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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Do you own a Helix?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/176446

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greyfolk - Posted - 04/20/2010:  09:50:36


I'd love to know who here owns a Helix. I just ordered mine from Larry =)

What do you think about it? (overall judgement-comfort-sound, etc.)

How does it compare to your other banjo(s)? Who would win in a duel?

Any other thoughts?


Edited by - jazzylynne on 04/20/2010 10:58:36

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 04/20/2010:  10:35:12


Larry made me a couple of cherry rims.They have a unique tone,I really liked mine. No sense in dueling,it's like apples and oranges with other types of rims. I tend to find something to like in all my banjos,I don't necessarily compare them to each other.........kinda like my kids. ;)

greyfolk - Posted - 04/20/2010:  11:31:06


i enjoy listening to dueling apples and oranges.

greadore - Posted - 04/20/2010:  11:40:21


Send a message to 1four5 here on the Hangout. He has a Helix and seems to love it.

the-fish - Posted - 04/20/2010:  11:45:41


No I do not... Im broke

10gauge - Posted - 04/20/2010:  11:49:44


What sort of Helix are you getting?

1four5 - Posted - 04/20/2010:  11:59:10


My Helix is my most played banjo. It's my best banjo into a michrophone without contest. It's the banjo that cost me the least amount. It's my lightest banjo. It's the banjo my wife does not call a "clinkyclanker", It is not as loud as my Calico, but easier to mic and amazingly close for an open back. It is not as raw for driving bluegrass as my Goodtime, but has as much punch and volume. It's tone is, as described by my wife, like a "honkeytonk" piano. It's tone is more versitile than my bluegrass banjos, and works great for bluegrass of course, but also for country and Church and rock and slide blues and etc... etc. If I were forced to choose, all things considered, my Helix would win. I'm just thankfull I don't have to make that choice One of my banjos is like a temprimental high maintenance uptown girl, another is like a slutty old girlfriend you just can't get rid of, but my Helix is like the simple girl next door that will make you happy from now on.


Edited by - 1four5 on 04/20/2010 12:03:50

revellfa - Posted - 04/20/2010:  12:05:34


"One of my banjos is like a temprimental high maintenance uptown girl, another is like a slutty old girlfriend you just can't get rid of, but my Helix is like the simple girl next door that will make you happy from now on."

Love it! You just can't put it any plainer than that!

ltjgcag - Posted - 04/20/2010:  13:35:47


I second that! Vote 1four5 for "eloquent spokesmans of the year"!

ltjgcag - Posted - 04/20/2010:  13:36:37


quote:
Originally posted by ltjgcag

I second that! Vote 1four5 for "eloquent spokesmans of the year"!


p.s. - my Midnight Zephyr is on order. I'll keep everyone posted.

greyfolk - Posted - 04/20/2010:  14:11:35


quote:
Originally posted by 10gauge

What sort of Helix are you getting?



I am buying my very first banjo. I looked into just about everything in the range of $700 and decided to buy the long-necked Antelope Jack (bamboo). I'm almost certain this banjo is one that I will always take pride in, and when i am ready i'll buy a high-end custom Helix. I have tons of wood in my friends shop that might make an excellent banjo one day: pink ivory, purple heart, yellow heart, ebony, holly, tons of cherry, maple and walnut. So, if everything goes as planned, perhaps Larry will grace me with another banjo.


Edited by - greyfolk on 04/20/2010 15:01:06

greyfolk - Posted - 04/20/2010:  14:52:13


quote:
Originally posted by 1four5

One of my banjos is like a temprimental high maintenance uptown girl, another is like a slutty old girlfriend you just can't get rid of, but my Helix is like the simple girl next door that will make you happy from now on.



*thumbs up*

xnavyguy - Posted - 04/20/2010:  15:54:51


I plagiarized Larry's plans and built a couple of "almost nearly but not quite hardly" Helix (tm) rims, one for me and one for my friend Art Horan (Roll Player). Both turned out to be excellent banjos. Larry's rim design is definitely viable for any style banjo, including full-blown bluegrass machines. The elegance and performance of his rim design is in it's simplicity and the fact that it takes advantage of the physics of the acoustical properties of the material from which it is made.

I can't believe I said that. Is that too complicated or what?
I can't believe that I misspelled excellent and had to come back and edit this post.


Edited by - xnavyguy on 04/21/2010 05:46:45

Old Man - Posted - 04/20/2010:  15:59:13


NO, but I like the looks of them.

banjomule - Posted - 04/20/2010:  17:11:16


Once I find the right log I'm hoping to have a Helix made on an oak rim from timber I grew up in. History, art, and a good playin banjo all in one!

rvrose - Posted - 04/20/2010:  17:15:37


I have the Helix Hurricane. I love it. It is my first choice for practice and for most jams and gigs. I only get my calico out for a few songs when I need the more hard driving extreme bluegrass sound. The Helix is more flexible as I can do all sorts of tunings on the long neck. I have 4 Keith tuners to boot! I love playing it. I posted a couple songs several months ago that compared the calico to the helix. Most agreed that the sound was very comparable. Let us know what you think after you get yours. Happy picking!

Rick

greyfolk - Posted - 04/20/2010:  17:38:01


Rick, i have been trying to listen to those tracks that you posted, but it keeps telling me that i need a new player, oddly all the other songs worked for me.

rvrose - Posted - 04/20/2010:  18:41:35


Craig - sorry the links don't work as I removed them sometime later not realizing Larry had put them on his web site. I posted newer files on my homepage. Here is one -
banjohangout.org/myhangout/med...archived=

Rick

devoall - Posted - 04/20/2010:  19:58:28


I have a Helix as well: Cherry Blossom #11

I'm very pleased with my purchase. Mine has a goldtone neck on it(don't know if larry is still using these or not) and I think it sounds great personally. It's my first banjo and I will keep it forever.

You can check out some pics on my hangout page.

badfoof - Posted - 04/20/2010:  22:07:26


I have two Helix banjos in progress...both will have Helix bamboo necks. One rim is Koa and the other is Mango and I actually hand selected the wood in Hawaii several years ago. Larry is great to work with. He listens to what you say and then takes it all away and builds great instruments. I can't wait to get the new banjos.

I have the luxury of living in Phoenix and listened to several Helix banjos at Larry's shop to compare them to the instruments I own (Wildwood, Enoch, Deering) and the Helix had a sound and volume that was very distinct...loud, rich, powerful.

I'm sure the new banjos will be great.

Steve

atracksler - Posted - 04/21/2010:  03:22:48


I did a blind taste test a while back with one against a vega tubaphone, a fairbanks electric, my wildwood, and a 80s goldstar, it held its own very well and I was impressed!

SharBee - Posted - 04/22/2010:  06:06:02


I have a Helix Cyclone #2 on order. Mahogany rim and neck, plus Larry is going to outfit my banjo with a removable magnetic mahogany resonator. This is my first banjo and for something in the $700 - $800 price range it is priceless (to me) to have something custom made for me. I paid my way through college by selling running shoes. Invariably people would come in toting a copy of Runner's World magazine, point to the highest rated shoe and say "I want a pair of these!" Or they would come in and ask "What is the BEST running shoe?" My answer was always the same..."The best running shoe for YOU is the one that fits YOUR feet the best." Some people (like me) can't wear Nike because they just don't fit my feet. I don't even have it, yet, but I already love my Helix.

xnavyguy - Posted - 04/22/2010:  10:23:44


Here are links to a couple of recordings of banjos that are fitted with the rims that I built based on Larry's Helix (tm) design.

This one is a Washburn with a rim that I made out of Texas Mesquite flooring. It's a pretty standard masterclone that had been fitted with a multi-ply rim and aftermarket tone ring. My good friend Art Horan is the picker and composer of the tune:

banjohangout.org/myhangout/med...archived=

This is me on my Aria that originally came with an aluminum rim that I replaced with a Helix (tm) style rim built out of construction grade Douglas Fir. The tune is my banjo teacher's melodic arrangement of Devil's Dream:

banjohangout.org/myhangout/med...archived=

Gomer - Posted - 04/23/2010:  20:32:54


I haven't a HeliX, but I have a Mobius Strip! It doesn't sound quite as good, but it keeps me busy trying to decide where it begins and where it ends.

rvrose - Posted - 04/23/2010:  20:39:28


Here is a recent comparison of the sounds of a Helix compared to a Deering...
banjohangout.org/topic/176639

greyfolk - Posted - 05/11/2010:  11:26:09


I just bought a brand new VW Routan for the family--picking it up tonight, got great seats at the Broncos/Jags game--GO BRONCOS!!, but both pale in comparison to the Helix I am waiting for--I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Japhy - Posted - 05/11/2010:  14:25:11


Hope I didn't miss this somewhere, but what about the Intro banjos like the Jackrabbit? How does IT sound? I'm seriously considering one.

rvrose - Posted - 05/11/2010:  16:40:15


quote:
Originally posted by greyfolk

I just bought a brand new VW Routan for the family--picking it up tonight, got great seats at the Broncos/Jags game--GO BRONCOS!!, but both pale in comparison to the Helix I am waiting for--I CAN'T WAIT!!!



Now there's a man with the proper perspective!

Rick

rickshunter1 - Posted - 05/11/2010:  18:25:29


I really am interested in the Helix but it will be down the road so when can I play yours?

kevinobrien - Posted - 05/11/2010:  18:37:41


That is a good question: How does the Intro compare in sound to the Pro?

My guess is that they are comparable =D

Hopefully a few people will chime in who have experience with both.

Helix - Posted - 05/12/2010:  06:27:13


I can give you a hint snce I build them:

There is different density in each wood, how many fibers per square inch. And that gives a higher or lower knock note. Hardwoods have a higher knock note.

Now here's where the Bamboo comes in. They used bamboo for phonograph needles, I remember buying them for 3 for .05 in 1952. I was seven.

Somehow the lower knock note of the bamboo doesn't tell all the story, and it sends more signal, it transfers sound really good. That is what I was hoping when I first bought Vertical Bamboo Flooring. And it worked out structurally.

Wait a while and I'll get some sound clips up, check out the website at helixbanjos.com there are clips of people playing in the helix league.

I own two Helix, one curly maple longneck openback, one black walnut bluegrass flathead. And of course, Jackrabbit #001.




Cheers


Edited by - Helix on 05/18/2010 07:00:29

moparcolt - Posted - 05/15/2010:  15:58:13


Boy Larry, It seems Like you are Getting what I would almost call respect here!!! about time!! Helix Banjos can hang with anything out there sound wise. I would like to see more reso models pictured on the website, I heard one comment that you specialize in open backs, while mine are both 5 string Bluegrass type banjos. Keep up the good work.


HeliX Hurricane #4 Pro 5 string buegrass w/ magnetic resonator
HeliX Monarch #2 Custom

Chris


Edited by - moparcolt on 05/15/2010 16:02:36

Helix - Posted - 05/15/2010:  17:03:13


The luck of it is being able to use the resonator at will, on or off with magnets, I love mine, Moparcolt made an advancement for all banjo players, I have two new orders for magnets. Built three. Dude.

That's where the openback thing came from. People thought 1four5 was now playing 'openback' music, like old-time, no, he said , 5 pounds and no rez. bluegrass to blues.

My dream is a tube banjo with no plate, leaves the most wood in a Helix type rim, no holes in the rim, rounded for the player's lap, ready for a magnetic rez anytime, neck mounts through solid wood.



Edited by - Helix on 07/21/2010 15:01:45

moparcolt - Posted - 05/15/2010:  18:37:34


I know thebeauty of the magnetic resonator is cool to those of us who know about it but It needs to be shown more on the regular models to let the word out.

Chris

1four5 - Posted - 05/15/2010:  19:39:21


Was downtown busking today. Banjo, guitar and Dobro. Still no need for a resonator, it was competing with the traffic, and loud enough stir up the authorities

country frank - Posted - 05/19/2010:  07:31:00


I have 2 of Larry's rims, cherry no.9 and cherry no.10, one with maple neck and the other with mahogany, both OPF with mahog resonators. Totally different sound to both of them [the mahog has a fibreskin head]. The no.9 i use for every show i play [and thats a few], its a beast, light, fast, bright with a great cut in a band situation. The no. 10 is a more subtle thing with a rounder sound and a nice dry tone.

You can hear the no.9 on Larry's site;

helixbanjos.com/home.php

Keep 'em coming Larry!


Edited by - country frank on 05/19/2010 07:31:48

country frank - Posted - 05/19/2010:  07:33:08


Oh, how about this, An open invitation for ANYONE interested in a Helix banjo in the UK can come and play either or both of mine, just drop me a line, i am in London, nice and central.

Japhy - Posted - 05/19/2010:  14:06:02


I know I want a Helix, but I'm still trying to decide if I need a longneck or not. I'm seeing all these posts about just tuning your standard neck down to E . I'm a singer. Will almost always be singing while I play. Primarily will be playing with guitars and maybe a fiddle but who knows what the future holds. I love Irish music and would like to play some fiddle tunes. Saw a post from an experienced player saying it took him forever to get used to the extra frets and that worries me. So what do you think? Do I need a longneck?

Helix - Posted - 05/19/2010:  14:43:19


You do not NEED a longneck, one needs you....

I have my passport Frank.


Edited by - Helix on 05/21/2010 09:54:55

country frank - Posted - 05/20/2010:  02:57:32


Larry, time to put some air miles on that passport.

Helix - Posted - 05/21/2010:  10:04:55


Chance the Banjo of the Fuzzy Bottom Boys picked this one just for you.


rvrose - Posted - 05/21/2010:  19:50:51


quote:
Originally posted by Japhy

I know I want a Helix, but I'm still trying to decide if I need a longneck or not. I'm seeing all these posts about just tuning your standard neck down to E . I'm a singer. Will almost always be singing while I play. Primarily will be playing with guitars and maybe a fiddle but who knows what the future holds. I love Irish music and would like to play some fiddle tunes. Saw a post from an experienced player saying it took him forever to get used to the extra frets and that worries me. So what do you think? Do I need a longneck?



Oh yes - you definitely need a long neck. I didn't think it was hard to get used to - except for my left arm is now 3" longer than my right . I even put 4 Keith tuners on it and can tune down from open E to open D. Comes in handy if your addicted to the key of G like me. I also put a magnetically attached resonator option - though I only use it in noisy venues. Check out my home page for a look.

Rick

Japhy - Posted - 05/22/2010:  06:50:19


Yea that is a nice looking banjo. I'm sure it sounds great too. My heart and gut is saying go for the longneck. Especially with the kind of music I like to play. I'm a tall lanky dude so my arms should be plenty long enough to play it comfortably. I have to sell a couple of guitars I have before I can give Larry the go ahead. Not having any luck so far. Thanks man!

Helix - Posted - 05/22/2010:  16:39:02


Hang in there, I'm not supposed to get into threads like this, but we're the commoners, the salt.

Good going,

Rylandish - Posted - 05/24/2010:  11:15:01


Damn, Larry, you HAVE been busy! :)

Aside from my Grandpa's old Silvertone, I'll never play anything BUT a Helix.

Larry and I made a certain young lady's banjo dreams come true last summer. I don't even remember the name for this one, we just called it the Wild Pinto. It's a grapefruit rim, and I know this is hard to believe, but it actually sounds BETTER than it LOOKS!



Wild Pinto


Wild Pinto

greyfolk - Posted - 05/26/2010:  10:16:18


If you are on Facebook I started a Helix Banjo fan page: facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/...254675817

Join if u like.

xnavyguy - Posted - 05/26/2010:  11:27:38


quote:
Originally posted by Rylandish

Damn, Larry, you HAVE been busy! :)

Aside from my Grandpa's old Silvertone, I'll never play anything BUT a Helix.

Larry and I made a certain young lady's banjo dreams come true last summer. I don't even remember the name for this one, we just called it the Wild Pinto. It's a grapefruit rim, and I know this is hard to believe, but it actually sounds BETTER than it LOOKS!


OMG!!! It's even got a grapefruit bridge on it! That whole instrument borders on banjo blasphemy!

Helix - Posted - 05/27/2010:  05:11:23


Jerry, I think it was the first time for an all hangout project like that., then the Chestnut.

The thread is Helix Jupiter #002, quite the stir.

Jerry made her banjo optimum performing.

Rylandish is holding a Silvertone longneck with aluminum rim, it was featured in an Alaska State 'movie' about the centennial.

Rylandish - Posted - 07/21/2010:  14:49:40


Actually, Larry, it was an 'opera.' ;) The first ever in Alaska, as a matter of fact, started by my grandpa, KIA in the Vietnam war.

Helix - Posted - 07/21/2010:  15:04:43


Where the heck have you been, bring some CD's will you?

Ry plays in The TRAIN ROBBERS.

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