMeixner 29 May 08 - 04:10 PM
glueman 29 May 08 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 29 May 08 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Noddy 29 May 08 - 06:32 PM
kendall 29 May 08 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 29 May 08 - 08:09 PM
Stringsinger 30 May 08 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Jim 31 May 08 - 04:24 PM
Charley Noble 31 May 08 - 09:46 PM
kendall 01 Jun 08 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Gulliver in the sun 01 Jun 08 - 08:25 AM
oombanjo 01 Jun 08 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Marion 15 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM
Mooh 15 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM
Banjiman 16 Jun 08 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Jon 16 Jun 08 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,goodnight gracie 11 Aug 08 - 12:00 PM
Zen 11 Aug 08 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,goodnight grace 11 Aug 08 - 12:20 PM
Amos 11 Aug 08 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,fretless 11 Aug 08 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,goodnight gracie 11 Aug 08 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,fretless 11 Aug 08 - 01:06 PM
Zen 11 Aug 08 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,goodnight gracie 11 Aug 08 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Casey (CW) 28 Oct 08 - 09:49 PM
masha 28 Oct 08 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Flazmo 29 Oct 08 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,DulciPicker 29 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Jack R 01 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM
Charley Noble 01 Nov 08 - 10:57 PM
Greg B 02 Nov 08 - 06:04 PM
Musket 02 Nov 08 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,banjokid95 02 Jan 09 - 11:16 PM
Patrick_Costello 03 Jan 09 - 06:02 AM
banjoman 03 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM
VRB 12 Jan 09 - 01:27 PM
bubblyrat 12 Jan 09 - 05:07 PM
VRB 25 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,Joven 26 Jan 09 - 12:34 PM
Stringsinger 26 Jan 09 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,lynnt 26 Jan 09 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Tim Paschall 16 Feb 09 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,shoot24fps 22 Apr 09 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Curious Non Player 11 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM
GUEST 30 May 10 - 06:26 AM
Stringsinger 30 May 10 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Songbob 30 May 10 - 11:34 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:38 AM

I play a Bart Reiter internal resonator with a Bacon type tone ring. My "fakin' bacon". I keep thinking I'd like to have a big resonator/heavy tone ring type for greater volume. Maybe an old paramount...... I love my Reiter, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: mooman
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:49 AM

Lyon and Healy short-scale tenor, Chicago circa 1925, with fixed "plate type" resonator. Simple tone ring and maple pot and neck.

Mine is not an especially loud banjo but is very sweet sounding which is what I like about it.

Best regards,

mooman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:51 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 12:01 PM

Sorry, I hit the wrong button.

I have an Aria Pro 5-String. It's basically a Masterclone, Heavy Tone Ring, Resonator, Tree of Liefe inlay. I bought it recently through the Mudcat Auction, it belonged to Charcloth before who replaced it with an open back which suits the style of music that he plays better than the Aria, which is basically a Bluegrass Banjo. I love the sound of it. I didn't realize how much until I picked up my old Aluminium Pot Mansfield the other day. There is no comparison between the two.

It's interesting how much easier the Aria is to play than the Mansfield. The tone and action are just so much better that you don't have to work nearly as hard to get the sound out of it. Perhaps one day I'll get an old Mastertone, but I suspect that will be a long way down the road.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: X
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 12:31 PM

I play the "M" word banjos. I have two. One's a 1937 Gibson RB-12. ALL orginal except the tuners, (I have them in a box) the head and strings. It's been refretted a time or two. The other one is a 1972 RB-250. It has a Cathy 12 tonering on a Bill Sullivan rim. It's my working banjo. With the Cathy 12 ring and the Sullivan rim believe it or not, it sounds ALMOST and I do say almost like an old RB-3. If I lost the RB-12 I would cry so it stays at home. If I lost the RB-250, it would hurt but I don't think I would cry over it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM

A Gold Star 5-string archtop with resonator. I got it slightly used about 15 years ago for a good price. I like the tone, and the way it plays up the neck. Before that I played a $60 no-name beater from a pawn shop -- what a piece of junk. But I learned my first tunes on it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 12:46 PM

After learning for a period of time with a pawnshop junker, I had Mike Ramsey, of Chanterelle Banjos, build me a Ramsey Special. It's an eleven-inch open-back pot, blonde curly maple, with bubinga trim and ebony fingerboard, scooped, Fiberskyn head, and with one custom inlay, which I'm about to tell you a long story about. Have patience.

When my Beautiful Wife and I were four-month newlyweds, 38 years ago, I had an extreme rush job at work, with the result to be delivered next morning. I called the B.W. and told her not to wait up; I'd be home maybe at two o'clock. She wasn't thrilled, but that was life.

Lo and behold, the NEXT day, in the same context, I had another rush order, bigger this time, for next-morning delivery. "Dorrie, I'm going to be down here again tonight till all hours. Don't know when I'll be home." I did in fact get home and fall into bed at four o'clock, for about three hours sleep.

That got rid of that special-order situation. I said with a grin to my four-month bride, "I hope you didn't think there was another woman." "Well, the thought HAD crossed my mind!"

I spent a lot of late hours (not usually as extreme as that example) and weekend hours in the office over the following 36 years, and my wife and I developed a mythical "other woman" to explain it. My "mistress" at the office was Olga, a statuesque and bosomy blonde Swedish masseuse type with braids coiled around her head.

When I retired a few years ago and took up the banjo, my wife said, "I suppose you've just got ANOTHER mistress!" And so when I showed her my new custom-built Ramsey Special, there at the twelfth fret was the inlaid name, OLGA!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 01:03 PM

I play a Framus plectrum most of the time. It has a good solid banjo sound. I also have a Bacon Blue Ribbon Tenor (circa 1896), a real joy to play, very soft and melodious.. The Framus I could live without but to lose the Bacon would cause severe depression.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 01:35 PM

Huge banjo fan here. Had many (and oh how I wished I'd hung on to a couple of them.....coulda bought a new house for what they'd be worth today)

Started off with a "melmac" Harmony, went to a Vega F-W 5, and then found a neat turn of the century Cole's 'Eclipse'. Got a 1923 Deluxe Vegaphone and had it converted to a five string, and played that for years. In the eighties I had a Six String Deering built for me, that apparently is owned now by someone in The Bare Naked Ladies (haven't seen it on an album cover so I'm not sure)

In the early eighties I started to get very impressed with the Ibanez Mastertone copies, and have owned three of them since then....great banjos at very little money. Really good to travel with, 'cause if anything bad happens, it's not like having to replace a Mastertone.

Currently I've got two Ibanez five strings from the seventies....one converted to a frailing banjo and tuned down to E, and one set up for bluegrass. Oh...and one little teeny Vega Banjo Uke.

Had a few tenors as well, the best of which was an old Orpheum.....but I just never got into the tenor tuning on a serious basis....maybe I will someday.

Cheers

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 02:41 PM

One of my favorite old banjoes was home made with a 6" p.v.c. pipe to stretch the hide over. I delivered my (now 25 years old) daughter in the back bedroom and within the hour she heard her first banjo music played on that old 5 string. Now she's talking about learning the fiddle. I also had a Fender open back which played like a dream! I'd love to have that one back!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Bluebeard at work
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 05:58 PM

I have a Bart Reiter "Special" that I love ! 11" pot and rolled brass tone ring. Maple and rosewood. That man makes fine banjos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charcloth
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 10:28 PM

Saga SS10 & Ramsey Chanterelle standard. Love them both for that old Timey sound. I'm glad Steve Latimer has my old Aria. I ain't no bluregrass musician ya know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Lynn
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 10:39 PM

David - GREAT STORY!!! And God bless you both for keeping it all together and IN PERSPECTIVE!!!

When doing my recording in 95 I purchased a Kalamazoo tenor banjo with a natural skin head. Played it like a tenor for the recording. Then that fall I fell (jumped, actually) and broke my ankle, laying me up for a month or more. I retuned the banjo to CGCG and developed an absurd flailing technique which seemed to work for some old time tunes. Still play it that way.

I learned later the war-time Gibsons were given the Kalamazoo name because they couldn't get the quality of materials they wanted. More puzzling is the bridge, which has "SS Stewart" stamped on it. Thought it was a ship (!!!) until I discovered the old banjo manufacturer by that name.

It's loud. In a good auditorium I have to back off from the mike to keep from overpowereing the audience.

Gotta go.

Lynn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 10:58 PM

Wow! I am amazed at the number of 4 string players here! In the last year I have gravitated toward my Bruno 18 fret (one hangs over the head)open back tenor and my banjo uke's. I tune the tenor like a baritone uke.

I still have my 5 strings and will get back to clawhammer eventually, but I kept wanting to figure out how to do all that rythmic strumming I heard on the Double Decker String Band, the Dallas String band, the Horseflies and other more jug/jazz old-time. The answer was use a tenor!

JAB Gutbucketeer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:12 PM

Hmmm I too am amazed at the number of 4 stringers. Do you folks play Irish or Dixie or ...what? I'd truly like to know.

I play a Saga (a kit which I built about 1974 and have modified considerably) and an Alvarez which started life as a bluegrass sort of banjo but modified THAT too and I am giving serious consideration to a Reiter fretless which has been hanging around at a local "folk" music store for over a year. It needs a home and keeps looking at me with such an expression of longing that I am inclined to give it a home. As you might guess, I don't play bluegrass, I'm stuck back in the 19th century with maximum modernity pegged around 1932. I don't dare thing about the banjoes I have had and wished I had kept because I don't think that tears are good for a computer keyboard.

CB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 12:00 AM

I have a Bart Reiter "Special" that I love ! 11" pot and rolled brass tone ring. Maple and rosewood. That man makes fine banjos.

(I didn't need to change a word, thanks bluebeard)

Hey Chip A, how do you like the internal resonator setup? how does it compare to a regular openback.

I also play bluegrass on a Deering Mapleblossom. It's a good solid middle of the road bluegrass banjo in serious need of a fret job.

I made a 5-string with a 20" head, you can see Pete Wernik playing it on the Mugwumps website, I don't know the link address but it's a funny photo. That banjo makes anyone who plays it look like a little kid.

Another one I have is a wierd 3 string african banjo with a snake skin head. The frets on it are a good 1/2" high, really! They are more like fret "blades". Great for bending the strings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 12:31 AM

Was that 20" head once a Bodhran? Just kidding. I'd love to see that African banjo. I'll bet that the frets are high just for the purpose of string bending. It would give the musician additional tones by varying finger pressure.

CB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Auxiris
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 02:24 AM

I have an Ome Single X 5-string open-back banjo which I was fortunate enough to get my hands on at a good price because it has a chip or two off the back of the head. Just another case of being in the right place at the right time, once again. Apparently Ome doesn't make the Single X anymore; they've replaced it with another model these days. It isn't a fancy banjo, only dot inlays on a rosewood fretboard and the pot is laminated, but it has a wonderfully sweet sound and I wouldn't trade it for another, however carved and and dripping with abalone.

cheers,

Aux


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mooh
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 05:03 AM

Once had an Orpheum No.1. tenor banjo on a long term loan. Fabulous banjo! Wish I knew what happened to it. Today the only banjo I've got is a decent Washburn 5 string, but I dream of banjo heaven.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 08:05 AM

I now play clawhammer on a Lo Gordon D2 (Dwight Diller model) banjo with rosewood rim and tonering and a stripey maple neck - sounds like dark organic chocolate. I also have a Deering Sierra that I have a very long term plan to learn Scruggs picking on -but don't count on it! Before the Lo Gordon, I used it with the resonator off and stuffed the head with a sponge for Old Time - the flange left a groove in my leg.

My oldest current banjo is an El Cheapo Korean made Gremlin aluminium bodied banjo, which actually doesn't sound too bad - I glued some foam sleeping pad round the inside of the rim to remove some of the hollow aluminium overtones it used to have. The action is easily adjustable, unlike most banjos, and I can quickly take the neck off to put it into my luggage for taking it on holiday.

The Lo Gordon is the only one I play in sessions though!

Cheers
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: John P
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 08:09 AM

Bart Reiter "Whyte Lady"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 08:20 AM

Kildare 17 fret tenor - a masterclone style - one of Sully's

Dulcetta 19 fret tenor (not played it in ages though and it's on loan to someone).

Belltone Mandolin-banjo.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 08:30 AM

My main banjo is a Deering copy of a Vega Little Wonder. I keep a miniature Saga (17 frets) next to my computer to play when some sites are slow in down-loading.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:29 AM

It seems that CB and I are among a small minority of really antiquarian pickers.

My first 5-string was inherited from an elder Brother who used to pal around with one of the Shaw Brothers, but quickly found out that music was not to be his calling and the Sears & Sawbuck el-cheapo was handed down for me to noodle with, which I have been doing for the past 35 years or more without really achieving any particular virtuosity of note... but it certainly is an interesting instrument and a lot of fun once one figures out how to tune the bloody thing up.
The original friction pegs, being a constant source of frustration, were replaced by tuning machines salvaged from an old busted guitar, and that helped considerably. I used to sling it over my shoulder and tear around New Hampshire on a motorcycle with it, took it to Florida for a Winter's hotel employment at Pompano Beach, and when I answered my Country's call in 1967 and was stationed in South Korea the following year Mom packed it up in a box of popcorn and shipped it over so that I could annoy my Barracksmates with it. Somewhere along the line it picked up the name "Old Traveller" (no relation to General Robert E. Lee's Horse) for obvious reasons.

After settling down in Maine, I was perusing a Portland Music Shop which specialized in used, off-the-wall instruments and happened upon a Vega "Folkmaster" 5-pinger standing in the corner covered with dust. For some reason the neck had gotten screwed on twisted a little, causing the bass string to "buzz" on the lower frets. Being a bit of a Yankee Tinkerer, that did not seem to be an insurmountable problem, and when it was offered for $150 with the case, along home it went. A little wooden shim under the bass side of the bridge compensated for the twisted neck, and we have been getting along just fine ever since. Since Aunt Ma'thah (Mrs. Uncle Jaque)deplores banjo music almost as much as she does the kazoo, all banjoing (and pipe - smoking) is relegated to the outdoors.

After the Vega came to live with us, "Old Traveller" was not forgotten; I had taken up a longstanding dream of Civil War Reenacting, and was desireous of a period "Minstrel" banjo, having learned that they were considerably more popular than guitars at the time, and much of the music of the era was written for them.
Now Mr. George Wunderlich makes some fine replica period banjoes, but I was hard pressed to raise the price of one.. so down to the shop went Ol' Traveller. What emerged is probably not anything that would pass a purists muster, but it is close enough for me to practice the "stroke" period style on, and give a general idea of what the period banjoes sounded like. The neck was replaced with a hard maple fretless version with black walnut tuning pegs, and the plastic head was replaced with a slab of bass - drum natural skin. I don't know how many of you-all have hooped and mounted a natural banjo head before, but I'm here to tell you that it is an interesting procedure indeed! Thankfully our Drum Major guided and assisted, or I never would have gotten it on the 11" pot ("real" Minstrel banjoes usually ran anywhere from 12" to 14" or so pots.).
Then we rigged her up with gut strings from Boston Catlines, and away we went - and now it certainly is an interesting proposition, and a lot of fun to boot.
I have even taken to tuning the Vega down to the old "Low Bass" Minstrel tuning (about Ab, or 2 1/2 steps below modern "Bluegrass" tuning) as it suits my voice better.

Someday I hope to build a really authentic Civil - War period 5-string, but for now we are well enough rigged, I reckon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 10:36 AM

I would certainly add my compliments to the banjo work of Bart Reiter, whose banjo may be purchased from Elderly Instruments of Lansing, MI.

My first old time 5-string was a Fairbanks & Cole, followed by my current favorite a S.S. Stewart Orchestra model 2 from around the early 1890's. I still haven't found another banjo which compares favorably to the mellow sound that I get from this Stewart but I'm still looking around; I've been refurbishing another S.S.Stewart, a Special Thoroughbred with an unusual copper plated pot and brass hardware accessories, which is nice enough but not better in terms of tone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 10:46 AM

Mike Ramsey Bacon, George Wunderlich Boucher skinhead with gut strings, Clifford Essex skinhead with nylon strings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 10:49 AM

Lonesome Gillette,

I like the internal resonator fine. This is the only banjo I've had with a Bacon style tone ring. I pick the thing in a drop thumb, 2 finger style and it works real well. I'm not sure how much, if any, projection the resonator gives. When I play in a large jam I do wish it was a little louder. The fit and general quality of this banjo is excellent and I'd recommend Reiter banjoes to anyone.

Chip A.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: X
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 12:44 PM

Oh come on!! Am I the only guy out there that plays old Mastertones? Come on bluegrassers, what do you pick?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 01:15 PM

Banjoest,
All the bluegrassers are over on Banjo-L.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 02:13 PM

Russ,

There are Bluegrassers here too, just with much smaller budgets than Banjoest's. I don't thinkt that there is one of us here who isn't drooling over his '37 RB-12. Heck, I think my 2000 car is worth less than that though.

One day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 02:22 PM

I'm an old-timey banjo player, but my preference is the 1927 Mastertone Archtop with a repro neck(which has been busted a few times). Strung with heavy strings(12, 14, 16, 26, 11)I don't have to make use of a mic for the most part.

Mark Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 02:53 PM

Not a bluegrasser but I'd love to have a mastertone! Will Keys, one of my banjo heroes has a big old LOUD Paramount. If you're not having to pull the strings off the thing to be heard, you can focus more on tone and accent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 03:00 PM

I should have added in the last post that I don't wear picks. Also, clawhammer pickers can get a lot more volume than finger pickers. The old timers in my area (mostly gone now) tended to be 2 finger pickers rather than frailers. Those who didn't have a big resonator banjo would have if they could have. In fact, the weight of their banjo was a matter of pride.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mooh
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 03:21 PM

Someone suggested to me once that wanting a guitjo was kinda like being the banjo player among banjo players...like, one who banjo players look down on. I was humiliated, but I still want a Deering guitjo.

I'm not coming back to this thread! I got drool on my shirt...

Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: X
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 04:09 PM

Hey Steve:

I got the 37' back in 68' in an Albuquerque, New Mexico pawn shop. The owner of the pawn shop had the banjo in the store for five years and he wanted to "get that damn banjo out of here." I got it for under $1,000 and I was unhappy with it at first. I didn't like the "simple" inlay, the peghead wasn't fiddle cut and because of the funny looking tension hoop. I goes to show, you never can tell.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: BlueSage
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 03:09 AM

I'm impressed by all of the players using Bart Reiter banjos! Anyone else using long necks?

My banjos:

Bart Reiter - open back.

Vega "Seeger" long neck (make by Deering).

Stelling Staghorn - my bluegrass ax.

S. S. Stewart banjerine (spelling?) - strung with nylon strings.

.....Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 10:10 AM

Banjoest,

That's quite a story. Imagine not liking it. I'm surprised that even back then and the fact that he wanted to get rid of it that it was still around $1,000. Of course in todays market...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:14 PM

Ah, nostalgia !

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:27 PM

I play an old(1920's?? I know nothing) John Gray tenor banjo with a gorgeous islamic pattern brass back.Skin head, nuisance in wet cold placesin winter but electric fire and hairdriers help. Friction pegs, but what the hell its old. Tunes traditional tenor CGDA...capo on 2nd fret for most Brit/Irish type stuff, take the capo off if I find myself in brassy/jazzy company. Did a bit of fingerpicking on it on my latest record for the first time, was well received. Might develop that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Spot (GUEST)
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 09:47 AM

Cant believe only one of you guys play a Stelling!! I bought a Bellflower after being disillusioned with trying out at least half a dozen Mastertones. For me it blows away everything else......!! Just wish it wasn't so b****y heavy!! Regards to all


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: X
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 12:13 PM

Stellings are fine banjos! If I didn't have "my" banjo at the time Geoff started making them I think I would have got one. But you know? Stellings are loud but the tone is a bit shallow for me. That's not saying it's bad, just a bit shallow FOR ME. I don't think you can beat the tone and timber of an OLD Mastertone. They all may not be loud but oh how sweet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: lardingo
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 01:51 PM

I have played a Stelling Starflower since the 70's. I have #76. I actually prefer the sound of the old Mastertones, but I'm too cheap to buy one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Orpheum
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 11:19 AM

I just picked up a long neck Gibson RB175 recently (from John Bernunzio). I traded an old Fairbanks-Cole and Buckbee for it. I love the lightweight old ones, but wanted something modern I could play without worrying much about. I'd love a Reiter or Ramsey (or some such) but the Gibson was available and affordable.

For a tenor I use a lovely Orpheum 2 and occasionally a Vega F. Orpheums are neat because they are good but undervalued instruments. I also have an Orpheum 1, mandolin banjo, but there is only so much time in a day.

David


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: X
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 11:34 AM

lardingo:

You must have gotten your Stelling when he was on Kenwood Dr. in Spring Valley, CA.

Get this, Geoff liked to have cook-outs in his back yard and he didn't use charcoal, he used banjo necks and resonators. We would go and get our hotdog and the barbecue would be full of Stellings. All this hard wood, $1,000's of Stellings going up in smoke cooking weeners. A mandolin playing buddy of mine saved a resonator from the fire and made a clock out of it. Man,thoses were the days.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 12:09 PM

Sadly, my answer to the subject question is “none.”

I do, however, own a very nice banjo, it just doesn't get out of its case very often. Typically, I take it out on the back deck which overlooks a wooded revine on the first spring day that's warm enough to sit out and play. This year, that happened yesterday. I had a great time and was remeinded of what a nice banjo it is.

My banjo was hand-built in 1971 by then luthier Jan Michael. He made it to my specifications. It's basically an archtop Mastertone with a very fast laminated neck and a fiddle shaped peg head. Much of the hardware, tone rim, tuning pegs, are Stuart McDonald—except for the Scruggs-Keith tuners—although the resonator flange and brackets are from Gibson. The pearl inlay is a butterfly motif featuring inlaid inlays on the peghead and stylized butterly patterns on the fretboard. The wood is native Iowa black walnut nicely figured and tastefully inlaid.

Someone once remarked that I could really make that banjo talk. “Really, what does it say?” someone else asked. “Take your hands off me!” was the reply.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 12:22 PM

What is the difference in sound and playability of the archtop? I know I've never played one and have never seen one in the flesh. What purpose did (do?) the ball bearings serve?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Mark Ross, on the road
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 12:28 PM

The ball bearings were, supposedly, to compensate for changes in the tension of the skin head. My '27 archtop has a brighter clearer sound, not quite as deep as the flathead.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 12:40 PM

Thanks Mark, I forget that Banjos once had skin heads. They must have been a royal pain to keep tight with temperature and Humidity changes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 01:09 PM

The archtops tend to have a brighter sound than the flattops do. In his article “The Earl Scruggs Gibson Banjo,” Doug Hutchens wrote:

The tonering in the early Scruggs model banjos was indeed a Stewart-MacDonald ring. The problem with those banjos was with the setup! The Stewart-MacDonald tonering is an excellent ring, and I'd still rather have it than most on the market today. Some banjo "critics" didn't like the Stewart-MacDonald ring. I've found one thing in my 30 or so years in dealing with banjo parts and the players. Banjo players always want whatever they can't get. There is a mystique about trying to get something that others cannot attain. And when Stewart-MacDonald rings were readily available, many thought they can't be any good. Any one could order them. (A side bar to that. Does anyone know who made the tonering for Stewart-McDonald for several years? I'll leave that for speculation, but you'll be pleasantly surprised.) (Steve Ryan, also in Ohio as is Stewart-Macdonald. - ed.)

My tone ring, complete with the correct spelling of Stewart-MacDonald, is pictured here on their site. As you can see, it's not a ball bearing tone ring. It is, as Bruce Phillips might say, good though. My banjo seems considerably heavier than most other bluegrass banjos.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 01:24 PM

I play a Wunder 5 string minstrel banjo with a tacked head. I love the sound especially for Blues sounds and old time. Cool overtones and great sustain! I have several recordings of others who use these banjos, I think they are making a real comeback.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,beachcombera
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 04:54 PM

I have been playing a "Grover" (made in Coventry?) for the past 25 years. Got it from a guy called Barry Dow (or was it Dew?) in North London. He repaired them in a back lane garage/workshop, behind a street market . It cost £300 sterling back then, has an excellent tone and can be set up to give terriffic volumn and also sounds very good when amplified by people who do not know what they are doing. What is it worth, ? anyone??

Beach


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: X
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 03:06 PM

Did Klush make thoses tone rings?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Knitpick
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 12:14 AM

Main banjo is a B&D Silver Belle, converted to five-string from my late uncle's beat-up tenor (so beat-up that we had a baggy over the peghead to catch the pearl as it fell out). I also have an S. S. Stewart Princess model, strung with nylon strings. Loverly sound, that. Third is a no-name fretless with a light shell (Stewart style) and steel strings. Fourth is a fretless made by George Mathews of Birmingham (England), strung with nylon. Last is a Frank Proffitt-style fretless in cherry, made by Alberto Vazquez and myself back in the 70s. It is strung with steel or nylon as my mood suits -- currently steel, I think.

My tenors are fewer in number -- a resonated Orpheum with a 12" head and a May Belle open-back tenor. I also have a Goldtone guitar-banjo. Kinda plunky and funky, but fun.

I have a Vega Tube-a-phone banjo mandolin I bought on my honeymoon. I don't currently have any banjo-ukes, though.

I also have two banjos I recently acquired as stock to sell or trade. One of them is a Gibson neck on a non-Gibson shell that is a wonderful-sounding banjo. It'd sell for a lot if it were a true Gibson (it'd be an RB-100, I think), but I'll probably only make back what I paid for it as is. Too bad, it's a wonderful banjo, both resonated and open-back.

The other for-sale is a Gibson trap-door banjo-mandolin that's coming from Florida, but isn't here yet. I bought it through Ebay, as I do many instruments. I'm hoping it's as nice as the similar banjo I traded for the Mathews fretless.

Bob Clayton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Jon W.
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 12:08 PM

The one I play most is my home-made cedar topped, apple fretboard, maple neck, apple & poplar rim wood head open back 5-string banjo. Funny, it doesn't sound a bit like a Mastertone.

I've got a 10 1/2 Slingerland open back pot, no tone ring, mated to a maple 5-string neck which I built. I use that for jamming. I also built a short scale (24") 5-string neck that I put on a Harmony Resotone (bakelite) pot which came with a warped long neck (that I couldn't stand) and a skin head. It sounds pretty good and I really like tuning it aDADE like double-c tuning a step up and playing the short neck, but right now it needs some adjustment and additional fret work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 09:34 AM

A Vega long neck - made very recently by Deering. It's a beautiful instrument; great sound, great neck ... it plays better'n I do!

A guitar player like me doesn't deserve such a fine instrument!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Tommy K
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:22 PM

Mike Ramsey Special 12in openback and a Flesher Joel Walker Sweeney Minstrel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 08:38 PM

Five sting - cheap-ass - EAGLE

Left over from my brother.

Why do you ASK?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: CelesteF
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 10:14 AM

This is a long thread, but I don't believe I've seen any Washburns mentioned.

I play a 1910 Washburn open back 5-string with a 10 1/2 inch pot and skin head. It's my first banjo. I bought it this summer and really love its old-timey sound. I don't find turning it to be much of a problem.

When I took it to Old Time Music Camp (in Groton, MA) a few weeks ago, lots of banjo players asked to play it, including some of the pros. So I guess I did all right. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 11:12 AM

The banjo I play is a set of Uilleann Pipes, made by Seth Galligher...
Cheers Larry

PS CDs by Banjovi????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,TomC
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 12:39 PM

My current bluegrass banjo is an Imperial made by Ty Piper sometime in the 80s. It has a very thin, solid, wedge-like tone ring and the neck is an absolute dream to play. My favorite banjos up to the Imperial were an Ode C and D both made in 1980.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,cookieless Chip A.
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 01:19 PM

Well, I see I started this thread back in April '02. Still have the Bart Reiter but I'm thinking of selling/trading it. I now have a Baldwin style C made just after they bought Ode in '66 from mostly Ode parts. It's much better suited to my picking style. Still want a good old Paramount though. Maybe even a 4 string to convert to 5. Or another early Baldwin or original Ode.
Chip


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 01:29 PM

A Maya Korean mastertone copy resonator 5 string, A mid nineteen twenties open back Dallas 5 string,A hundred plus year old Temlett Seven string, A Nineteen twenties Vega copy short scale tenor,Two Mando banjos,a banjo uke, and one of the hybrid Ozark Banjolas. which is the one I take out most, just cos I like it and its different!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 01:42 PM

I haven't seen any mention of my first ever banjo, the Windsor Popular made in England ( Birmingham ?) pre- World War 2 after which the factory burnt down. It has a 12 inch ring and a real skin. No resonator, 5 strings which originally were steel but I changed to gut. Very low action - beautiful for playing finger-picking style melodic lines. Hopeless for frailing, but I don't frail.
I don't play this banjo much now since I fell in love with a modern 5-string banjo made by the wonderful James Bowen of Griffin Banjos, Lydbury North, Shropshire.It is a Griffin Majestic, based on the Whyte Lady model, but it has a beautiful clear and sweet tone that works wonders with traditional English lyrical songs. As soon as I tried it I refused to let him take it home - I bought it on the spot.I have never heard a banjo sound like it anywhere else.
I can recommend Griffin Banjos to anyone - he makes superb instruments of a wide variety.
Mary Humphreys


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 02:17 PM

I bought new in 1978 a 5-string Jida. Some say Aida, still others say Iida. The first letter in the highly scripted logo has confused some for years, but very reliable sources (importers) have confired it as Jida. Jida made (and still might) a full line of banjos in Japan. Mine is a top of the line Masterclone made with many Gibson parts. It is very bright, loud, and crisp. Some years back an old hillbilly banjo player (Earl by name. Really!) set it up for me so decently that he told me it rivaled most any Gibson for sound and playability. I've been using this instrument in a group, and when it's my lead, kick up that rhythm, because this thing will cut through loud and clear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Jon W.
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 07:14 PM

Wow. It's been a while - since I last posted I have completed three home made banjos, two of which I play. The third (actually the first one finished) is fretless and I discovered I really don't care for it to play, but it's still nice to look at. Here are some galleries from my website (non-commercial)

Fretless

Sort of standard, open G tuning

Short scale, double D tuning


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Joybell
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 09:00 PM

We have a lovely old Stewart banjo given to us by a friend whose grandfather brought it to Australia.
I just wanted to say though that when we had to replace the skin head recently we were told there was a problem getting skins imported to Australia. Don't know why we don't have our own - we've got cows, anyway I'll bet we are the only mudcatters with a Kangaroo skin head on our banjo!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 08:29 AM

SS Stewart "Amateur" model bought in Tucson on a business trip. Took it a long time to settle down to UK humidity!

nick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM

I play a mish-mash of old-time, Celtic, swing and bluegrass in a self-taught don't-care-how-Earl-does-it three-finger style. I usually play this cheapo aluminum pot Dixon resonator-back that I got from a pawn shop for around $100 USD. Either it's the perfect banjo for my playing style or I've adapted my style to it. I also have an Alvarez masterclone, but it has a very bluegrassy tone and I don't really play that much 'grass. There's an old no-name open-back tenor hangin' on the wall that I'll pull down every now and then and there's a Gibson mando-banjo on another wall that has too many problems to be playable but that I swear I'm gonna get around to fixin' someday.

Bruce


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 11:06 AM

My list in order would be : John Grey I got in London after breaking my neck on a bonnivile outside Cardiff. CAlf skin head and brass fitted resonator. Warped neck but great sound.
                                              In the early 70's I bought and sold Fairbanks , Dobbson SS Stewart and then got a Baldwin Ode from Rodger Sprung to play out. I was doing both early up picking and frailing. I was playing lots of square dances and bar bands. Traded that for a 1905 Vega Tubaphone with a Mike Alison neck. ( One of my all time faverites)in 1974-5. Witch I played most of the years I worked out with Lui Collins. Then in 1986-7 I got a Bacon ( Hartford ) FF Profesional ( Great banjo in the studio but tough in concert ) Then in 1999 I got a 1925 ball bearing Mastertone with a mediocer Japaneese Neck. great in the dance halls and studio both.I still use it for bigger rooms.
          In the last few years I have been playing nothing but Mike ramseys instroments. I got a student model to travel with and he sets them up so well for frailing that it made me sound better then my mastertone ! I also got a student Ramsey frettless for some old timmey work.
          I have since bought a larger head Ramsye with a custom drum depth twenties style drum thickness in laminations and an early style neck heel. It has great presence ! Also its peghead is of a Dobbson type and has a great neck scoop. This banjo realy makes me sound like ME. Its takes years to come up with a keeper but I am home . All the best to all here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Tom Akstens
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 12:53 PM

I have an old Washburn from around the turn of the century that I've been playing for 40 years--my folks actually gave it to me for my 16th birthday. I recently got a Bart Reiter and I'm not too fond of it, to be candid--there's a "klangy" sound to it that I've tried to warm up a bit by loosening the head, switching to a 1/2" bridge, etc. Still kind of klangy though. . . the Washburn is bright and warm at the same time--a dream.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: bigchuck
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 01:24 PM

I've had several banjos over the years, all fairly nondescript but servicable. I'm currently playing a Wildwood that seems to have a Heritage pot with a Troubadore neck which I like a lot.

Sandy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Ernest
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM

Hasn`t there been a similar thread before - and dou you call that a banjo vue?
Apart from that I play a S.S. Stewart Universal Favourite Tenor Banjo (17 frets), which was built between 1894 and 1898 - according to the list of serial numbers at mugwumps.com. Tuners seem to be original (hard to get in tune), bridge, tailpiece skin and strings are newer.
Second is a small Stella Uke banjo (tuned GDAE like its big brother) with old skin but new tuners (old fiddle-style onescould never hold through a tune). And a cheap east-german I don`t play anymore but did my first steps on - makes a nice wallhanger now.
Yours
Ernest
P.S.: Can anyone tell me when the first plastic skins were invented?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 02:05 PM

Have had a variety of banjos in my lifetime (all tenors tuned down to EADG an octave lower than the fiddle): Currently playing a PARAMOUNT from the early twenties which I picked up near Nasville. Very clear sound but perhaps a bit thin in sound.

Recently heard a guy playing an old gibson tenor. I thought the sound was great and it had a lovely short neck for the fast Irish tunes. Anyone got any idea where I could pick one of these up?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 04:21 PM

JB , Funny you should ask. I have a 1925 ball bearing with a new five string neck and its original tenor neck. My email for pictures is gwolff@javanet.com
      all the best , Guy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 31 Oct 03 - 11:03 AM

The banjo I play most is a 100 year old Sears Roebuck "Supertone" which people who know a lot have looked at & said--a number of banjo makers (Vega, Orpheum, Paramount, SS Stewart) all contributed to this banjo so that's why it looks so confusing. The incredible thing about the banjo is its provenance; it used to belong to Charlie Poole! (although I have never seen a picture of him playing it)

Other banjo is a Vega "Little Wonder" tenor converted to 5 string by a Kate Spencer neck in 1978 just as she was completing her involvement with the Arthur E. Smith Banjo Company-- so this looks a lot like an AES banjo.

I've also got a 1923 Vegaphone Deluxe tenor converted to 5 string by an anonymous neck maker. . . don't play that much!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Wah Ban Zhu
Date: 31 Oct 03 - 04:05 PM

I carried my funky Lyle five string all over China for two years. It sounds especially good played through the P.A. system of Chinese Intercity buses. Hundreds of Chinese kids grabbing it could not make a dent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,martin.byrne@ntlworld.ie
Date: 31 Oct 03 - 07:30 PM

sounds like your talking about the gibson tb1 model dont know if theres many around mine came america and i believe its from around 1930's


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,raa2world@yahoo.com
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 10:43 AM

Hi! I play a 1925 gibson mastertone ball-bearing tenor i bought from John Bernunzio. All original! I have done some research and found the ball-bearing set up is NOT to keep tension on the head {although its one benifit} But its to keep the tone ring FLOATING on the ball- bearings and springs so not to touch the rim. This makes the tone ring "SUPER SENSITIVE". And it WORKS! A very SWEET tone with good volume! I love it! The only reason they stoped on this tone ring method is because VEGA felt it infringed on one of thier patends.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 02:07 PM

I play a Clifford Essex Clipper. I don't know if Americans come across Clifford Essex much but they are/were made in England and are high quality.

Works for me.

Gwilym


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 04:22 PM

A Fairbanks-Vega 5 string circa 1900. It's more of an antique than an instrument.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 05:36 PM

An Ode Longneck 5 from Boulder Colorado, Made about 1961.
I have played it for 15 years. One great night in Toronto
as a storm came in from Lake Ontario Rick Fielding showed me how a banjo was played. A lesson I will never forget.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 05:04 AM

My main banjo is a 1914 Vega, Fairbanks Whyte Laydie short scale tenor, 10 3/4 inch head, it sounds amazing and it's 91 years old.

I also play a Bacon Orchestra ' C ' but it still has it's original friction pegs and it's a sod to tune.

I also have an Aria Mastertone copy standard tenor.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Sweetpete
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:15 PM

Hiden away some where is a Vaga Whyte Ladie that I bought 45pluss years ago for 75 bucks from a pawm shop in Chicago. Love it , but I play a Fender bluegrass type for my frailing. Just bought an Ode long neck. It needs some set up work, but I think I'm going to love it also.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 12:51 PM

Last June I bought a Bart Reiter Tubaphone while on holiday in the US, from Billy Cornette of the Reed Island Rounders of Hillsville, Virginia. I didn't think it would ever take over from my Lo Gordon, but over the last 6 months it's snuck in and become my main banjo. It had a very low action when I bought it, so I've put a higher Snuffy Smith bridge on it, and now it takes clawhammer up the neck beautifully. It's tone is very sweet and it's volume is great for playing with my Appalachian dance team, without being drowned out by clattering feet. I still use the Lo Gordon for teaching, as it has a gentler sound.
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: MARINER
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:33 PM

The banjo I "play" (play is too strong a word, I'm a total beginner and only bought it 4 or 5 weeks ago)is a cheap Tanglewood left handed 5 string.Any other left handed 5 string players among you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:18 PM

I play the Nonjo. It's a snap ro travel with, and its sound NEVER offends.

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:57 PM

I have two "main" banjos, plus a couple of special-interest instruments, and some historical ones as well.

I have a 1923 (or so) Bacon Silver Bell with a 1980s Bates Littlehales neck. This was my uncle's tenor banjo (the tenor neck has disappeared, last seen with a baggie tied over the headstock to catch the falling inlay) that my friend Bates Littlehales made a lovely neck for. I currently use it with a contact mic pickup for my electric banjo needs (in Last Gold Dollar, "an electric tradition").

I regularly play (when acoustic banjo is needed) a 1925 Gibson Style 1 shell with a 1979 reproduction 5-string neck. I got it on eBay, intending to try to make a profit, but it's so sweet and easy-playing that I can't let it go. I play this with my other band, "Civil War Comrades," which features 19th-Century songs and tunes. We do the reenactor bit, in costume, though we haven't yet gone to using period instruments totally. I play, for instance, a 1923 Gibson A-4 mandolin, a style which post-dates the Civil War by 40 years, and there's a hammered dulcimer, too, one that's more advanced than the early dulcimers of that time. We do NOT, however, play steel-stringed guitars.

One thing we do feature in Civil War Comrades is a reproduction Minstrel-era banjo, with the scroll headstock, ogee carving in the neck, a deep 13" diamter shell, and no frets. I call it "Thumper," (actually, it was named by my wife, Jennifer Woods, who insisted I buy it), and keep it tuned to G instead of C (i.e., C tuning sounds in G; G tuning sounds in D).

I also occasionally play my late-19th Century English fretless banjo, made by Geo. Mathews of Birmingham. It's a honey -- loud, crisp and precise, unlike the Minstrel fretless. Nylon strung, too.

In addition, when playing music of the Victorian era, I sometimes reach for my S. S. Stewart "American Princess," made around 1890. It's a short-scale fretted banjo, strung with nylon strings (it should be gut, though I haven't tried that yet).

When I'm in the Mountain mood, I dig out my Frank Proffitt (style) small-head cherry wood fretless banjo that Alberto Vazquez and I built back in the '70s. It's fun to play, for sure.

I have a tenor or two, one possibly a Weymann, though that's not sure. I can get a tune from a tenor, but it's not my main banjo style.

However, my 1920s Vega mandolin banjo IS a style of instrument I play a lot, so I'm keeping that one, too. I bought it on our honeymoon, so it has sentimental attachments and can't be let go.

Not so attached, but fun to plunk on now and then, is my Goldtone guitar banjo. It has a Fender-style neck and a single-coil electric pickup. I'm going to have to try this with Last Gold Dollar, you know?

That's about it, I think. I'll check my list, but that's all I remember.

Bob Clayton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:36 PM

Bob-

It sounds like you have quite a collection and keep them all in good working order.

I've got a pack of classic S. S. Stewart banjos, one of which I'd dearly like to find a good home for. It's a Special Thoroughbred Model 2, nice mother-of-pearl inlay in the peghead, simple diamonds inlaid on the fingerboard, deep carved heel, 12-inch head, and rare copper-clad rim. Send me a PM with your e-mail address if you have any interest in viewing a digital image of it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:48 PM

Someone at a festival told me I play English Style ! Whatever THAT Means !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:13 PM

Leadfingers-

Playing banjo "English style" means you get the same note plucking down as you get plucking up. If you play "Anglo style" you get different notes.

Think about that...

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM

Hi banjo players all - I started off with several "cheapies" and progressed over many years to Vega & Vega/Martin - great instruments which I used in the band and for solo work.
I never really found the "perfect banjo" so a few years ago I took one of the cheapies apart to see how it was made. From then on I have made my own banjos, mainly from bits & pieces and canabalized instruments
I currently use an open back with a fibreskin head and a kneck purchased on ebay (an old vega I think) it plays & sounds the way I want although it took a lot of adjusting and sawing/sanding to get it to that stage.
I currently own about 15 banjos which range from a 1920's Windsor which I have refurbished to a Gold Tone Long Neck which I think is a superb instrument.(a 60th birthday present from she who must be obeyed)
There's nothing better than to play the first tune ever on a banjo which you have made yourself and I think that anyone with a bit of basic knowledge should have a go.
My ambition is to find a really good fretless or to make one.
Great thread - keep on picking


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 07:17 AM

Actual banjos - The No1 is a Korean Maya resonator- Mastertone copy
                No2 is a pre war open back John Alvey Turner
                No3 is a 1900 ish 7 string Temlett
                No4 is a mid twenties Vega Copy open back short scale
                     tenor
                No5 is an Ozark banjola

There are several mandolin banjos and Banjoleles lying around as well


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM

I'm still looking for a good banjo with tuning keys that move easily without slipping, and a nice mellow sound. One that I wouldn't mind installing a couple of 5th string spikes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 08:08 AM

Kendall-

We should consult.

I'll send you some digital images of the S. S. Stewart Special Thorobred. I haven't yet retrofit the tuning keys on that one but I certainly did so with the two other ones that I play regularly.

If I do achieve a sale, I will make the customary donation to Mudcat.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Meredog
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 09:16 AM

started with a Kay--then a gibson Mastertone and now a B and D b#2 Special

B and D is the best hands down


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Banjiman
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 09:55 AM

Looking at the luscious instruments mentioned on this thread I daren't admit what I play..........(but I like it!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,holland
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 04:03 PM

A Stelling staghorn from '76


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Stewart
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 05:17 PM

A lefty Ramsey Standard with 12" rim. Owned a Wildwood Troubador a few years back but found it was too heavy for any prolonged playing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 05:23 PM

... sold my beautiful Deering Longneck VEGA - and started carrying around a Deering Goodtime - head twisted down so tight it'd bounce a quarter off the ceiling - AND strings to tuned A - sounds pretty good! I also use a GoldTone banjola. Nice sounding instrument - but has its challenges for stage use.

Still - I'm thinking about a more serious banjo. No hurry ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: sandy d
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 02:46 PM

A Clifford Essex with a skin head and nylgut strings. A old Windmill fretless made in 1929. A little mountain banjo. A lovely gourd banjo made in Alabama. A scooped Deering Goodtime and lastly, a no-name banjo bought on Ebay and made by the sellers uncle. It has a whiteladye tonering, renassance head and moon bridge, plays like a dream and I love it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 03:14 PM

Gold Tone Irish Tenor (IT250), a short scale four string, apparently made in Korea and setup in Florida before shipment to dealers. As such instruments go it's very good, but not quite the vibe of the Orpheum I mentioned earlier. Most Gold Tone instruments I've tried have been of similar quality. I like it very much, and use it when no one is around who dislikes the banjo thing. Someday I'd like an equivalent 5 string and 6 string.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Dan Keding
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:22 PM

I play ( or attempt to play might be a better use of language) a 1925 Bacon & Day Silver Belle five string, almost all original. It is a beautiful banjo that belonged to Logan English, my father-in-law's cousin and was given to me by his mother. It has the original case and was filled with playbills, posters and other memorabilia from Logan's career. Sounds great and deserves a better player - I'm hoping one of my nieces or nephews takes up the banjo so it can stay in the family.

Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:39 PM

Deering - Boston


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:57 PM

Change from Oct '03 - The Dallas has gone and been replaced by a nice open back John Alvey Turner 5 string ! The rest remain the same


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:58 PM

100 !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: chazkratz
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 06:54 PM

First, let me start with the banjos that got away:

My first five-string was a Bacon long neck I bought in 1962, along with Seeger's book. I kept it for 10 or 15 years, finally trading it in on a guitar (stupid move).

Subsequently I had (briefly) some cheap openback with lousy action--I don't remember the brand or even what I did with it. Sometime in the early 80's I borrowed a long neck Ode from a friend, planned to buy it from him but when I brought it to him along with an offer he had sold it to another friend who bought it for his son. I had become interested in banjo again so bought a Saga kit--resonator, flathead tone ring, etc. I didn't do the greatest job putting it together, and Saga hadn't done a very good job drilling the holes for the coordinator rods, but it came to life when I put it in the hands of a good banjo luthier (Larry Cohea).

Then in the early '90s I went to an Oscar Schmidt (the name having been bought by Samick) with an aluminum pot--I didn't keep it long and went back to playing the Saga until I found in the same store where I had bought the kit and the aluminum beast a Gold Star arch top with hearts and flowers inlays--it was (is) a great banjo and I loved it except that as I was learning to frail at the time and kept knocking my thumb on the part of the head over the arch and had developed a painful bone bruise on my knuckle, so when the same store (The 5th String in Berkeley) had a Wildwood Minstrel hanging on the wall I sold the Gold Star to a friend and bought the Wildwood (which like most Wildwoods has a block pot and a tubaphone tone ring. I finally sold it a couple of years ago for much less than it is worth to buy a Gold Tone Dojo (thin resophonic guitar body with a banjo neck).

Also in the late '90s I bought a Gold Tone banjola which I rarely played, and sold it just this year.   Three or four years ago I bought one of the first Gold Tone Elite Classics made and kept it--without playing it much--until early this year when I donated it for a fundraiser.

One other banjo that came into and left my possession is a Rover with a plastic pot that I worked on to convert into a pretty good frailer--I took off the strings, changed the frosted pot to a fiberskin, replaced the guitar-style tuners with planets and the friction fifth string peg to a geared one, then pulled frets 18 to 22 out and rasped and filed out a frailing scoop. This banjo ended up in the hands of whoever stole my Honda Civic a couple of years ago.

Now, banjos I have--in the mid '90s I bought a banjerine--Slingerland pot with a 1s7 fret Vega style neck by Wyatt Fawley--from Michael Holmes of Mugwumps. This one left my possession for about a year when I left it on top of my car as I loaded my harmonicas and other banjo into the trunk after a jam, then drove away. I didn't realize it was gone for a week or so, then asked, Jim Hiatt, the co-owner of the 5th string to watch out for it. I had given up hope when one Saturday afternoon Jim called me and said that someone had brought it into the store--the somebody being Keb' Mo'--and when he heard the story wanted to give it back to me (after having bought it that day in a pawn shop). I talked to Keb' and told him I couldn't let him give it back to me, but that I would come to the store and pay him for it. But as I was leaving with my checkbook, I got the idea that maybe Keb' would prefer a banjo in exchange for it--and this brings me to another banjo I forgot to mention above--so I grabbed the Gold Tone Hoab model I liked but rarely played because the pot is 13 inches and I found it uncomfortable to play sitting down (as I do most of my playing), and set off to the 5th String. We talked, jammed a bit, Keb' invited me to go with him and his manager to a Taj Mahal concert in the city--it broke my heart that I had to refuse because of a prior commitment to my wife. So, anyway, the banjerine is back and will stay in my possession.

Not long after I bought the Slingerland via eBay, I found a 1890's S. S. Stewart at The Musical Instrument Exchange in Berkeley and bought it--from Marc Silber, who at the time was a partner--he now has his own store across town. The first thing I did to the Stewart was replace the frosted head someone had put on it with a fiberskin and replaced the friction 5th string tuner with a geared one. I was going to replace the friction tuners in the headstock with planets, but decided the neck was a bit warped and I loved the Fawley neck on the Slingerland I mentioned above, so I ordered an unfinished neck from Wyatt and had Larry Cohea install it. I played it for a few years unfinished but finally broke down and had Jim Hiatt finish it. This banjo is my number one player--sounds great, looks great, and is nice and light--this last characteristic causing me to abandon the above mentioned Wildwood as my main axe.

I also have another Rover which I converted to a fretless, after going through the other adapations I made to the Rover described above, a Gold Tone Maple Mountain--with a White Lady tone ring--I cut a frailing scoop into this banjo, too, and I like it almost as much as I like my Stewart/Fawley--which, alas, will never have a frailing scoop--I don't want to screw up Wyatt's fine work. And recently, to replace the stolen Rover frailer, I purchased another Gold Tone, a CB-1, which is a great frailer--essentially very similar to a Deering/Vega Old Time Wonder, at a third of the cost.

Charles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,QuestionMark
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 03:57 AM

My primary banjo is a very early 1970's Martin Vega 5 string Wonder banjo made with leftover parts from the original Vega factory (noticeable as they're engraved with the Vega name where the later Martin Vega parts were not.) As a backup and sometimes trade-off to it, I use a hearts & flowers Vega 5 string that was produced during the often mysterious Vega era when they were produced or imported by Galaxie (the era after Martin sold the name and brand rights of the Vega name to Galaxie...which was the era before Deering later bought up the rights to the Vega brand and name.) The only reason I even learned about this Galaxie made Vega era was I called Mr. Deering himself who helped me identify who made the particular model. He recommended I buy, for one because it was selling so inexpensively and two, he was hoping that all the previous Galaxie Vega models would get sold and out of the American music stores so only Deering Vegas would be in them. The story itself makes the Galaxie Vega a keeper...it's actually a pretty good banjo, although the Martin Vega I have is comparatively more awesome.

QM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 11:05 AM

Interested reading this thread about Jida banjoes. I had a long handled model I bought in the mid 70's. It was never great - so after about 20 years I sold it to Keith Stacey.

Next time I saw it; it was a stunningly beautiful instrument. it played like a dream - even in my hands!

Keith explained that he had dismantled it - every nut and bolt - then reassembled it, having lovingly cleaned and oiled all the parts. He said, the basic design and the materials of the banjo were great, but they just hadn't been put together with love in the factory.

Incidentally Keith is a great banjo player - playing all the main styles and he is still looking for pupils. He lives at Clay Cross near Chesterfield. His number is 01246 865739 and he knows all about banjoes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 03:57 PM

I play an RB175 Seeger longneck style by Gibson but a dropped a Rich and Taylor pot into it.
It records well.

I have an old 1922 B and D tenor #1 which I have adapted to drop-tenor (Irish) tuning.
Oddly enough, it's a good instrument but it sounds muddy even when brought up to
standard tenor pitch.

My workshorse is a B and D neck on an Ome pot.

I think that Ome makes the best four-string banjos available today and they compare
most favorably with any Bacon and Day's out there as well as old Paramounts. In a band setting, the Ome (like the B and D) doesn't break up at high levels such as does the
Vega Vox.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: john f weldon
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 04:50 PM

My first banjo, a Fairbanks "Special Electric" Model, circa 1920? I paid 20 bucks, and thanks to many attempts at home repair, it probably retains its original value today!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: haddocker
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 05:01 PM

A pre-war Whyte Lady but without the originsal neck. Sounds sweet regardless.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 11:44 AM

My first banjo was an old Vega Little Wonder with a new five-string neck. I played that for a year or two and then picked up my fathers Wildwood.

I played the Wildwood for almost twenty years. When it finally died (it actually fell apart) somebody gave me a Wildwood Heirloom long neck.

I can't stand neck banjos - even when they are free - so I swapped out the long neck for a factory-second standard neck. The long neck and the few usable parts from my old Wildwood wound up being given to one of my students so he could build himself a professional level banjo.

Anyway, I played the Frankenstein Wildwood for about five years. It wasn't great, but it worked well enough for an instrument that cost me less than $300 to put together.

Earlier this year my online workshops started getting more attention and thousands of new banjo players started asking me for recommendations on what banjo to buy.

Since I work pretty hard to keep what I do noncommercial I decided to refuse to recommend or endorse any particular brand. People started buying Wildwoods simply because they saw the logo on my headstock, so I gave away my Wildwood (it went to a firefighter in Bristol while I was visiting the UK) and picked up a generic Vega copy with nothing on the headstock.

So nowadays I play "a banjo". When students ask what to buy I tell them to get what they can afford and make the most of it.

-Patrick
http://tangiersound.wordpress.com/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 11:49 AM

I play air banjo, you should see my Orange Blossom Special!
G


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Mats Hennig
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 04:25 PM

I play a banjo I made myself. "The Rosie" is the name. the neck is flamed maple, ebony fretboard inlayed with a lot of mop. Mop is sawn from a big shell I bought in Greece. Pot of maple with a Whyte Laydie tone ring. Hardware from StewMac. looks wonderful and sounds fantastic.
I also play Vegas and Stelling,but "The Rosie" banjo sounds the best.
Rosie is also name of my wife.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 04:25 PM

"I play air banjo, you should see my Orange Blossom Special!"

I note that you say, "see," which is what you get with air banjo, thank God.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 06:25 PM

I have a late 1960's Gibson RD250 Mastertone. I'm still trying to learn how to play it without getting complaints from the neighbors. Someday I expect I'll bring it to a stage and embarrass myself. I love the sound though.

Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Jim Krause
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:38 PM

I have two; my main banjo is a Wildwood Troubador and I have a second banjo built by Clarke Buehling, which is one of his gourd banjos.

Jim Krause


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Dan Egger
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM

I play a Jida made in the mid 1970's. Its a gibson RB-800 clone model 237 flat head. It has a very nice tone and plays very easy. I have another old no name banjo that my daughter took back to college with her that is a beginners banjo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Banjovey
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 08:11 PM

Nothing but Clifford Essex. I have three including my favourite the XX Special with scalloped tone ring. A White Lady copy I think


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Escapee
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 11:26 PM

I have a Deering Sierra that I love but it weighs a ton. I could hardly stand up under it after an adventure a few years ago involving cardiac arrest. Now I usually play a Deering-made Vega Little Wonder which doesn't have the tone or volume but it weighs half what the Sierra does and I need a microphone anyway. I also have high hopes for a late 20's Little Wonder pot thats going to get a Gold Tone %-string neck soon. And when the y don't do it for me, I break out the pennywhistles.
SKP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Dan Gibson, Dallas, TX
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 11:09 PM

Wildwood Troubador: Renaissance head -- not sure I like the sound. It looks great, though. Might go back to the Five-Star frosted, but lightly antiqued to tone down its Day-Glo white appearance. No-knot tailpiece, Moon bridge. I had the neck scooped above the fifteenth fret by Moses McKnight in VanAlstyne, TX.
Dan Gibson, Storyteller/Banjoplayer
dan.gibson@juno.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: banjoman
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 09:31 AM

I decided a couple of years ago, faced with loads of spare time after being retired from work on medical grounds, to have a close look at how my then banjo(a Gold Tone ) was put together. I ended up buying a kit banjo and making it . I have now progressed a bit and play several banjos which I have put together from all sorts of bits and pieces bought of lots of people.
I have now got 25 banjos which are all in great playable condition and include a long neck of uncertain origins and my favourite which has the pot and hardware from a 1930s Grimshaw resonator banjo. paired to a neck which I got from an old Savanah and refurbished.

Its great to play an instrument which you have made yourself. I am curretly working on making a neck for a long neck banjo from scratch, having found a nice bit of maple which someone kindly chopped and sawed to a rough neck shape.

I still have a couple of Gold Tones which I think are pretty good instruments for the price, as well as a very old Windsor Zither banjo which still plays well. I also have a banjo which I was challenged to make a couple of years ago when someone suggested that my banjo looked like a frying pan. I agreed to make one from a Tefal Non Stick, using the pan as the resonator, fixed to an open back of indescriminate origins. This plays amazingly well and always promotes interest when I take it out. Its a great hobby and one I would recomend although it took me a while to gather all the proper tools together

Keep Pickin'

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 10:02 AM

So as a ignoramus reading this thread
(well bits of it)
Anyone got the time to point me at online reading about banjos
Sort of wondering why there are Five,four and six string ones
and how they are used played etc.
Cheers
Tim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Patrick_Costello
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 10:16 AM

Update:

My attempts to keep things noncommercial didn't quite work out.

The pricing on new banjos is so outlandish that I decided to start picking up imported banjos, setting them up and offering them at deep discounts to my students.

We started out offering the S101 openback, and when our suppliers ran out of them we switched over to the Tyler Mountain TM5-35. Simple banjos that play pretty well after being set up.

I can put a package with one of these open back banjos, a book, a CD, a DVD, a tuner, gig bag, strap and custom setup for $189.00. We are selling them faster than we can pack 'em up.

We also sold Morgan Monroe open back banjos until our wholesalers ran out of them (we sell a LOT of banjos in the US and UK) and for the price they were really nice. I liked the Cameron a lot.

Once Morgan Monroe was sold out we started looking for a new banjo to offer and wound up launching our own line of banjos. In a few weeks we will begin offering The Somerset County Banjo. Handmade in the USA out of cherry with a WL tone ring for around $850.00 with a case & lifetime warranty.

-Patrick
http://tangiersound.wordpress.com/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Escapee
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 01:09 PM

Hello Tim. banjohangout.com has lots of info. 5-strings are largely used for bluegrass, old time and folk music, four-string for Dixieland jazz or traditional music , like Irish and six-strings are for guitar players. These are starting points and any type of banjo can go about anywhere it wants to. The orchestra ( real, not Muppet ) on the old " Muppet Show " featured tenor (4-string) banjo prominently although it wasn't Dixieland.
Yours,
SKP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:11 PM

Thank you Escapee


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:50 AM

I don't play banjo well, though I own an old Vega 5-string - a recent gift. When I was hanging about in coffee houses in the late 1950's, Vega was one of THE banjos to have. Are they still in business? Deering is all the rage in my area and, of course, their production is local.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 12:36 PM

A wooden-rimmed 5-string of uncertain origin, probably homemade, it's only identifying marks being the name "W Jeffery" stamped in two places on the neck. By sheer fluke a friend of a friend saw me at a session and recognised the banjo as one he'd worked on as an apprentice of Mr Jeffery, who was a furniture- maker and repairer by trade.

It's got a vellum head and friction pegs (which need sorting out) but it sounds very nice and mellow (for a banjo)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Sean Belt
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM

Mike Ramsey Standard. It's got a 12" pot. I've put a Rennaisance head on it and one of those curved moon bridges. Though I recently broke the bridge and have had to temporarily replace it with a straight bridge.

Right now, the instrument is strung up with Nylaguts, though I'll probably go back to steel strings when I replace the bridge.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:06 AM

TJ...Vega appears to be owned by Deering now. Nice instuments.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Doug
Date: 28 May 08 - 06:03 PM

ODE Model 'C', 1977. It is Looking for a new home.
hitnmiss@embarqmail.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Escapee
Date: 28 May 08 - 11:23 PM

I had an old Vega tenor Little Wonder (1928) that I always meant to learn to play. One day, I quit kidding myself and sent it to Gold Tone to have a 5-string neck put on it. I got it back a couple of weeks ago and it's just what I was hoping for. It has tone and volume with little weight, and cost a lot less than a similar new instrument. I've been playing a Deering Little Wonder and this old Vega puts it in the shade.
SKP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:18 AM

I have hunted for most of my adult life for a banjo that sounds like the one Granpa Jones used to play. Most banjos are way too bright and loud. What really pisses me off is the fact that I could have bought one of Granpa's banjos back in the 70's for $200.00! (From him, not some fake)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:36 AM

Mine is a 1960 era Vega SS-5 Folklore longneck - the "cheap "version of the Pete Seeger model at the time - with a sunburst neck finish.   Bought it at Christmas 1960 in Cambridge, Mass. with my accumulated summer earnings for $150. It was the first instrument I ever bought new - I was inspired to take up banjo as a devotee of Pete and the Kingston Trio's Dave Guard, so I figured I had to go for the long neck. It's still in very good condition - a few new brackets and a replaced fifth string tuner button is about all I've ever done to it.   The neck is still true (I think it the finger board is Brazilian Rosewood) and the head is still the original (plastic of some kind).   I don't play it much any more but when I do it still plays like a dream and is incredibly loud. It's just a little hard to balance weight wise. These days I have trouble getting long strings for it in the local shops - last time I could only find short strings and the windings on the wound strings just barely made it over the nut.   I also had trouble getting a new case for it as the original cardboard crumbled - and ended up getting a "Bass Banjo Case" from Gold Tone via the internet, that fits somewhat. That being said, some times I use it as a "bass" banjo in A - playing uncapoed with "C" tuning/chording while the regular banjo players are in G tuning capoed up 2.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Big Larraldo
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:06 PM

A complete heap of shit - Tonewood, cost about £300 a year or so ago. Previous to that I had a bigger heap of shit which was a Countryman that cost about £100 and warped within a year. With both banjos (5 strings) I was aware that I was not paying much but I was just beginning and so, joking aside, they were/are fine for that purpose. When I get better I will splash out a little on something sexy; in the meantime the Tonewood gives me a huge amount of pleasure (and has got a good sound for the price) and the Countryman, warped and all, has been saved from the fire and is being played by my brother in France and giving him plenty of fun. Can't wait until the Cambridge Festival so I can play some good banjos whilst pretending to be interested in buying one of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:09 PM

MissouriMud - you must be one of the few owners of longnecks that ever took his/her capo off.
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:41 PM

I don't do it much, particularly when playing Bluegrass or Old Time string band music with other instruments, where you pretty much have to stick to traditional keys.   I must confess that after I got the "bass banjo" case I was curious as to whether I could do some "bass banjo" and looked for some situations where it worked. However, when accompanying mostly vocal music I'll play all over the place - wherever I can make c or g shape chords fit the singer's range- so it's not that uncommon to play with no capo in that situation.   I think Seeger did pretty much the same thing since he didnt do much bluegrass - just put the banjo wherever G or C matched his somewhat limited vocal range. He wasnt into the "high lonesome" vocal sound so the lower frets gave him a lot of flexibility in matching his voice. But I dont do much of that any more - mainly play guitar these days - banjo gives my wife "Deliverance" nightmares


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: MikeT
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:07 PM

I play a Gatcombe standard from sometime before the last century. I love it.

Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:10 PM

Kendall, I believe Grand Pa used heavy gauage strings and a soft top on his Mastertones. He left the resonator on and Frailed much like Uncle Dave. I too am envious of the sound.

Muddy, Use GHS loop end banjo strings. They are all long scale strings. I order up special sets from Elderly to get the old medium Vega Long scale guages.

I also got a new long neck case from elderly about five years ago that fits my Ode Long Neck 5 to a T.

Ray, I use three capos at once most of the time. I leave a capo on the third fret to keep the banjo in standard G tuning. I usually play up the neck anyway so I capo at 8 to play in C with G tuning and I have a sliding fifth string capo. Like juggling three cats at times.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: glueman
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:18 PM

"Most banjos are way too bright and loud."

Agreed Kendall. My Deering Goodtime was purchased only partly beause I'm an undiscriminating tight @rse. The tone of so many banjos is way upfront and getting an open back model without fancy inlays is like asking for an economical Ferrari, the stuff of slack jawed amazement. Everyone sells rhinestones but some of us want rat traps.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 08 - 05:18 PM

Ramsey Standard with 12" pot, Renaissance head. Love it, it plays me!
Stew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Noddy
Date: 29 May 08 - 06:32 PM

My Name is Noddy and I am a banjo player ......there I said it.
Now only Ten Steps to a cure!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:45 PM

Don, what do you mean by a "soft top" ? real skin not too tight?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:09 PM

Hi Kendall,

I think Grand Pa Jones used a Rogers natural skin top. They are a big pain in the ass however. Let off the top a little. You may have to put on a taller bridge if you do. My brother uses a Fiberskin on his AC Fairbanks and his Bacon and Day Silver belle. Great old timey sound.

Don

Gonna see you at Old Songs???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 May 08 - 07:07 PM

There is a maker in North Georgia and the banjo is something like "The Golden Eagle" but I don't think it is Richelieu. It is one of the best I've ever heard. Anyone know anything about it? It has a resonator.

The old Gibson trap-door that Buell Kazee played was unique for old-time ballad singing.

Ome makes a great pot.

The problem for me with a long-neck (RB-175) is that it's hard to play much old-time Round Peak or Kentucky style because of the width of the frets. I think a Reiter or one of the old Cole's or Eclipse or White Ladye's do this best. I have heard some amazing banjo sounds on YouTube and wonder what some of them are playing.

As for git-jos, I think that Johnny St. Cyr probably played a Gibson trap-door which really gave it "body" for his classic "Heebie Jeebies" with Lil Hardin. I haven't heard many git-jos that really sound that good. I wish a maker could do a repro of the old Gibson trap-doors since they had a quality that you don't hear in banjos today.

I'm amazed at the different tonal qualities of banjos. Personally, I like one that you can sing with.

I have a nineteen fret B and D # 1 and I wish that it were seventeen frets instead.
It's interesting how when playing trad jazz or Irish that the extra frets make a difference.
They make my hand ache more and slow me down. I don't want to mess with my B and D because it is 1922 and has its original neck, resonator and pot. I had to replace some tuners but I have retained the original ones. It has a great sound for Irish and the B and D's are the only banjos aside from the Omes which can be played at high volumes without distortion. The Eddie Peabody Voxes are fine for solo instruments but even Eddie played sometimes so hard that you couldn't quite distinguish between the tones. It kinda' rasped.

Pete Seeger fashioned a lignum vitae (one of the hardest woods you can find) neck on his
Tuba-fone pot for his recent banjo. This is the one that was inadvertently parked on the roof of his car and found later in a ditch. Stu Jamieson (of clawhammer fame) did his bridge but Stu doesn't make them now.

One of the most knowledgeable banjo players and repairmen lives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and his name is "Arkansas Red". He has made some fine sounding instruments, some through mix and match.

Anybody know about the "Trujos" from the Bay area?

Frank

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 31 May 08 - 04:24 PM

I play an old catalogue banjo with no name and a Star on the peg head.
I also play a banjo thet I made in 1978 with a mahogony neck and a Macrame hoop for a tone ring.
I have a fretless that I made that looks a lot like Frank Profitt's banjo.
I have an S.S, Stewart banjorine that started life as a tango banjo. It has a scale length very similar to a regular banjo capoed at 5 and I usually have it tuned to open C (cGCEG).
Besides some cookie tin banjos and banjo ukes, that's about it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 08 - 09:46 PM

I still rely on my S. S. Stewart Orchestra Model 2 for its mellow tone and clean fingerboard. I do have a back-up Orchestra, with a repro neck that I use when I'm home or overseas; it plays fine but I wouldn't grieve so much if it got ripped off. I've also got a prettier Orchestra Model 3 but it needs remedial work; someone installed a thicker rim so that the head is below sea level, so to speak, and either the rim needs to be ground down (or round) or I need to find another one the proper height.

My copper clad Thoroughbred Special is still available for sale but only to a good home (PM if interested).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 07:57 AM

Yes, Don, we will be at Old Songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Gulliver in the sun
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 08:25 AM

An old (well, circa 1960) Framus tenor banjo tuned Irish style. I bought it from a friend about 15 years ago but have been playing it only over the last two years. It has a natural skin head which gives it a mellow tone and a very low bridge, made by the previous owner, which gives it good action and makes it easier to play. I'd like to get a short-scale banjo, but as ever, when I've got the time to play, I've no money, and when I have the money, I've no time to play.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: oombanjo
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 09:36 AM

I now have my Jason Romero . Im like a pig in muck


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM

My apologies...I'm looking for guidance. I don't play but have inherited a Honda Banjo (used condition with case -- the case hinges need work). Where do I turn to get this thing evaluated so I may have an idea of its worth as I wish to sell it soon?

Thank you kindly for letting me pop into your discussion.

Marion
kc8nvx@chartermi.net


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM

The aforementioned Gold Tone Irish Tenor (IT-250, 4 string) made me so happy that last week I bought a Gold Tone 5 string (BG-250). Except that it doesn't have the nice cloud fretboard inlays like the IT, instead it has the rather usual diamond shaped markers, it seems to be of identical quality. The resonator back easily detaches (though the mounting tabs then stick out, ready to rip the flesh from my leg) for transformation to an open back. It's quite toneful either way, but I think the back will stay on for now.

Like the IT, the BG did not come with a hard case, so I have one on order. If it's of equal quality to the IT case, it'll be fine.

Now to REALLY listen to Bela Fleck! I can dream, can't I?

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:43 AM

OK....I'll admit to my banjos!

I have a Gold Tone WL200 (open back) which is good for picked stuff but a little harsh (but bearable) for clawhammer/ frailing which is mostly what I play. So I bought myself a Gold Tone BC350 Signature which is superb, very mellow but still loud enough to need muting when playing without a P.A.

Good build quality and reliability on both.

I also have a an old German open back with a real vellum head which is nice and quiet for late night practicing, a small banjeurine thing and an Ozark Banjola.

Paul


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:52 AM

A Kildare (a Sully model made by John Hullah) 17 fret "masterclone" tenor.

I've been playing more (Vintage, cheap east European) mandolin in sessions for the last year or more but I'll come back to the banjo more some time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:00 PM

I'm in the market for a open-back 5 string banjo. Reasonably priced.
I'd like something no to heavy -- I'm petite with small hands. I've been looking at gold tone. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Grace


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Zen
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:07 PM

Deering Goodtime 17-fret short scale tenor tweaked with aftermarket fiberskyn head, Vega-style armrest and custom-made maple plate resonator

Zen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight grace
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:20 PM

Thanks Zen,

I'm looking for an open back banjo for playing old timey music.

Grace


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:42 PM

Note: I sent an answer to Marion (Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play? From: GUEST,Marion - PM Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM) as no-one seems to have done so.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:48 PM

Grace, it would help if you set some parameters -- are you new to OT banjo, and to banjo playing in general? Do you play other instruments? Would you consider a fretless banjo? Do you live near enough to a good music store to be able to try out some different instruments? Do you live near enought to someplace where people get together to play to see a range of banjos in action? Mudcat is a great source of advice; you will probably get more suggestions than you can use. But the more data folks have to help you, the more useful the help is likely to be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:59 PM

I am new to the banjo. Been a folkie for years --- surrounded by great musicians -- including my husband a guitar player and songster Bob Clayton. I need frets.
Live near HMT in Takoma Park. Lots of good advice from Bob -- my mentor. Just interested in hearing what people think of gold tones.

Thanks,

Gracie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:06 PM

If you're in Takoma, you may be able to find a gold tone to try out at the House of Musical Traditons; and if you don't mind crossing the river, you may also find someone playing one at the biweekly Capitol Area Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association jams in Lyon Park in Arlington (although the bluegrass players dominate that one).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Zen
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:19 PM

Sorry about the confusion Grace... I was responding to the thread title rather than your post.

But you might look at the Deering Goodtime 5-string as it happens if you are new to the banjo. Well-made for not too much money.... especially if fitted with a fibreskyn head instead of the shiny white plastic one. Gold Tones are certainly good value too.

Zen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:39 PM

Thanks Zen.. I was just researching them. The light weight and narrow neck appeals to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Casey (CW)
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 09:49 PM

Its a Deering Maple Blossom. The Maple Blossom is an excellent banjo with a crisp, clear tone.Its a bit expensive for a beginners instrument, but I sure look good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: masha
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 10:29 PM

A Coles' Eclipse. Well, actually TWO Coles' Eclipses. I got the first one over 30 years ago. It used to belong to David Molk.

We are an 8 banjo household at the moment... a little excessive, I know.

My first banjo was a freebie Kay. It was given to me in Chicago in 1978 on the condition that, when I was ready for a better banjo, I had to give it to someone else who was just starting out. I did, but I don't remember to whom. It would be fun to know if it's still making the rounds of the Chicago old-time community.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Flazmo
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 12:28 PM

Unfortunately, I suffer from BAD (Banjo Acquisition Disease). My main banjo is my Deering longneck Black Diamond, which I love. I grew up listening to Dave Guard and John Stewart. I also have a Deering Maple Blossom for bluegrass and a Deering Goodtime special for travel. For rhythm work I have a Gold Tone Plectrum (4-string).

I have been fascinated with the hybrid banjos out there, so I have a Gold Tone banjolin, a Gold Tone 12-string and a Gold Tone Bass banjo. (I am also a bass player.)

I may be incurable because I "need" and electric banjo and maybe one of those cello banjos.

I have to say that I've been pleased with all of these purchases and I'm doing a bunch of recordings, at my wife's suggestion, where the only instruments are banjos and some percussion. With the 4- and 12-stringers for rhythm, the banjolin and 5-strings for picking and the bass banjo the sound is interesting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,DulciPicker
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM

I have a Liberty Buckdancer, made in 1983 by Bob Flesher and his partner in the Liberty banjo company. It's a beautiful open back with an extremely clear, clean sound. I'd prefere a liteel more bottom end, but it's both loud and sweet, so I won't complain.
I also have a gourd banjo made by Clarke Buehling, an unnamed, homemade, banjo uke, a Dean el-cheapo 6-string "banjitar" , and a Gold Star banjola. This is a bit odd, since these mebranophones are the instruments that I play the least.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jack R
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM

I play a 1923 Bacon Blue Ribbon with the original skin head. inside the backing is the name of the original owner and the date he first bought it. I use it mostly for irish music and have played this one since the late 1970's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 10:57 PM

Grace and others-

If you're looking for a good antique banjo for old-time tunes you might check out eBay for S. S. Stewart banjos, the American Princess Model 2. They are a delight to play and do have a narrow neck. There is more information about this banjo on the Stewart website known as "Mugwumps": click here for website

If you or any others have serious interest in Stewart banjos feel free to contact me via this thread or by PM.

I recently sold one of my Stewarts to an old friend and it's nice to know it's gone to a good home.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Greg B
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 06:04 PM

Spent the afternoon at the notorious Mandolin Brothers in Staten
Island a while back. Sat in the banjo room, played every five
string they had, new and used. Including some instruments that
were worth more than a luxury automobile. Well, maybe not worth
more, but priced more.

Really wanted to like some of the more expensive instruments. And
I did like some of them. I love inlays, so I really wanted to like
the Recording King Artist Supreme. But didn't really. Found it
clunky, kinda.

Really didn't want to like the Vega "Little Wonder" in its current
incarnation. But kept coming back to it. Simple. No tone ring. What
an action! This guy who's been frailing since he was seven was
hooked. Notes "bent" as quick as thought. Just nothing not to like.

An instrument that one could live with long-term. And not too
awfully dear.

One of these days, I'm gonna bring one home.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 06:17 PM

What banjo do I play?

A slightly out of tune one normally...

I bought a cheap one of no distinguishing name because it had a resonator hence more volume for noisy pubs when I was knocking about with a skiffle / music hall set of mates. Five string tuned to G.

I actually learned on a Windsor that I picked up cheap over 30 years ago, and it was lovely. Pre war with a new skin and machine heads, but it was stolen out of the van one night when I decided not to play it...

these days I rarely play anything. Must get off my backside and get out again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,banjokid95
Date: 02 Jan 09 - 11:16 PM

The banjo I play is a Gold Star GF-100 with a Gold Tone BG-250F neck. I'm planning to convert it to an open-back soon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 03 Jan 09 - 06:02 AM

A few changes since my last post. My curent banjo is now the Somerset S-1 prototype - one of the little advantages of star up a banjo companyt.
-Patrick
http://somersetbanjo.com/.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: banjoman
Date: 03 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM

I have just had a present of a Gold Tone Plunky Banjo to add to my growing collection ( now about 30 banjos of all sizes & shapes) It must be the smallest 5 stringer ever, smaller than my Picolo Banjo, but has a really great piercing tone. Tuned in an open C Chord its a great little instrument and a real novelty
Keep Pickin'

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: VRB
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:27 PM

I have a Rogue open back banjo and on I working on to restore is about 100yrs old has a star on the head stock and a star in the tailpiece. I've been told it was a stella. I don't know but it had a great tone even with the skin toren. I'm replacing the skin with a new skin and having the frett board reworked and fretted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:07 PM

I play mostly traditional tunes from Ireland (Esp.Carolan) England (especially the Hardy Manuscript),and Holland (sorry, The Netherlands !) and other European countries, on the guitar, and have now decided to go for a "Cort" six-string banjo,which I can tune to double-dropped D guitar -tuning and play the same tunes "A La Banjo" without having to re-learn proper banjo tuning !! Philistine ?? You bet, but it sure sounds good !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: VRB
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM

I play a Rogue open back and am working on an old open back with a star on the head stock. I've reworked the frett board and am putting a skin head on it and gut strings. I'm hoping to make a appilachian mountain banjo out of curly maple and a skin head with gut strings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Joven
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 12:34 PM

Til now I have played ODE and OME banjos. I found a Gold Tone HOAB (13" open back) and after a little work setting up I am sold! What a great banjo. I wonder why is it that GOLD TONE discontinued it. Any thoughts?

Any other banjo players using a HOAB?

Thanks

Ivan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 01:54 PM

Reposted from the other thread:

Subject: RE: Banjoists, what style
From: Stringsinger - PM
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 01:46 PM

I like the versatility of the banjo. I have a Ome pot with a 17 fret B and D neck which I use for re-entrant "high C" tuning (taking the fourth string an octave higher). It works on this particular banjo. (CGDA) I use a clear plastic disc (mylar?) for a resonator because I like to stand while I'm playing. That saves your back because it's lighter. My wife plays a Stew-Mac scalloped tonering and pot (ala Whyte Ladye) with a Vega 17 fret neck. The two banjo work well together, her with the lower chords and me with the higher lead parts.

I put the same resonator on my RB175 so I don't have to use finger picks. It's a Pete Seeger model by Gibson with a narrow neck which is not too cool for the Seeger style which needs a wider neck and the best pot is the Tuba-fone for that "ring".

I have a 1922 19 fret B and D tenor which drives me nuts because the neck is too wide at the frets. I prefer a 17 fret. It has a conventional resonator, pot and neck all matching.
I have tried Chicago tuning (first four strings of a guitar DGBE), dropped tenor (GDAE)
conventional tenor (CGDA) and dropped conventional tenor as they do in New Orleans (BbFCG). Nothing sounds the way I like it. When I frail the sucker, it sounds old-timey which means maybe I should swap a five-string clawhammer neck on it to replace the tenor. It's an original and I hate to mess with it and destroy it's value. If I didn't have to jerry-rig the neck on it by invasive surgery and could just swap the necks and keep the
value by storing the original tenor neck, that would be a solution but I don't have any support for this from my repair person friends.

The deal about banjos is that you are always tinkering. Always trying to get it to sound "right".

I like all styles of the banjo but I'm lukewarm about Scruggs style which still sounds mechanical to me. I know it's just a preference.

I like the old Gibson "trapdoors" that have a traditional sound. Some early six-string banjo players used it (you can't hardly find one anymore) and that Buell Kazee used it. (I love his accompaniments).

So that "Half-Barbaric Twang" is a great dream or a nightmare depending on which side of the music bed you get out of.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,lynnt
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 02:32 PM

My sweetie Richard has just begun to throw himself into French & Indian War reenactment, so in support of that has bought himself a cute 4-string gourd banjo made by a retired gentleman out in the Seattle area. Richard already plays blues guitar, and is teaching himself to play this. It's got a surprisingly nice tone for such a primitive instrument, and the maker did a nice job on the maple neck and ebony tuning pegs; hope we don't need to change out the head anytime soon since it's held on with brass tacks. Now if we could only keep the cord that attaches the base of the wooden string-anchor from snapping whenever the temperature changes more than 5 degrees!

Lynn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Tim Paschall
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 04:49 PM

Studio--- 1972 Fender Concert Tone 5-string (All American)

Gig----1938 Paramount Style E 5-sting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,shoot24fps
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 02:08 PM

I dont play. But my grandma picked a little. She gave me her banjo. It is a Vega FW-5, she had it since 1960. It sounds great. Anyone know this model.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Curious Non Player
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM

I was given a Silver Princess 5 string banjo 40 years ago and it has become a family "treasure". On the wall!

Does anyone know of anything about this model? I have searched everywhere for more information and haven't been able to find much.

Many thanks for anything you might know about it,

Zantha

Silver Princess


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 10 - 06:26 AM

I WANT TO BUY A BANJO SPECIFICALLY TO PLAY IRISH TUNES[G-D-A-E-]IWAS LOOKING AT THE KELLS OZARK MODEL 2144T, HAS ANYONE HAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BANJO---OR IS THERE SOMETHING BETTER OUT THERE FOR THE SAME MONEY [AVERAGE 750 POUNDS STERLING ]-------------CHEERS   --BILLY.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 May 10 - 12:43 PM

Pete Seeger is one of my favorite players because he brings to the banjo a musical harmonic sophistication probably acquired from his earlier days as a tenor banjo player doing popular songs of the twenties and thirties. The main thing about his banjo playing is that it's the greatest for generic singing of folk songs. You can run counter-lines, bass runs and fills with it that complements almost every song in gCGBD or gGDBD or retuning to gDBbD for g minor tuning. Also, the "Little Birdie" tuning works well for some pieces: gCGAD.

I have two long neck banjos that I'm not really happy with. Gibson RB175 and a PS style knockoff from Taka. Someday, I hope to have a Vega Tuba-fone pot with a great long neck or even standard size neck for that Seeger ring.

I have this B and D #1 tenor nineteen fret which when I play standard dixieland tenor either CGDA or GCGE (dropped tenor) just doesn't cut it. When I bring the fourth string up, it sounds great as a five-string style open back (I took the resonator off) which leads me to believe I need a great five-string neck of the Fawley quality.

I've come around to going back to what I started with, the Pete Seeger style of picking.
I love the other styles too, but I like to sing.

BTW, Pete had a terrific range in his singing. It was by no means limited. It was different than the "high lonesome" Bill Monroe style but he called himself a "split tenor" with the Weavers which did different parts, some baritone, some tenor and some with falsetto in a pseudo-soprano style.

The problem was that he may have blown out his cords singing at top volume a lot of the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 30 May 10 - 11:34 PM

I don't know about a "Silver Princess" banjo, but S. S. Stewart made a lovely little "American Princess," a 10" shell with a nice neck. I had one for years, and it played really nicely with nylon strings (not so good with steel). If yours is a Stewart model, or one of his competitors, it may be worth fixing up. If it's an off-brand Japanese banjo of the 1970s or so, well, it's still a banjo, and can be fun to play and learn on.

Get more detail and let's see what cha got!

Bob Clayton

PS - I sell a good banjo instruction book for $10, if you'd like to learn traditional styles.

songuitar@verizon.net if interested.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 15 July 11:57 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.