I have a Vega Pro Tenor and have decided to replace the old hooks and nuts as they are badly tarnished (is that the correct phrase?).
I have purchased just a couple for the time being as a, they are not very cheap and also to make sure they fit before I buy a lot more.
On coming to fit them I have found that at the hook end, the hook is about 1mm shorter at the end. The hook diameter and curvature of the hook seems exactly the same also the quality seems to be similar also.
I am wondering if anyone has used the same type of hook on this banjo with no problem. The only noticeable difference is that you can tell the hook is slightly set back from the inner edge of the tension hoop?
Below is the spec of the hooks if that helps.
Ta in advance for any info.
Richard Round Tension Hook and Rounded Hexagon Nut Set
A USA quality nickel plated, high tensile steel, round bracket hook and nickel plated brass rounded hexagon nut set to suit notched banjo tension hoops or 'Stretcher band' as they are sometimes called.
Hook Specification: The round bracket hook has an 8x26 TPI thread. Overall Length: 59mm (2.312") Thread Length 25mm (1.000")
Nut Specifiction: A USA quality nickel plated brass 5/16" (.767") hexagon nut with a smooth rounded end ...making it suitable for open back banjos where the nuts are exposed. The internal thread is 8x26TPI .The nut length is 19.50mm (.767")
Vintage Vega nuts should be 8x26 with 9/32" flats. Elderly has the old ball-end style #BA26 ($1.40 ea.) and I do not know a source for the open ones. The hooks may have a slight "dog-leg" bend to clear the flesh hoop and would probably need to be carefully bent by hand. I don't know of anyone manufacturing the bent hooks nowadays, but I did pick up a few nice ones from a BHO member.
I've not seen 5/16" nuts on Vegaphone Pro banjos - the one I had came with closed end 9/32" nuts on the round hooks. The ones obtainable from Elderly Instruments (elderly.com/welcome.htm) worked fine on my banjo, and are not very expensive. The round hooks are only available in one style. Be sure to look carefully at the pictures of the nuts, as they have a "Vega Style" and an "Old Vega Style" nut available. The flanges and resonator hide these pretty well, anyway.
You might try Bill RIckard - he's in Canada, makes great parts (I've bought several things from him and they're all top notch) and this sounds like the kind of thing he makes. rickardbanjo.wordpress.com/
Just to help with the diagnosis a little. The nuts although looking quite different the part that sits against the shoes or flange seems to be a perfect match. The rounded end of the nut is quite different however and not as pointy (can't think of a better description). The nuts however are covered by the flange and resonator so is not such an issue to me.
It is the top of the hook that bothers me a little. The hook seems to have exactly the same shape and size as the old ones, however the hook end is about 1mm shorter so there is a bit of a gap of the new hook from the tension hoop inner edge (ie near the head/tone ring).
It is this gap that is a bit of a worry to me. If it is just a matter of the look of the hook sitting a little close to the edge then I am Ok with that. However, I don't want the new hook to damage the tension hoop by not being long enough.