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Your Favorite Banjo Maker

Guy Wolff 01 Nov 05 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 01 Nov 05 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Stewart Bacon 01 Nov 05 - 05:17 PM
DonMeixner 01 Nov 05 - 05:27 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Nov 05 - 05:38 PM
Guy Wolff 01 Nov 05 - 05:45 PM
Guy Wolff 01 Nov 05 - 06:18 PM
BanjoRay 01 Nov 05 - 08:08 PM
kendall 01 Nov 05 - 08:58 PM
Dave Hanson 02 Nov 05 - 04:38 AM
GLoux 02 Nov 05 - 07:55 AM
kendall 02 Nov 05 - 07:59 AM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 10:34 AM
Shiplap Structure3 02 Nov 05 - 11:29 AM
GLoux 02 Nov 05 - 11:49 AM
Dave Swan 02 Nov 05 - 12:04 PM
BanjoRay 02 Nov 05 - 12:34 PM
Spot 02 Nov 05 - 01:20 PM
kendall 02 Nov 05 - 02:33 PM
Mary Humphreys 02 Nov 05 - 02:57 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 04:10 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 04:11 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 04:18 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 04:21 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Martin Gbison 02 Nov 05 - 04:32 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 04:41 PM
Spot 02 Nov 05 - 06:03 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 06:34 PM
kendall 02 Nov 05 - 08:37 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 09:20 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 09:23 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Nov 05 - 09:39 PM
Arbuthnot 02 Nov 05 - 11:38 PM
Jon W. 03 Nov 05 - 12:05 PM
Guy Wolff 03 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM
Guy Wolff 03 Nov 05 - 04:30 PM
Steve Latimer 04 Nov 05 - 08:31 AM
GLoux 04 Nov 05 - 11:30 AM
Guy Wolff 04 Nov 05 - 11:43 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Nov 05 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,A_Banjo_Player 05 Nov 05 - 02:29 PM
oombanjo 05 Nov 05 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 05 Nov 05 - 04:56 PM
Steve Latimer 06 Nov 05 - 02:43 PM
Steve Latimer 06 Nov 05 - 03:29 PM
Steve Latimer 06 Nov 05 - 03:37 PM
Guy Wolff 06 Nov 05 - 07:53 PM
Guy Wolff 06 Nov 05 - 07:57 PM
Steve Latimer 06 Nov 05 - 08:42 PM
GLoux 07 Nov 05 - 08:45 AM
Stu 07 Nov 05 - 09:01 AM
Jon W. 07 Nov 05 - 12:58 PM
kendall 07 Nov 05 - 02:53 PM
Guy Wolff 07 Nov 05 - 07:34 PM
Guy Wolff 06 Jan 06 - 08:12 PM
cool hand Tom 06 Jan 06 - 11:27 PM
burntstump 07 Jan 06 - 09:22 AM
Madeleine 07 Jan 06 - 09:45 AM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 06 - 10:11 AM
Once Famous 07 Jan 06 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Another Banjer Nut 07 Jan 06 - 02:45 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Jan 06 - 04:06 PM
Charley Noble 07 Jan 06 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Banjoman 08 Jan 06 - 09:53 AM
GUEST 09 Jan 06 - 05:51 AM
Charley Noble 09 Jan 06 - 11:16 AM
Guy Wolff 16 Apr 07 - 09:00 PM
JedMarum 16 Apr 07 - 10:06 PM
Guy Wolff 28 Sep 08 - 08:43 AM
kendall 28 Sep 08 - 09:41 AM
Mrs.Duck 28 Sep 08 - 11:07 AM
oombanjo 28 Sep 08 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Arnie 28 Sep 08 - 04:56 PM
Guy Wolff 31 Jan 09 - 09:59 PM
Guy Wolff 31 Jan 09 - 10:02 PM
Guy Wolff 31 Jan 09 - 10:10 PM
Fortunato 31 Jan 09 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Mason Brown 01 Feb 09 - 10:53 AM
oombanjo 02 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM
Stringsinger 02 Feb 09 - 12:29 PM
oombanjo 02 Feb 09 - 12:46 PM
Musket 02 Feb 09 - 01:04 PM
topical tom 02 Feb 09 - 04:51 PM
Art Thieme 02 Feb 09 - 05:21 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 02 Feb 09 - 05:23 PM
olddude 02 Feb 09 - 05:46 PM
topical tom 03 Feb 09 - 12:00 PM
olddude 03 Feb 09 - 08:33 PM
Fortunato 04 Feb 09 - 08:46 PM
Guy Wolff 07 Sep 09 - 09:14 AM
Guy Wolff 19 Oct 09 - 09:10 AM
Guy Wolff 19 Oct 09 - 09:12 AM
GUEST 14 Nov 09 - 05:44 PM
Stringsinger 15 Nov 09 - 10:33 AM
deadfrett 15 Nov 09 - 11:58 AM
Desert Dancer 15 Nov 09 - 01:23 PM
Stringsinger 15 Nov 09 - 08:30 PM
Desert Dancer 15 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM
kendall 16 Nov 09 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Songbob 16 Nov 09 - 01:22 PM
kendall 16 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Songbob 16 Nov 09 - 04:41 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Nov 09 - 05:38 PM
JedMarum 16 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM
kendall 16 Nov 09 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Felipa 18 Nov 09 - 02:39 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 09 - 04:07 PM
deadfrett 19 Nov 09 - 11:14 AM
Charley Noble 19 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Paul 01 Nov 10 - 05:44 PM
Stringsinger 01 Nov 10 - 05:51 PM
Banjovey 02 Nov 10 - 03:31 AM
Guy Wolff 19 Feb 11 - 09:43 AM
Desert Dancer 19 Feb 11 - 12:56 PM
Guy Wolff 25 Jun 12 - 09:53 AM
Guy Wolff 02 Sep 13 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Bruce Baillie 02 Sep 13 - 01:36 PM
Guy Wolff 02 Sep 13 - 03:47 PM
Mark Ross 02 Sep 13 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,gillymor 02 Sep 13 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,IainG 03 Sep 13 - 08:19 AM
Stringsinger 03 Sep 13 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,gillymor 03 Sep 13 - 09:58 AM
Mooh 03 Sep 13 - 11:14 AM
Old Grey Wolf 03 Sep 13 - 12:11 PM
GUEST 12 Dec 13 - 03:11 PM
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Subject: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 04:37 PM

As always I apologize if this thread has already been started in a slightly different form .
                              I thought it would be fun to have a thread that talked about lots of different banjo makers and what they are up to . My interest is in clawhammer so I will talk in that area myself but I hope some bluegrass and Tenor players might add to this their favorites!! . My hope is for this thread not to be who is the "best" but just here celebrating that we have so many great people making great banjos   to talk about .
                
                              I have a wonderful banjo from Mike Ramsey's shop . His set up work has made me sound better then I ever thought I could.
http://www.ramseybanjos.com/

                                We had a thread started on Bob Fleshers work .      
Incredibly beautiful banjos :        http://www.flesherbanjo.com/
        
                                 I just found this incredible maker when I was looking for old John Ashborn banjos . Kevin Enoch's banjos are as Classic a looking banjo as I have ever seen !! Just beautiful .I cant wait to hear one .
http://www.enochbanjos.com/

                                 For the historian in all of us James Hartel's Banjos look perfect . I am hoping my local Historical Museum will get one of these great remakes of Ashborn's banjo .. http://www.minstrelbanjo.com/index.html

                                 With all the interest in Dwight Dillers teaching and his following I have heard a lot about Lo Gordon's wonderful banjo's . They look great and the few I have played they are great to frail .http://www.cedarmtnbanjos.com/
                        
                         In Harrogate Yorkshire England a year or two ago I tried a very beautiful banjo made by a man named James Bowen . Just beautiful work His banjos are called Griffon banjos .
                        
                           Anyway all the best for now . To support all these makers ,wouldnt it be great to buy one from each !!! Happy playing , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 04:48 PM

Why Gibson Mastertones, of course.

Most bluegrass players settle for nothing less.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Stewart Bacon
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 05:17 PM

Most bluegrass players settle for nothing less.

At a local bluegrass festival, I wouldn't even to have heard any music or see anything telling what the festival was. The sheer proportion of Gibsons and Martin guitars was enough. Even people who could only play 3 chords had them. It used to amuse me but also make me glad that the music I enjoy most rather than being bogged down with that sort of "must have a ... " mentality is full of people open enough to make their own assesments and select the instruments that fit their needs and tastes the best.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 05:27 PM

Ode, Fairbanks, Vega, Bacon and Day.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 05:38 PM

Has anyone invented a silent one yet?


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 05:45 PM

I think its great to talk about banjos made in the passed that we love but my interest here was to bring up and talk about makers still breathing and offering instuments in 2005 . . I love old bacon's and tubaphones too so bring them up all you want ..
          Ritchard Bridge they did invent a bridge clamp in the 1920's that almost silenced the thing but they didnt sell well . All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 06:18 PM

In bringing up The Mastertone. Are these made in Mantana where the acustic guitars are made??? What style tonering are they using ? Which models are popular and why ? . Anyone have stories on craftmenship of the newer Gibsons. The guitars are great so I would expect the banjos to be wonderful as well.
             MARTIN GIBSON have you noticed any new mastertones in your travels that you could expound about or know why their owners chose that model ?? All the best to all here.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: BanjoRay
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 08:08 PM

I have one of Lo Gordon's Cedar Mountain banjos, and loads of people have told me without prompting that they love it's tone. It's the best buy I've ever made.
We have some good banjo makers in the UK. As Guy said James Bowen of Shropshire makes lovely banjos (Griffin) - I've played many of them at our festivals, as James really likes people to play the ones he brings. We also have Dave Stacey of Letchworth, Hertfordshire who makes lovely banjos. I'm looking after the banjo Debby McClatchy uses when she comes to the UK, which was (re)constructed by Dave. It has an old Bacon body, with one of Dave's necks, with beautifully copied Bacon inlays, heel carving and internal resonator, as near as dammit a Bacon FF professional - it sounds like heaven, and I wont want to give it back when she comes in March. Debby says if she ever sells off her banjos, that's the one she's keeping! Dave Bing, a wonderful West Virginia musician and fiddle maker was given one of Dave's banjos when he came over last year, and in a couple of weeks will spend time with Dave learning some banjo-making tricks.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 08:58 PM

Jim Cox of Brunswick Maine makes some of the best bluegrass banjos I ever heard. Equal to any Gibson.

Personally, I like my Vega Faibanks.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:38 AM

I play a short scale Vega ' Fairbanks Whyte Laydie ' tenor, it's 91 years old and it still sounds amazing.

eric


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GLoux
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 07:55 AM

There are so many fine banjos out there. I play a Wildwood Troubador that suits me just fine.

A number of folks I know play Bart Reiter banjos. A close friend plays a Kyle Creed, another loves his Kevin Enoch.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 07:59 AM

The days when the two top makers of guitars and banjos are long gone.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 10:34 AM

Ray and everyone else if you can get perrmition for contact information or if these makers have websites please put link information in this thread. I think we can make this dialauge a real useful tool for like minded banjo crazed players here at mudcat .
          I am waiting for contact information from Jim and Judith at Griffon and will add it well given the go ahead. all the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Shiplap Structure3
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 11:29 AM

I love bacon banjos with tomato, has to be a good breadcake though


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GLoux
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 11:49 AM

Kevin Enoch Banjos

Bart Reiter Banjos

Wildwood Banjos

Mike Ramsey Banjos

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Dave Swan
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 12:04 PM

This link will take you to a page of contact information for Hendricks Banjos. It's a pity there's no website, but if you're serious about a beautiful banjo with a great ring, you should talk to the Hendricks brothers. I'm not much of a picker, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of mine. Folks who really know what they're doing have a great time playing it.
D


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: BanjoRay
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 12:34 PM

These people are all extremely Googleable, even if they don't have websites. I found Dave Stacey's and James Bowen's addresses and phone numbers first try.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Spot
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 01:20 PM

Hallo everybody..
                   Geoff Stelling   ...end of conversation...

                   Regards to all...Spot


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 02:33 PM

I find Stellings a bit "Stringy" and not enough bottom.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 02:57 PM

I love the prototype Griffin banjo that James made when I was living in West Yorkshire. He brought it along to a session one evening and I didn't want to let him take it home with him. I bought it the next day and have been playing it ever since. It is a lovely instrument for accompaniments. He also does fantastic bluegrass models and small banjos too, called Grifflets. James can be found on the web using Google, but for those in the UK here are his details as advertised:

Griffin Banjos

New Banjos combining the best of hardware with fine craftmanship

James Bowen, 34 Lydbury North, Shropshire. SY7 8AU Tel 01 588 680 666
Mary Humphreys


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:10 PM

Geoff Stelling is http://www.stellingbanjo.com/
THanks everyone for making the blue thingys above. Im not there yet .

http://www.stellingbanjo.com/

Ill try some more .


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:11 PM

http://www.stellingbanjo.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:18 PM

James Hartel's historic banjos. ! http://www.minstrelbanjo.com/index.htm


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:21 PM

Cool here's Lo Gordon's link . Sorry i didnt put these all in the first note . Slow on the up take here. All the best , guy
http://www.cedarmtnbanjos.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:26 PM

Spot ,do you own one of Geoff's Stelling's banjos? What are the inlays like. <>><>< the tone . finger-board ? How is it on a mike . Any additional conversation on WHY you like an instrument adds a lot to the disscution and helps people thinking of getting a banjo to look further . Thanks . There are no wrong answers here when your talking about a banjo you love ..


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Martin Gbison
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:32 PM

It's true. Martin guitars and Gibson banjos are played by virtually every bluegrass player because they are the standard of quality and what is expected by the best.

that's not to say that there aren't other good instruments.
Only one though can be the best, and I will go with the majority obviously chooses.

Richard Bridge, loudmouth lawyers need to find a mute much more than the joyous sound of a banjo.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:41 PM

George Wunderlich makes a great historical banjo and is very popular amoung the Civil War reanactors here on the east coast . His website is very intertesting . http://www.wunderbanjo.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Spot
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 06:03 PM

Hallo GuyWolff
               Yep..I have a Bellflower and wouldnt swap it for anything...I've tried loads over the years( Mastertones etc etc etc )and nothing comes close for me!! The inlays are perhaps best described as tulip heads and longish leaves, beautifully made and fitted.I put a Fishman on the rods, which works fine, and have had no probs miking it up.Gorgeous black walnut and quality nickel metal bits..slick and positive machines and Stelling's lovely, elegant headstock...It growls, it's crisp...it's bright ..it's all I ever wanted!! the only criticism is a relatively poor fit of the neck to the body - not quite perfect!! Oh,it's a heavy bastard,too!!
                  
                      Regards to all....Spot


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 06:34 PM

See now that sounds beautiful and makes me want to hear one up close and personal .. Thanks Spot for the inspiration . !! All the best Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 08:37 PM

It's true that at this point in time, Gibson banjos and Martin guitar are in the majority. Old habits die hard. Remember that 100 years ago most ships were driven by sails. Nothing in the universe is static. Change is inevitable and resistance to change is also inevitable.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 09:20 PM

THe tone rings on the early Vega White Lady and Tubaphone have inspired meny of the new makers as have the Bacon and Bacon & Day internal resonator.
            I would love to hear Mike ramsey's remake of the "electric" and his Tubaphone .
            There are meny makers wokring hard at revisiting these great banjos . Any takers on talking about the results .


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 09:23 PM

Mike ramsey's "Electric" as promiced : http://www.ramseybanjos.com/Electric.html


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 09:39 PM

Has anyone gotten the remake of the Tubaphone by Deering ?? I have never heard one . It would be great to have some conversation on these acsesable remakes of the greats . This link wont go directly to the tubaphone just click on the Vega on the bottom right of the home page and your there. http://www.deeringbanjos.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Arbuthnot
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 11:38 PM

I have a John Grey banjo which is as good for bluegrass music as it gets - I don't play bluegrass. I am a member of the Martin Owners Club - I do not own a Martin. I play a Bacon and Day guitar. I know I am deranged, but am I seriously bewildered? Or just averse to the confusion of influences?


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Jon W.
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 12:05 PM

Judging by the ones I own, I am my favorite banjo maker. I'm not saying they play better or sound better than anyone else's - they probably don't. Nor do I claim superiority in craftsmanship or any other facet of building. But I have designed and built five banjos completely from scratch, with another in the works, and built two replacement necks for old banjo pots, with again, another in the works. I find it to be imminently satisfying to string up a banjo and play the very first tune it will ever play. And, because I can do whatever I want in the design, these allow me to express myself completely. So I say to any out there who are so inclined - try building your own, you'll like it!

Here's some of my work


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM

My first banjo was a John Grey I picked up on Potabello Rd comming up from the pottery I was working at in Ewenny,Glamorganshire Wales (1970) . The banjo sounded a lot better then I did. !!! I did have a huge plaster body cast on because I had broken my neck on a Bonnivile ouside of Cardiff the month before so at least I was memorable to look at if not to hear ! .Sorry they are not still making John Grey banjos any more .. Are they ?? I dont think so ??
                   Jon W great to see your work ! I made 36 dulicmers one year none of them very good but stringing them up was always a very exciting moment .. I know what you mean about being the first person to hear an instrument ..


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 04:30 PM

This is so much fun . I just had a very nice talk with Jim Hartel. Jim knows a lot but is very nice about it to boot . We were talking makers and he mentioned Will Fielding in Vermont as one whos banjos he really liked the sound of . You cant get any better recomendation then one maker speaking well of another .
               Will Fielding banjo : http://www.willfielding.com/banjos.html


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 04 Nov 05 - 08:31 AM

Gibson banjos are made in Nashville and use a Kulesh Tone Ring.

These are getting rave reviews over at the Banjo Hangout. I have never played one, but I have bought some items from Arthur including a three ply Maple rim. I wish my furniture looked as good.

Hatfield Banjos


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GLoux
Date: 04 Nov 05 - 11:30 AM

Johannes Bonefaas brought some of his banjos from Denmark to Clifftop a couple of years ago. They were amazing instruments.

JB Banjos

They are available with "hairy" goatskin heads!!!

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 04 Nov 05 - 11:43 AM

Steve and Greg these both look like great finds. High quality and of a character . Banjo makers do seem to be a bread onto themselves . Thanks to both of you for the additions here. . Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 04:34 AM

A bread unto themselves ? are they collectively ' a sandwich ' or ' a loaf ' ?

eric


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,A_Banjo_Player
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 02:29 PM

The worse made Mastertone will out shine the best "Other" banjo on any day. I wouldn't own a Stelling...If they ever become the only banjo I'd stop playing.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: oombanjo
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 04:51 PM

My favorite is my ORB banjo. I also have a long neck with a 3"deep Jack hird pot that has no tone ring, excellent sound.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 04:56 PM

To Guest, A banjo Player:

My hat is off to you. Some of these folkie types want their banjos to be organic and sold in a health food store.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 02:43 PM

Guest a Banjo Player,

I have to disagree with you. There are some excellent banjos being produced by small makers that are at least the equal to Gibsons. Gibson did have some serious quality control issues in the past, although they are making very good banjos now. However, to discount banjos made by the likes of Arthur Hatfield, Jimmy Cox, Frank Neat and many others is doing yourself a disservice.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 03:29 PM

Here are some links to some other top quality Bluegrass banjos.

Desert Rose

Crafters of Tennessee

Osborne Chief

Huber

Sullivan

Prucha
Fawley Retrotone


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 03:37 PM

Oops, forgot one.

Ome


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 07:53 PM

Steve Latimer ,Thanks for chiming in here .( Sorry almost a pun ) ... We needed some blugrass banjo input . I respect Mastertone loyalty as much as anyone but it is great to hear other voices as well. And to get to look at some eye candy as well . Thanks for the input All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 07:57 PM

You know we still need to hear from some tenor players !!!!


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 08:42 PM

My Uncle is a tenor player. He recently sold his Archtop Gibson to get a Richelieu, it seems like a great banjo (although I can't play it).


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GLoux
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 08:45 AM

Here's another fine maker of both Bluegrass and Old-Time banjos:

Huss and Dalton Banjos

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Stu
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 09:01 AM

Tony 'Sully' Sullivan makes excellent banjos (and he plays quite well too):

Tony Sullivan: Halshaw Music


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Jon W.
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 12:58 PM

I've got to say that while a Mastertone has the "right" sound and volume for bluegrass, which I certainly respect and enjoy, there are other banjos out there that have different "right" sounds for different types of music.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 02:53 PM

Guest, have you ever played a Cox/Fairchild banjo? I guarantee thry will stand toe to toe with ANY Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 07:34 PM

Eric you know me and spelling . ....Though a sandwitch dose sound good right now . Great additions here all around . Thanks everyone . All these links make me want to go play some banjos . Thank
         Not to digress but dose everyone know these :
      
         QUESTION : Whats the difference between a banjo and a chain-saw??
         ANSWER: The chainsaw has more dinamic range .

         Question :What dose a banjo player in a three piece suit say ?
          Answer ; Not guilty your honor .

          SORRY . ALL THE BEST , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 08:12 PM

http://members.cox.net/keithyoungdulcimers/fretlessbanjo.htm


heres a nice frettless with a pot like frank Proffits .. Made by Keith Young


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: cool hand Tom
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 11:27 PM

My Fav Banjo is my all metal Merlin banjos,great sounding,rare as hens teeth and so unusual and idividual.Tome all banjos have there own character i learned on a framus long neck as well as others and they all had there good points and bad.But for me its the Merlin longneck.i visit the banjo hangout and so many folks are upgradin this, goldplatin that,addin this removin that,this tone ring in,that tone ring out.DO THEY EVER PLAY THEM ?????? or just make em pretty.

         Regards Tom


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: burntstump
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 09:22 AM

I have one of the Liberty Banjos made by Bob Flesher, it's called a Buckdancer, beautifully made and sounds great. I understand that Bob now makes the same model under his own name.A true craftsman.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Madeleine
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 09:45 AM

mike ramsey makes beautiful open-backed banjos that're reasonably priced. sometimes there's a long waiting list unless you can find a used one. there's lots of those available. avoid gruhn's.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 10:11 AM

Richard Bridge asked is anyone had invented a silen one (banjo).

Yes, they are made by Air, the people who make the ever-popular Air Guitar.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Once Famous
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 10:55 AM

Traditional English folk music sounds great on the Air guitar, especially on their top of the line model, the Blowhard 200 with the natural finish made in the mid 1960's.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Another Banjer Nut
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 02:45 PM

Somebody mention Sullivans from FQMS? Also didn't see Deerings show up but I scanned down pretty fast on some. I think the Gibsons of old were the standard but lately there's a whole lot of great banjo makers out there and it's really a matter of taste and subjectivity once you lay down a couple of grand for a banjo. Heard some great Stellings, Huss & Dalton and a Prushka (sp?-Eastern Euro I believe) at a fest last year, in addition to the requisite Gibson Mastertones, etc.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 04:06 PM

I think this has been linked somewhere else on the 'Cat, but it seems pertinent reading for the banjophiles on this thread:
Old Time Herald -- Musical Affairs of the Heart Part Two: Banjo Stories

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 10:29 PM

Well, someone ought to mention S. S. Stewart banjos. They are still available on eBay, even some of the higher quality Model 2 and 3's. I'm particularly partial to the heavy duty Orchestra model, nice deep mellow tone.

Then there are George Wunderlich's wonderful fretless Civil War minstral replicas

And Bart Reiter's find banjos available at Elderly Instruments.

And if you run across an old Fairbanks & Cole you won't go too far wrong.

And then there are the various Dobson banjos.

Soo many banjos, soo few dollars to spread around!

You just have to prioritize. Who needs food? Who needs a car? Who needs to pay the rent? If you can only get one or two of these banjos you'll be set for life!

Cheerily,
Charles Noble, who has one or two Stewarts


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Banjoman
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 09:53 AM

Great thread - however, having owned & played most of the banjos mentioned, I decided to have a go at making my own. After a few (expensive) efforts, I finally produced an instrument which I was able to set up to play just the way I wanted, which is something none of the others have done.
Of the ones I have owned, TheMartin?vega rates about the best but caused me serious discomfort and subsequent neck & spine disorders because of its enourmous weight.
Nobody seemed to mention Gold Tone banjos - I have owwned several and have recomended them to others as a relatively cheap but well made banjo. I also own a very old John Grey and a couple of Savanas which play pretty well.
Keep on picking
Pete


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 05:51 AM

I find Martin Gibson's blind allegiance to Martin guitars and Gibson banjos very touching.

Bless ....


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:16 AM

ignore above posting alert

CN


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 09:00 PM

Hello All
                  On looking back at this thread I noticed I never made a link to Bob Fleshers amazing site .. Eye candy of the best sort !!! We had a thread started on Bob Fleshers work .      
Incredibly beautiful banjos :      
http://www.flesherbanjo.com/


All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 10:06 PM

I'm getting in late on this conversation - and I see lots of great banjos listed. I've played soo many different kinds at the music shops, and played lots of great ones. I like the Mastertone banjos, but I prefer the Stelling bluegrass banjos. I'm not an expert on bluegfrass banjos - so maybe I have odd tastes but I wouldn't prefer a Gibson for bluegrass.

But I have to say I love Deering banjos. They make a bunch of models and they make great products at each level.

I owned one of their "Tubaphone remakes" - a Vega longneck and it was truly a beautiful instrument. The sound was superb! I kick myself for letting it go a few years back ... but I will have another one of their top of the line banjos soon. Very likely this model with an open back - and I am not sure about the tone ring yet. I will not get a long neck again (don't use it) and I need one fitted with good electronics, so the Vega Tubaphone combination is probably out.

If you play all the Deering models, I believe you'll be impressed with the beauty of each one. I am particulalrly talking about the sound of each instrument. They just don;t make a bad banjo, even their cheap little Goodtime banjo is a serious instrument at the price of a toy!

I have come across a lot of old banjos that I love, the old Fairbanks and others. I had a very old Fairbanks for a long time, years ago.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 08:43 AM

refresh : This is a great recourse . Have a look .. all the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 09:41 AM

When someone says, "Gibson banjos or Martin guitars are the best in the world", the obvious problem is, no one can say that as a fact, only as an opinion, because, no one has ever played every banjo or guitar in the world.
It's like McCain saying that America is the greatest country in the world; I've never heard a European say that. It's a matter of opinion, no more.

For many years the Cadillac company had an advertising claim that Cadillac was the "Standard of the world." Sounds good, but what does it mean?


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 11:07 AM

Well obviously my favourite banjo maker would have to be Geoffrey Gilday!


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: oombanjo
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 04:39 PM

Romero banjo Check his web site . nuf said


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 04:56 PM

I have a Vega Deering. The tone and response is quite good. The pot construction is excellent. The neck is a fairly simple one piece -very slim profile and not stable enough in my opinion for a professional. It is not nearly the same quality as original Vega tubaphone banjos.   A better deal can be had looking up a modern maker such as Chuck Lee banjos for example - much more value for the money in a tubaphone.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 09:59 PM

Here is a message Oombanjo sent to another thread . I thought it added to the information here .. All the best , Guy

Hi Guy Check out www.romerobanjos.com he made my last banjo. It is on his 12" open back banjos with traditional rim page .Mine is the one on its own on the third line down with a Dobson 5th.I have been in love ever since I got it Cheers Oombanjo


www.romerobanjos.com


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 10:02 PM

Sory another try


http://www.romerobanjos.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 10:10 PM

Hello Ommombanjo ; His wood pot is related to the great James Ashburn who made banjos in the 1840's and 50's not 12 miles from my pottery !!! All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Fortunato
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 10:15 PM

http://www.buckeyebanjos.com/

Greg Galbreath of Buckeye Banjos, Blacksburg Va made the 5 string neck for Susettes '20s Orpheum #1, it's exquisite.

Next time you see her take a gander.

cheers,
chance


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Mason Brown
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 10:53 AM

I'd like to call your attention to Brooks Masten, who makes wonderful old-time, minstrel, and tenor banjos, and is a great player as well.

http://www.brooksbanjos.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: oombanjo
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM

Although mentioned in Banjo Ray's thread, it is a bit obscure. So check out. Dave Stacey Banjos


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 12:29 PM

I like Ome banjos. Ogsbury makes the best jazz banjos today. They are as good as Bacon and Day or early Paramounts etc. They don't break up at high volumes.

I like Chuck's five-string as well. I don't know if he makes a 6-string, but if he does, it should be good.

I like the old Gibson trap-doors. You don't see them much.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: oombanjo
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 12:46 PM

Hi Chance are you over in the uk this year? cheers oombanjo


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Musket
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 01:04 PM

My first banjo was a Windsor.

They were a UK manufacturer and all their banjos were pre war or so I am told as the factory was bombed in the war and never reopened under that name.

The action was excellent and had a wonderful fifth string capo that may or may not have been original but worked better than any other I have used before or since.

Wish I still had it. Google Windsor banjos and a history page tells you all about them. It flattered my playing, which is more than can be said for the Sherwood I am playing these days.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: topical tom
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 04:51 PM

As my favourite banjo player I would have to vote for Eric Weissburg, not merely for "Dueling Banjos", but I have heard him play such tunes as "Back up and Push" and "The Clinch Mountain Backstep" as well or better than others.
I haven't been able to find much of his music on the computer, but here is his well-known "Dueling Banjos". Sorry about the commercialism!


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 05:21 PM

I never had enough cash to be a collector of instruments. But for years I only needed to have ONE BANJO; it was an old Vega Tubaphone open-backed banjo. That instrument spoiled me. All the others failed to give me what I needed.

Art


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 05:23 PM

There were some wonderful English banjos - Windsor made gorgeous instruments at the top of their range, many of which survive. Clifford Essex produced real quality too. I have a very shabby but wonderful Abbott from the 1890s. Looks totally unremarkable, but I just love the sound for accompanying songs.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: olddude
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 05:46 PM

How about an old Washington?


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: topical tom
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 12:00 PM

Re my earlier post to this thread: obviously I misread "maker" for "player"! (and I wasn't even in my cups at the time! tired, I guess.)Anyhoo, could someone delete my post? I would but I don't know how.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: olddude
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 08:33 PM

I have to tell you, I am really impressed with this high end Tyler Mountain. I don't know how those guys can make that quality at that price. It is a dandy for sure, love it


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Fortunato
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 08:46 PM

OOMBanjo,

Greetings (and Hallucinations)

No, more's the pity. Have good festival and pick one for us.
cheers,
chance


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 09:14 AM

I just heard a wonderful young clawhammer player on YT named Alison Williams who had a beautiful hand made banjo by a maker in Brattleboro Vt I had not heard of before . He has a new website coming .J.P Harris . All the best , Guy

http://bigbottomspecial.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:10 AM

Here is a new one .. I have made friends with a great banjo player on Youtube and he has stared building great banjos out of locally grown materials and milled by the luthier . His name is Richard Brown and he is in Laredo Tx.. All the best Guy

http://bordertownbrown.com/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:12 AM

Here is a youtube clip of Richard's work .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6KOFunt6Xc


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 05:44 PM

can anyone please tell me where i can buy a merlin long neck banjo? money is no object.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 10:33 AM

Dirk Powell mentioned a banjo maker that he likes and plays that banjo.
Anyone know what it is?


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: deadfrett
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 11:58 AM

I've played Vegas for about 35 years. Tried Gibsons but went back to
the Vega, they seem to have a sweeter tone for Oldtime styles besides bluegrass playing. Since I got the big C., I can't lift a heavy banjo, so I made a Saga open back kit. After a little tweaking it has played and sounds quite well. It's a lot better banjo than some I've tried. I still have my old Paramount Troubador. Dave


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 01:23 PM

Guest, you might better post your inquiry at . Otherwise, just keep googling at regular intervals... looks like they're hard to find.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:30 PM

Most tenor and plectrum players like Ome or B and D's.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM

Sorry, try that again:

Guest, for Merlin long necks, you might better post your inquiry at banjohangout.org. Otherwise, just keep googling at regular intervals... looks like they're hard to find.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:46 AM

If I had to rate them from my own experience I'd say,
1. Vega whyte layde for clawhammer
2. Vega Fairbanks
3. Stewart.

Bluegrass
1. Cox
2 Gibson
3Ome


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 01:22 PM

"If I had to rate them from my own experience I'd say,
1. Vega whyte layde for clawhammer
2. Vega Fairbanks
3. Stewart."

Number 2 -- Which model Vega Fairbanks? Fairbanks and Vega were a few doors apart in boston around 1900, and when Fairbanks had a fire, they had their banjos made for a few years by Vega, as I understand. Then, Vega having gained some "street cred," they dropped the Fairbanks name altogether. So they made all the models Fairbanks had at the time -- the "Special Electric" was the closest to the Vega Whyte Laydie, for example -- but "Faibanks by Vega" covered the lesser models, too.

That aside, my favorite banjo makers come by era:

Minstrel era -- most any of them, though my main Minstrel banjo is a pretty good reproduction of an 1854 Boucher (as pictured here), although with a fiberskin head and Champion pegs.

Old-time & Clawhammer -- I loved my Vega Tube-a-phone with a neck made by Alberto Vazquez, but eventually sold it because I had a "family" banjo, and couldn't keep both (lack of funds does that, at times). I still play the family banjo, which started life as a B&D Silver Bell tenor I inherited from my uncle Bobby. My friend Bates Littlehales made the lovely maple neck for it, and it's an incredible banjo. It has a resonator that I never install, so I could use it for Scruggs' style playing, but don't.

Older finger-style playing I did on the 1893 S. S. Stewart 'American Princess' banjo I unfortunately just also sold (I seem to run into 'lack of funds' at regular intervals in my life). I still have a wonderful classical-era English fretless, made by Geo. Mathews of Birmingham that will do for both finger-style and down-picking, though I don't play it as often as the Minstrel or modern banjos in my life.

I do not own a bluegrass-ready banjo, other than Bobby's banjo when I attach the resonator (and, with a fiberskin head, it's less bluegrassy than it should be). I may eventually get one, just because I think my clumsiness at the style would be less if the banjo were really responsive; when I play that style now, I have to dig into the strings for the volume, which slows me down far too much, whereas a light touch would be faster if the banjo responded to a light touch.

So there we are. I have tried out a few of the modern makers' instruments in stores and at music gatherings, and they're nice, but the short time I've played them kept me from making a definitive decision as to their quality.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM

Fairbanks made by Vega number 2 special.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 04:41 PM

Thanks. Wasn't that a Tube-a-Phone model? As I recall, and it's been 30 years since I paid attention to this, the #2 was the Tube-a-Phone, and the #9 was the Whyte Laydie, among the fancy models. The "Little Wonder" was the plain Jane of their models.

Then again, if I was smart, I'd go searching on the Internet and l'arn somethin'. That is, if I was smart.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:38 PM

Songbob, according to the history here, "The Whyte Laydie and Tubaphone lines were Fairbanks/Vega's finest professional quality banjos, each offered in a relatively plain (No. 2 and No. 3, respectively) and very ornate (No. 7 and No. 9, respectively) model."

Currently, Deering is calling their Vega Tubaphone model the Vega #2.

From what I can find (like this, and this, and this), Vega didn't just do Fairbanks's banjos for a while, they bought them out for a token price. They carried the Fairbanks name for a while.

So, does Kendall really have two Whyte Laydies? Or what??

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM

Arnie's already mentioned this guy above, but I have to say I am just in love with Chuck Lee banjos.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM

In surfing about for answers to Songbob's question, I found this page which has some nice audio clips for comparing different types of banjos: scroll down to The Banjo Voice Continuum.

~ B in LB


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: kendall
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 08:56 PM

One banjo is quite enough. What I have is a Fairbanks/ Vega #2 special. It has no tone ring.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Felipa
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 02:39 PM

not my favourite but what I have, English make, Grafton
My first banjo, acquired this year
any opinions re Grafton banjos?


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 04:07 PM

yes they are good value for money,I have one,now my playing is not very y good,but here is what they sound like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xssNhhNCvNk


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: deadfrett
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 11:14 AM

Back in the "80's", I had a open back banjo made by a luthier from Colorado. His name was Paul King. I've looked for him all over the Internet and still no luck. His work was very good and he made excellent banjos. Can anyone out there help me locate him? Thanks.Dave


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM

Then there's the flip-side, the banjos you wish you had never bought:

1. the plastic silvertone from Sears
2. anything made by Gretsch (they took over from Baldwin, a reputable banjo maker)
3. weird banjos from Japan in the 1970's (they may be making better ones now)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 05:44 PM

Peter Ainsworth of Rugby made my banjo,a finer bluegrass sound would be hard to find,just need to learn to play it!


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 05:51 PM

I like the early Vegas, PS long necks.
I like Orpheums a great deal.
The old trap-door Gibsons that Buell Kazee used for Appalachian style.
Ome for all the jazz banjo styles and even the long necks are good.

I thought I would like the Lee banjos but I find 'em a little on the cold side but
many would not agree with that.

Mastertones are OK but not my favorite because I don't play bluegrass.

I like a banjo that has a ring to it that sounds good under singing.

Some of the plunkier old time banjos kinda' lose me.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Banjovey
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 03:31 AM

I don't think anyone has mentioned Barry Murphy from Sussex. He makes fine banjos, Martin Simpson is reported to love the one Barry made for him recently.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 09:43 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3RwnO1657w


Here is a link to a clip I did on Youtube of two great hand made banjos after the tradition of James Ashborn of Torrington CT circa 1845 made by David Oaks here in Woodbury ct this year . All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 12:56 PM

The clicky that I posted above (16 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM) is not good any more, frailin.com operates differently now. To hear sound samples of how different types of banjos sound -- "The Banjo Voice Continuum" -- go to http://www.frailin.com/, select "Banjo Buying Advice" and scroll down. He's got lots about current makers below that, too.

~Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 09:53 AM

My original reason to start this thread was to celebrate the modern luthiers making banjos today . So Craig Evens has driven around North America and met and interviewed many of them . Here is a link to his Youtube page for previews ..

http://www.youtube.com/user/BanjoBuilders

http://www.youtube.com/user/BanjoBuilders

All the best , Guy

I am having Kevin Fore make me a fretless or the type Kyle Creek made years back .. Life has its joys !!


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 10:04 AM

An update . Thanks to Craig Frailing Evans for his hard work showing these and more makers .
http://www.northamericanbanjobuilders.com/



Chuck Lee
http://chuckleebanjos.com/

Greg Galbreath
http://www.buckeyebanjos.com/

jason Romero
http://www.romerobanjos.com/

Kevin Fore
http://www.roundpeakbanjos.com/

Richard Brown
http://www.roundpeakbanjos.com/

Bill Rickard
http://rickardbanjos.com/site/


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,Bruce Baillie
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 01:36 PM

Personally I 'd love to own a Jason Romero, a Kevin Enoch and a Bob Flesher! Afraid I can't afford even one of them at the moment. I'll just have to carry on making do with my 5 string Goldtone Cello Banjo and the Andrew Whale 5 string,they're both bloody good!


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 03:47 PM

You know I love the Goldtone OT6 that I have and I have tried the Bob Carlin 350 and I love the wide neck .. Its a great banjo and none of the gold tones are to be scoffed at ... Waynes & Robyn have done so much to get a mid and lower priced banjo into the hands of so many .


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Mark Ross
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 04:26 PM

I have played a Gibson archtop 1925 Mastertone for years, but just recently acquired a Gold Tone White Lady style Long Neck, which I absolutely love. Would love to have an original Pete Seeger Vega but they are somewhat pricey these days. George Gruhn is selling Erik Darlings Tubaphone, with John D'Angelico converted long neck, but that's 5 grand.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 05:40 PM

All though I've never played or seen one in 3D I hanker for a Jason Romero. Here he is with his wife, Pharis, doing Wild Bill Jones on one of his banjos.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,IainG
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 08:19 AM

I have a very nice 1922 Clifford Essex Imperial, and still have the original case too


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 09:42 AM

I believe that the first banjo Pete Seeger had elongated (or did it himself) was an Orpheum.
Later switched to Vega Tuba-fone. Can anyone confirm or deny this for em?

The old banjo he had that said "People's Songs" on it was stolen.

His early banjo sounded so good that it made me want to play banjo.

The Pete Seeger style Vegas are very good, not the new ones but the old ones.

The best I can come up with so far with my pocketbook is my longneck Gibson 175 with a Kuresh tonering. It's loud but not as sweet as the Vegas.

The Vegas by Gruhn and others are overpriced.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 09:58 AM

S.S.,This thread at Banjo Hangout may answer some of your questions.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 11:14 AM

My favourite import brand is Gold Tone, enough to have bought a few. But I have very much enjoyed the Vegas I've tried, and a few Deerings also.

Banjo tone may be an acquired taste, at least if one takes all the jokes about the instrument seriously, but as with other instruments, once one is acclimated to the sound, it's easy to hear the differences from one banjo to another.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: Old Grey Wolf
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 12:11 PM

My favourite banjo maker is my wife - she makes a very good egg banjo.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Your Favorite Banjo Maker
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 13 - 03:11 PM


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