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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Head thickness question.....


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/289949

Ybanjo - Posted - 08/18/2014:  06:52:32


I am having trouble finding good information about head thickness.  I have a Stelling Staghorn, so I'm curious about the Ludwig head and it's thickness.  I've heard that there are different thickness Ludwig heads but can't find any information about that.  Also, I keep seeing that the 5-Star head is the same as Ludwig, but is that really true?  Are they the same thickness and sound exactly the same?  Who actually makes the 5-Star head??



I went to Ludwig's website and they only talk about drum heads.... not a mention of banjo heads at all.  Maybe I was on the wrong website, but I couldn't find anything else.



Is banjo head information some sort of national security secret??  Sure is hard to find good information.



 


Emiel - Posted - 08/18/2014:  07:04:29


The Five Star head is a banjo head made by Ludwig. There is only one thickness of the mylar. It can be top-frosted though, which makes it thicker. It also comes in a clear and a smooth white variant. The frosted one is the smooth white variant + the frosting.



Edited by - Emiel on 08/18/2014 07:07:56

Blackjaxe47 - Posted - 08/18/2014:  07:06:43


You sure hit the nail on the head.....you would have more success finding the keypad lock for Fort Knox. I was trying to find out what size head i needed for my archtop, was it medium or high crown....nobody could answer my question.



I have wondered about thickness, how does it affect the overall tone. Is it more woody sounding, more bass response and more mellow treble sound ?



 



Hope you get some info.


Old Hickory - Posted - 08/18/2014:  07:07:30


Ludwig does make the 5-Star head.  I also have never been able to find info from Ludwig on banjo heads and I assume that's because they only make banjo heads to be branded by others.  I have never seen a Ludwig-branded banjo head.  The old First Quality head used to be Ludwig, but FQ doesn't list that product any more.  Also the Showcase head was Ludwig.



The Ludwig head is thicker than a Remo.



The best info on thickness is from Stew-Mac and Hatfield Music.


Emiel - Posted - 08/18/2014:  07:09:33


I understood that the frosted Ludwig head is thicker because of the heavy frosting, and that the unfrosted head is thinner than the Remo...


mikehalloran - Posted - 08/18/2014:  08:25:30


Arch tops generally take a low crown head.


Fathand - Posted - 08/19/2014:  20:55:01


If you are looking for the "correct as from the manufacturer" head for your Stelling, order one from Stelling. It will be the factory thickness and correct head height as originally came with your banjo.


Tim13 - Posted - 08/20/2014:  08:11:41


quote:

Originally posted by Fathand

If you are looking for the "correct as from the manufacturer" head for your Stelling, order one from Stelling. It will be the factory thickness and correct head height as originally came with your banjo.







This statement is sort of correct.  I did just that, and what I got was the current Ludwig head he puts on new banjos.  The head on my 10 year old Virginian was heavier than what he sent me.  I ended up buying one of the "pre-EPA" style heads from AMB, and it sounds very good.  I have the one I got from Geoff sitting in my parts bin, as it should be good for a mastertone style banjo.



Tim


Ybanjo - Posted - 08/20/2014:  08:36:41


quote:

Originally posted by Tim13

quote:


Originally posted by Fathand

If you are looking for the "correct as from the manufacturer" head for your Stelling, order one from Stelling. It will be the factory thickness and correct head height as originally came with your banjo.








This statement is sort of correct.  I did just that, and what I got was the current Ludwig head he puts on new banjos.  The head on my 10 year old Virginian was heavier than what he sent me.  I ended up buying one of the "pre-EPA" style heads from AMB, and it sounds very good.  I have the one I got from Geoff sitting in my parts bin, as it should be good for a mastertone style banjo.




Tim







 



I had heard that there are different thickness Ludwig heads.  I have a Five Star head and it seems thinner than the Ludwig head that came on the banjo.  It also sounds a little "thinner" to me as well.  I ordered a head from Geoff Stelling, but I'm wondering if I will be getting the same head as the Five Star??  I like the sound of the current head, but it has some sort of problem and will not sit even on the ring if I balance the tension (using a drum dial).  So I'm wanting to replace the head, but I very much want to keep the sound that was on the banjo originally.



What is the thickness of the AMB head?  And what does "pre-EPA" mean in this regard??



 


Prewar00 - Posted - 08/23/2014:  21:05:33


Just a couple of years ago there was a problem with the Ludwig brand frosted heads having the frosting turn gummy and cause problems from fingertips touching the head.  Maybe the difference in the thickness now is a different formulation of the frosting?



 


Ybanjo - Posted - 08/24/2014:  06:34:41


I just received the new head from Stelling (it's made by Ludwig). I measured all the head that I have. Here's the results:

New Stelling/Ludwig head: 0.0012 inches
Five Star Head (made by Ludwig): 0.0011 inches
Old Ludwig head off my 2-year old Stelling: 0.0013 inches

Not a huge difference, but seems like that could be enough to make some difference in the tone qualities.
The older Ludwig head that I have also is a different color on the back side. It's more of an off-white/cream color. That makes me think the mylar itself could be somewhat different. The frosting on all these heads seem to be about the same amount as far as I can tell.

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