Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Our first forum for instruments you don't blow.
Post Reply
User avatar
Thomaston
Posts: 1278
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:43 am
antispam: No
Location: Auburn, AL

Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Thomaston »

I had this made by banjo luthier Zach Hoyt. It has a 12” diameter rather than the 11” that most banjos have. It also has something called an internal resonator. These are mostly used by makers of openback 5-string banjos meant for “Old Time” clawhammer playing. The rim is maple, and the resonator is walnut.
A good friend of mine that’s a luthier (mostly guitars and ukuleles) is going to build the neck. I’d have had him make the rim but he doesn’t have a lathe.
The neck itself will have 5 strings, and will basically be a cross between a tenor banjo and a cello banjo, the tuning being CDGAE. It’ll implement a multi-scale / fanned fret design, with the high E being 22.5” (same as a 19 fret tenor) and the low C being 24.5” (same as Gold Tone’s cello banjo).
Once I got it in I went ahead and installed all the hardware to make sure it all would fit correctly. I went with raw brass on the hardware, and even got a cool armrest made of walnut.
Here’s a collage I made of three pictures:

https://imgur.com/gallery/Q089GWG

If people are interested I’ll update with more photos once the neck is made, maybe even make a video.
User avatar
Nanohedron
Moderatorer
Posts: 36908
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Been a fluter, citternist, and uilleann piper; committed now to the way of the harp.

Oh, yeah: also a mod here, not a spammer. A matter of opinion, perhaps.
Location: Lefse country

Re: Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Nanohedron »

Haven't seen that before. Am I right in guessing that the resonator is built kind of like a toroid-type ring mold?
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano
User avatar
Thomaston
Posts: 1278
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:43 am
antispam: No
Location: Auburn, AL

Re: Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Thomaston »

Nanohedron wrote:Haven't seen that before. Am I right in guessing that the resonator is built kind of like a toroid-type ring mold?
I’d never heard of that, but after a little reading it does sound like a similar process. As for how it applies to a banjo, it’s meant to boost volume and sustain. But with this comes a slightly increased risk of creating “muddiness” by reducing note separation.
User avatar
Nanohedron
Moderatorer
Posts: 36908
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Been a fluter, citternist, and uilleann piper; committed now to the way of the harp.

Oh, yeah: also a mod here, not a spammer. A matter of opinion, perhaps.
Location: Lefse country

Re: Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Nanohedron »

Thomaston wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:Haven't seen that before. Am I right in guessing that the resonator is built kind of like a toroid-type ring mold?
I’d never heard of that, but after a little reading it does sound like a similar process.
This is what I was referring to, in case there's been any confusion:

Image
Thomaston wrote:As for how it applies to a banjo, it’s meant to boost volume and sustain. But with this comes a slightly increased risk of creating “muddiness” by reducing note separation.
I take it, then, that this slightly increased risk is less of an issue in clawhammer playing.
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano
User avatar
Thomaston
Posts: 1278
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:43 am
antispam: No
Location: Auburn, AL

Re: Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Thomaston »

Clawhammerists often seek a “plunky” tone rather than a bright one, so I guess that reduction in note separation could contribute to that.
As a side note, Old Time clawhammer banjo was actually my gateway to ITM, and when I bought my tenor banjo I decided to implement a plunkier sound rather than go for the more popular sound than can sound like an automatic rifle to my ears. So I opted for an openback rather than a resonator, and put a goatskin head on in instead of mylar. It’s undoubtedly not everyone's cup of tea, but it suits my ears better than what I often hear from other players.
But with this new Frankenbanjo I plan to edge closer to the brighter side of the spectrum and not go as plunky. I’ll undoubtedly tinker with it some, though, and figure out what sound I want to try to dial into. I even plan to do a comparison of metal of nylgut strings on it, and possibly even a mixture. This banjo verges on unknown territory so experimentation could lead to valuable info if the idea is intriguing enough for other builders to give it a shot. And I don’t see why it wouldn’t have potential to be popular; bouzouki luthiers have been implementing the same concept for years now with 10-stringed long scales (DGDAD, CGDAD, CGDAE, etc) and short scales (GDAEB, GDADA, etc).
User avatar
Thomaston
Posts: 1278
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:43 am
antispam: No
Location: Auburn, AL

Re: Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Thomaston »

Hi,
So this project fell apart thanks to Covid (my luthier friend is now homeschooling his kids), and I am now looking to upgrade my 8-string octave mandolin to a 10-string bouzouki/cittern. I’m looking to sell this pot along with the head and hardware (everything seen in the above picture).
I’m not looking to profit here, but to recoup my investment. If you’re in a position to build a neck for this, it could be an excellent purchase. I’m looking to get $650 for it all, and we can discuss shipping options, since I’m hearing that UPS is cheaper and more reliable than USPS right now.
Please message me if interested! It’s all boxed up and ready to go.
User avatar
Thomaston
Posts: 1278
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:43 am
antispam: No
Location: Auburn, AL

Re: Got this banjo pot yesterday for a custom project

Post by Thomaston »

Bump...
Post Reply