I own a flat-body electric tenor guitar. In a previous life a three-quarter electric six-string of unknown provenance.
At one point, I considered having a banjo ring and head built into its body, but ultimately decided against it. The risk too great of ruining an instrument I'm really attached to. But also because electric tenor guitars are hard to come by, in Europe.
My aim, at the time, was playing and recording with as little audio volume as possible. My electric tenor indeed pretty noiseless, when practicing unamplified.
The same theme has come up again now, so I'm curious.
Has anybody on this forum practical experience with electric tenor guitar with in-built banjo head and ring? Something in the vein of the Gold Tone EBM4, for instance?
Let's put it like this: what's the sound volume of electric tenor guitar with added banjo head like, if played unamplified, compared to acoustic banjo? Would the neighbours still bang on the walls, if those walls were actually no more than thin perspex separations?
Gold Tone banjos are pretty expensive, I noticed. Their EBM4, too. Incidentally, David, what might interest you (and folks on the Scruggs forum, too, maybe), that Gold Tone also has an electric 5-string in their range (EBM5)! Since you're on 5-string as well, I understand.
Now, my beloved electric tenor guitar used to be a three-quarter six-string body electric, before modification. I consulted two luthiers on feasibility of building in tone ring and head - and both thought that it's doable.
Secondly, it seems that flat-body electric tenor guitars are being built again. I think I saw some advertised on Amazon - and reasonably priced, too. So given that there are many superbly skilful banjo builders on BHO, I'd guess that adding tone ring and head to an existing flat-body electic tenor guitar might be far more attractive than throwing a fortune Gold Tone's way.
Edited by - Veerstryngh Thynner on 01/16/2019 11:55:27
Exactly, Mike! Appearance doesn't really matter. Question though: was the electric tenor you built a full-size standard electric, before modification?
Three-quarters turned out the perfect format for solid-body electric tenor guitar, at the time. Standard electric wouldn't have worked out, I guess. But three-quarters flat-body six-strings and flat-body electric tenor guitars are virtually of the same size. So adding ring and head to a commercially available electric tenor guitar makes sense since that'll cut out modifying a standard electric six-stringer first altogether!
Edited by - Veerstryngh Thynner on 01/16/2019 12:30:07