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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.