Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

  Im interested on yalls opinions on these two.  I only have the tackheads Ive built. I used poplar for neck, and block rims of pine.

I don't have as much tone and volume as Id like. I listen to Dave Culgan and my banjo doesn't have that same snap.  I realize I cannot play like him,, but it the tone Im talking about.

Does a bracket minsterel banjo just have more snap and volume? , or is my tackhead lack there of, just possibly due to me using a softer wood.  I want to make a cd to sell at folk fest and stuff down here. But Im not sure if I can get the tone I want out of my banjo.  Just wondering if its worth the trouble to build another tackhead with maple or something akin to it.

thanks Steve

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The advantage of a tension head is that in damp weather you can tighten things up a bit.  Regardless, you definitely want a hardwood for the hoop.  I'm speaking from a vibro-acoustic background. The hardwood rim will be much stiffer and will result in much better tone.  If you are building your own I would start there.  The tension hoop is nice, but pine does not have the qualities you want for your hoop.  This is especially true if you are after "snap."

 

A banjo student of mine has a Menzies tackhead that absolutely rips and has great volume. Just watch out for humidity!

Might be the rim height. My prust tackhead is maybe 2 inches and sounds good but the Bell Sweeney has like a 3inch rim or so and it definitely sounds more hollow but in a good way like a big ol circus tent

Tackheads are highly individualized. It depends a lot upon how the maker installs the skin. My Moschella was amazing.....staying pretty tight under some pretty harsh conditions. 

thanks!  So the rim sounds like it has more to do with the tone than the neck.  The banjo I play mostly was my 2nd build. and the pine hoop is just a circle I worked down from glued up sections, that's prob. a tone robber.. I have some oak  1/4 I bent , but  hadn't made anything with. 

Guess I need to  finish a rim out. Humidity will always be a prob.  but I don't know how to make a tension system. guess another tackhead.

 thak all of you!

Steve

 I found this in garage, neck is done, rim bare. Its not exactly a perfect circle,,,  Id made them both a couple yrs ago, but never finished.

 yeah found a more circular rim, this should be quik

Do you no longer have that banjo?


Timothy Twiss said:

Tackheads are highly individualized. It depends a lot upon how the maker installs the skin. My Moschella was amazing.....staying pretty tight under some pretty harsh conditions. 

No I don't but I cut several youtubes with it. It was stunning.

Yeah I seen it a bunch. Deff. a nice chunky banjo. I really want a moschella banjo but he wasn't feeling up to it when I asked him last june. Do you still have the gourd banjo?

Al has it now. I am gourdless. I have only one banjo now. I sort of hate to keep selling them, but I wanted to experience many makers. 

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