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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tonering and Setup info request


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kjskipper - Posted - 11/03/2007:  15:41:57


I have a Sullivan Festival that I bought in March 2005. The pot on my Banjo was put together with a Tony Pass ThinSkirt rim instead of the standard Sullivan rim at the time. I have been satisfied with the sound of my banjo until...

After being at a week long music class, where the instructor let me play his old Gibson Style 7 during the entire class, I can clearly hear now that I would like an improvement over the sound I currently have. The old gibson has power, volume, clarity, projection and tone that was seemingly far beyond what I currently have. I would like to try a Burlile tonering in my Festival, and have the pot set up by somebody top notch.

I have searched but could not find any contact information for Jim Burlile. Can anyone provide me with contact info plus I'd really appreciate recommendations for great setup guy.

Thanks in advance,

Ken Skipper


Edited by - kjskipper on 11/03/2007 15:47:49

Aaron Thomas - Posted - 11/03/2007:  15:52:35


be careful how much money you put into your sullivan festival..its easy to sink a bunch of money into something and by the time your done you could have went out and bought a much better banjo for the same money. also keep in mind that the old gibson has several years of break in and playing on it.. and depending on how old it is, may be worth a whole lot mroe money then your festival banjo. sometimes several thousands of dollars difference... just remember the old saying .. you get what you pay for.. my advice would be to check out something like a huber banjo or something similar . there's several good builders out there.. and gibson makes a good banjo.. and they sound great if their setup right.. good luck to you.. happy picking.

kjskipper - Posted - 11/03/2007:  16:13:35


Thanks Aaron.

I believe that the Old Gibson that I was playing was either made in 1938 or 1939.

quote:
Originally posted by Aaron Thomas

be careful how much money you put into your sullivan festival..its easy to sink a bunch of money into something and by the time your done you could have went out and bought a much better banjo for the same money. also keep in mind that the old gibson has several years of break in and playing on it.. and depending on how old it is, may be worth a whole lot mroe money then your festival banjo. sometimes several thousands of dollars difference... just remember the old saying .. you get what you pay for.. my advice would be to check out something like a huber banjo or something similar . there's several good builders out there.. and gibson makes a good banjo.. and they sound great if their setup right.. good luck to you.. happy picking.



The Pope - Posted - 11/03/2007:  16:19:50


kjskipper...

Here's Jim's info (from another post). Jim is a nice guy and I'm sure if you e-mail him or call him it would be fine. I just got KI #9 from Will and it has a Burlile tone ring and it sound great. Tone has been changing almost every day as it fits together more and more.

As far as a setup guy goes, it depends on where you live and your attitude about shipping your banjo. In CA, Jim, Larry Brown in LA and Larry Cohea in the Bay Area are excellent setup guys. Back East, Kyle Smith, Robin Smith (no relation), Charlie Cushman, Snuffy Smtih are all great as well and I'm sure there are lots more...

The Pope
KI #9
2 parts Masterclones

steve davis - Posted - 11/03/2007:  16:21:50


If you can, it's time well spent to go to a store that has a few banjos that you can try out.The tone of one of them may speak to you.

Sometimes I just gotta wait for better weather

ahsn36gp - Posted - 11/03/2007:  16:28:55



The Sullivan Festival is just as good a banjo as the Huber or Gibson. The just are not as fancy. I would suggest a OFF rim and a new Thunderbolt tonering. Eric is getting pretty close to the prewar sound with that combination and that is the heart of the new Terry Baucom and Mike Scott models from First Quality. Call FQ and ask to speak to Murrell or Eric. They wont steer you wrong.

Marty

The Pope - Posted - 11/03/2007:  18:40:44


Jeezo Peezo, what was I thinking? Here is JIm Burlile's info:

Jim Burlile
9307 Narnia Drive
Riverside, Calif. 92503
phone 951-530-1778
email: jimburlile@yahoo.com

Getting old: Not for sissies!

The Pope
KI #9
2 parts Masterclones

kjskipper - Posted - 11/04/2007:  00:32:09


Pope, Steve and Marty,

Thanks much for the info. No places with banjos to try out in my area, and it is not practical at this time for me to travel. I don't see how a Burline ring on a Pass rim can be a loser, and I am otherwise completely happy with my Festival. I'll probably give Eric a call and explain, then decide which way to go. I really do want a first rate setup guy to put the finishing touches on whatever I decide to do.

If I can't get the sound of that old Gibson, I at least have to get close, and if I can do it without taking out a second mortgage, it'll be really good for my marriage :)

Ken

nittio - Posted - 11/04/2007:  04:01:40


I'm not sure about the price on the Pass Rime but the Burlile tone ring is 1500 ++ area. Hope this
helps.

May all your picking be true!!
Gibson Earl Scruggs Standard
Gibson Granada
RK-R20
Williams Kenny Ingram (February 2008)

banjodad - Posted - 11/04/2007:  10:03:25


Isn't Burlie a member? He should be easy to access through the BHO network

If my car was nice enough I wo

steve davis - Posted - 11/04/2007:  15:27:49


If it doesn't turn out good for whatever reason you can always keep the ring and rim and put it in another banjo.Go for it.

Sometimes I just gotta wait for better weather

The Pope - Posted - 11/04/2007:  15:53:15


The Factory Floor rim from Sullivan and the Burlile ring seem to go together like (insert your favorite saying here ). The FF rim is somewhat more expensive than the Pass (I have one of them in my 2-piece) but they work so well together that I would get a FF. I just got a Williams Kenny Ingram (#9) from Will which uses the same parts and it's so good it's almost scary!

The Pope
KI #9
2 parts Masterclones

dickinnorwich - Posted - 11/05/2007:  08:08:41


Ken:
My "neighbor" and friend, DJ Morgan, is the perhaps the reigning expert on anything having to do with Jim Burlile. She has several Burlile's and they are an excellent choice. Check out the extensive Burlile posts in this section of the BHO and contact DJ.

drifty - Posted - 11/05/2007:  08:54:24


If I were going to start swapping parts for a substantially different tone, I would start with the rim. FQMS can probably drop a Cox rim in that banjo for around $200. I'd try that and if you wanted to go a bit more, then have them put in a FF rim. But then you're looking at closer to $600. If that still doesn't get it done, you can consider trying different tone rings. But you might find the ring you have will work on the right rim.

Different pot parts might give you something closer to the sound you're after, but the only way to truly duplicate the sound of a prewar flathead 7 would be with another prewar flathead 7.

Drew Pierce


Edited by - drifty on 11/05/2007 08:57:00

Kel Kroydon - Posted - 11/05/2007:  09:29:18


If you're looking for that old Gibson tone then you're not going to get it with a Pass rim. If you're set on keeping the Sullivan banjo then I would put a Cox rim in it....I think you'll be closer to the tone you're looking for. Right now with the market being low is a great time to get your hands on a pre war tenor and convert it with any ring you want.
Good luck

Gary

Banjophobic - Posted - 11/05/2007:  12:40:05


I second theadvice of looking for a tb conversion banjo. You can get them for a good price these days. Add your favorite ring and voila'-the prewar sound. If we;re talking abouyt spending 600 on a new rim,1500 for a ring and the cost to install/set up this combo, you could very easily put the 2 grand toward a real prewar coversion -if thats the sound you really want, which you stated you did. The value of the coversion will continue to increase also. If your goal is just to get close to that sound and have no qualms about the money, then get what you like-

kjskipper - Posted - 11/05/2007:  12:57:38


Thanks every for all the great advice!

I have contacted both Jim and Eric for their input also.

Regarding the prewar tenors; would this mean having the pot set up, then possibly setting the neck of my Festival on it?

Please forgive me, I'm a rank novice at making a hot rod :)


Kel Kroydon - Posted - 11/05/2007:  15:49:57


You could put the Festival neck on it but I would sell the Festival banjo, buy a good low end Gibson tenor and ring of your choice and have a neck made to match the pot. Sounds like a lot of work but I think you'll be better off if you're looking for that old Gibson sound.

Gary

kjskipper - Posted - 11/05/2007:  17:53:59


Thanks Gary.

-Ken

quote:
Originally posted by Kel Kroydon

You could put the Festival neck on it but I would sell the Festival banjo, buy a good low end Gibson tenor and ring of your choice and have a neck made to match the pot. Sounds like a lot of work but I think you'll be better off if you're looking for that old Gibson sound.

Gary





kjskipper - Posted - 11/30/2007:  11:13:56


I decided to put an old floor rim and a Burlile ring in my Banjo. I sent it to Arthur Hatfield for installation and setup. I'm really looking forward to the outcome.

mikeyes - Posted - 11/30/2007:  11:55:08


No one has mentioned this, but if you are trying to emulate an original TB/RB-7 sound, you won't do that without total surgery. The Series 7 sound is due to the top tension (tension) ring and the distinctive resonator, not to mention the old rim, the pre-war tone ring and the mojo of a rare banjo.

You are better off just building a new banjo if you want that sound <G>

On the other hand, the advice given above will result in a wonderful sounding banjo, just not a Series 7 sound which is quite distinctive.

Mike Keyes
http://www.banjosessions.com
http://www.mikekeyes.com

The Pope - Posted - 11/30/2007:  20:07:24


While you won't get the type of tone that a top-tension has, due mostly to weight issues (the tension hoop is heavier, the resonator is different and heavier) I don't think you will be disappointed with your "new" banjo. This is a great combo and, with the correct setup, should, indeed, knock your socks off!

PS I always wanted to try a T-T reso on my banjo(s)...

The Pope
KI #9
2 parts Masterclones

kjskipper - Posted - 12/02/2007:  10:11:26


Mike and Pope,

By the time I decided to do this, it had been made pretty clear to me that the only way to achieve a prewar sound is with prewar components. Knowing that, I started to think about the specific qualities that I liked best about that old Gibson I played vs. my Sullivan. The most important differences to me are: MUCH more power (volume) and tone that cut through in a group while maintaining a full sound.

I am hoping that those qualities most important to me can be achieved, or at aleast gotten really close to, with the modifications being made to my banjo.

Ken

Arthur Hatfield - Posted - 12/02/2007:  10:27:28


Ken I dont think you will have any problem having volume with a old floor rim and a Burlile ring. There are some great top tensions out there but the best sounding banjos I have ever heard were not top tensions. In my opinion a lot of weight to hold up [probably 4 pounds additional] for no sound advantage.

Arthur Hatfield
HATFIELD BANJO'S
GLASGOW, KY 42141
(270)646-5219
EMAIL HATFIELDBANJOS@SCRTC.COM

ejimb0 - Posted - 12/02/2007:  15:50:02


Ken,
I agree with your conclusion. You have sort of been cursed by your exposure to that sound. Everyone lucky enough to have had a REALLY great old gibson on their lap thinks about the same thing.. Good luck.
(having your working banjo apart is bad for your brain.. start your new project with different cadaver)

Hi Mom!

kjskipper - Posted - 12/02/2007:  23:11:58


Thanks Arthur, and I'm really looking forward to my banjo once it's finished. I have a feeling that it's gonna sound really good.

Ken

quote:
Originally posted by Arthur Hatfield

Ken I dont think you will have any problem having volume with a old floor rim and a Burlile ring. There are some great top tensions out there but the best sounding banjos I have ever heard were not top tensions. In my opinion a lot of weight to hold up [probably 4 pounds additional] for no sound advantage.

Arthur Hatfield
HATFIELD BANJO'S
GLASGOW, KY 42141
(270)646-5219
EMAIL HATFIELDBANJOS@SCRTC.COM




Edited by - kjskipper on 12/02/2007 23:14:52

kjskipper - Posted - 12/02/2007:  23:38:44


You're right, ejimb0, having played that old Gibson is kind of a curse, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss the opportunity to play it. It is a truly great banjo and I'm really fortunate that the owner was generous enough to let me play it all week long at the class I was in.



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