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Justin E. - Posted - 12/30/2008:  11:55:55

I'm thinking about doing a banjo with a walnut rim and was wondering if anybody could give me some input. A guy told me yesterday that it would sound muffled and dead unless I put a very tight head on it. I've never heard a banjo with a walnut rim before, the reason why I am wanting to experiment with it, and am wondering if anybody has any input on this.

Having a banjo and not playing it is a shame.

steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2008:  11:58:57

I have a walnut rim banjo that is very powerful with a lot of low end and great clarity in its upper neck notes.
Jimmy Cox says it has uncommon depth.
It responds very well with a G# to A head tension.


Edited by - steve davis on 12/30/2008 11:59:45

Gomer - Posted - 12/30/2008:  11:59:57

Hi Justin! Welcome. Walnut is associated with a mellower timbre, certainly not meffled and dead. Get a recording of Terry Baucom on his website. I am pretty sure that Deering made his walnut banjo. Good Luck on your project.

"ever searching for that special post-war / pre-submerged sound"

( )=======::

Helix - Posted - 12/30/2008:  12:12:16

Cool, the photo on your left is 3 of them, I have more of that wood.

Walnut groves were planted 125 years ago by the monks in California, it is SO sustainable, Black Walnut? Don't forget the King. The Cherry is also sustainable, the Queen is Jatoba from Central and South America.

So, Yes, I use it as a matter of choice, an Indigo tone, but with the same highs, mid-range and lows of competitive hardwoods. My bluegrass flathead is the last one in the photo, I've been playing it for 18 months. Chocolate.

Rock on.

(_)====''===::} Banjo is a verb

Docmhc - Posted - 12/30/2008:  12:58:33

I have a Stelling Bellflower. It has a black walnut rim. No muffling here. Loud and proud, all the way up and down the neck.


"I have a higher and grander standard
of principle than George Washington.
He could not lie; I can, but I won''t." Mark Twain

steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2008:  13:11:55

I would recommend trying to find an old piece of walnut,if possibleThe 3 ply rim and resonator side wood came from a Maine black walnut tree that was milled in the 30s. This banjo sounds great.


banjowannabe - Posted - 12/30/2008:  13:16:23

I find this interesting. The people on this board are way more knowledgeable about banjos than I am, but I'm surprised that a walnut rim wouldn't produce a more subdued note. I just bought some walnut yesterday to make a frame for a stained glass window. It is so much easier to work with than, say, maple. It is more of a "buttery" consistency. It is both dense and yielding at the same time - at least when you're cutting and shaping it. Since people on this board seem to feel that the type of wood used in the neck makes a big difference, it seems that the type of wood used in a rim would also make a big difference.

steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2008:  13:23:55

I recorded Buffalo Gals on my homepage with my walnut rim banjo which also has a walnut neck.
I built a walnut bridge for it,too,but that was a little too dark sounding.
The other recordings I did were on my 33 tb2 conversion with a Gold Tone skin head.


LeeBanjos - Posted - 12/30/2008:  14:26:21

Walnut is my favorite rim wood.


Chuck Lee Banjo Company

Kristag254 - Posted - 12/30/2008:  15:47:52

I made a couple of black walnut block rims and they are my best rims so far......
good luck

O.D. - Posted - 12/30/2008:  16:03:41

I built a black Walnut block style thin skirt rim turned for a tube and plate flange and sat a pre war no hole archtop ring on it and installed it in a mahogany style 75 banjo.
Sounds mighty fine.
regards, O.D.

Edited by - O.D. on 12/30/2008 16:04:44

steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2008:  16:25:53

They work good as a 3 ply steam bent,also.


banjowannabe - Posted - 12/30/2008:  17:47:32

7 ball, are you talking about all three plys as walnut?

steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2008:  18:00:26

Yes,built like a Cox rim.


Edited by - steve davis on 12/30/2008 19:53:39

eddie83 - Posted - 12/30/2008:  19:42:04

I'm glad to hear so many good things about walnu rim...i took a chance and ordered a walnut block rim pot assembly for a maple neck and reso i got coming. Can't wait to get it together. Mmmmhmmmm...boy am i excited!!!

pick it like you mean it.

steve davis - Posted - 12/30/2008:  19:59:47

That sounds like a good combination, Eddie.The walnut mellowing the maple a little.


tanglefingers - Posted - 12/30/2008:  20:04:06

my entire Proffitt style MB is Georgia wallnut, as were its 333 predecessors
like helix said...Chocolate!

Cottonmouth - Posted - 12/31/2008:  06:43:12

Does anyone have an open-back with walnut rim and mahogany neck? I assume that this combination would produce a warmer sound than maple rim and mahogany neck, assuming the same tone ring and other components were alike.

"Look upward; He IS coming back!"

"What happens in heaven, stays in heaven"

Justin E. - Posted - 12/31/2008:  07:28:23

Cool! Thanks for the input! I guess I'll give Jimmy Cox a call and see if he can hook me up with one.

Having a banjo and not playing it is a shame.

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