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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: 13 Inch Rim


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/364763

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/08/2020:  09:47:20


Hi. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a 13 inch rim?


Edited by - HighLonesomeF5 on 06/08/2020 09:52:30

RG - Posted - 06/08/2020:  09:58:30


It's big, and it's big...

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/08/2020:  10:08:11


too big, especially for sitting?

Jack Baker - Posted - 06/08/2020:  10:12:04


Ha,


You're an engineer and things are supposed to make sense. Ha, not in the Banjo world...Jack  p.s. it's simply a banjo on steroids is all...




Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

Hi. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a 13 inch rim?






 


Edited by - Jack Baker on 06/08/2020 10:12:50

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/08/2020:  10:34:18


quote:

Originally posted by Jack Baker

Ha,


You're an engineer and things are supposed to make sense. Ha, not in the Banjo world...Jack  p.s. it's simply a banjo on steroids is all...




Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

Hi. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a 13 inch rim?






Have a chance to get 13" but never held an OB banjo so making a judgement based on experience is not possible.  I have played a resonator.






 


Edited by - HighLonesomeF5 on 06/08/2020 10:45:32

banjo bill-e - Posted - 06/08/2020:  11:03:08


It is a clever way to make an open back banjo as uncomfortable and unwieldy as a resonator banjo!

Nickcd - Posted - 06/08/2020:  12:49:37


A 14 inch banjo is a cello banjo so what is a 13 inch called - a mini-cello banjo?

Here is demo of 5 string cello to give idea of size 



youtu.be/DlA72VtSDkY



 


Edited by - Nickcd on 06/08/2020 12:52:08

Alegria - Posted - 06/08/2020:  15:02:01


I have a 12" inch and I would say the size is perfect. I wouldn't mind stretching it, would love to try a 14" banjo. 13 might be a great compromise between perfect size and too big?

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/09/2020:  08:35:20


Not seeing a conscience here.

Lew H - Posted - 06/09/2020:  10:32:22


The bigger the pot diameter, the bass-ier the tone. That's why cello banjos have such large pots so the larger head area can pick up those bass notes from those heavy strings. There is a slight difference between and 11 inch and a 12 inch pot. Similarly a banjo with a raised head reduces the vibrating area for sound to be picked up, and the treble notes are more emphasized .

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/10/2020:  09:41:44


Does anyone think a 13” head would be too much for an adult beginner?

Joel Hooks - Posted - 06/10/2020:  10:14:48


I have a 13" Stewart Orchestra model. I rarely (like once a year) play it. I'd sell it but my wife has a thing for SSS banjos.

It does seem bigger than it is. That said, I also have a 13" "Early" tub banjo built by George Wunderlich that is a pure pleasure to play. Very deep rim on that one.

My favorite banjos are 12"-- that is for fingerstyle (now called "classic") and stroke style (or historically "banjo style).

Beginner- start with a 11" x 27" banjo (more or less). You don't really know what sounds good yet. Study and practice for a year+. Then you will have a better idea of the direction you want to go.

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/10/2020:  10:33:37


The reason I am interested in a 13” is I have a chance at a custom made one of a kind banjo.

Helix - Posted - 06/10/2020:  19:21:15


It’s like living with an elephant, be prepared
I think anything that brings somebody closer to the heart of the music is ok
A regular 14” resonator banjo case is perfect

John Gribble - Posted - 06/11/2020:  01:47:23


quote:

Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

The reason I am interested in a 13” is I have a chance at a custom made one of a kind banjo.






There's probably a good reason 13-inch rims are not common...  wink

Helix - Posted - 06/11/2020:  04:45:27


With a big banjo, it's like having to drive a Lorrie everywhere, one gets used to it.

Leslie R - Posted - 06/11/2020:  04:49:24


I play a 14 inch and a 12 inch rim banjo.
The 14 is my favorite. A lot of ways you can set it up. However, it is heavy.
I have heard one 13 inch banjo, it was a Romero. Saw it on YouTube. It had a sweet tone and a similar depth of a good 14 inch banjo. Really nice banjo.
I don't think there would be much difference in starting as a beginner with a large banjo vs a smaller one.
Setup is important. Since the banjo you are considering is custom made, it's probably setup just fine, as is.
Eventually you might wish to experiment with different ways of setting up.
Strings sets are readily available as well as bridges.
If you like this banjo, and feel like the price is right and something you can live with, I would say get it.

HighLonesomeF5 - Posted - 06/11/2020:  06:34:09


quote:

Originally posted by John Gribble

There's probably a good reason 13-inch rims are not common...  wink






Can hou help me out here, what is the reason(s)?

Leslie R - Posted - 06/11/2020:  06:56:26


Mind if I ask, who is the maker of this banjo ?
Could you provide some information about the banjo itself ?

John Gribble - Posted - 06/11/2020:  07:02:52


quote:

Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

quote:

Originally posted by John Gribble

There's probably a good reason 13-inch rims are not common...  wink






Can hou help me out here, what is the reason(s)?






The larger the rim, the more difficult it is to create an instrument which gives what most people consider a "banjo-like" tone.  People have been experimenting with banjo design for almost 200 years. For the last 100+ years most players have been pretty happy with rims  around 11 inches across. It has only been in the last few years that some of us have taken up playing banjos with 12-inch rims.



I think the jury's still out as to whether it is going to be a "standard" size. I like the two I own, but I like my 11 inch banjos, too. I'm not interested in trying anything with a larger rim, because I think it would be too difficult to get decent high notes out of one. 

banjopickingman - Posted - 06/13/2020:  13:21:57


They can sound great tuned low nylgut/nylon/gut strings. Deep and rich.

ceemonster - Posted - 06/14/2020:  16:20:28


[[[Can hou help me out here, what is the reason(s)?]]]



A 13-inch openback has a deep, bassy tone and minimal high end--the high end being where much of the melody often is in a traditional banjo tune. A 13-inch has a tone that is not the snappy, twangy, and (when metal tone rings are involved) sparkly voice often associated with openback banjo music, which traditionally has largely been dance music. For people to actually dance to. You "can" play dance music on these banjos, but they sound and feel less responsive.



Which is not to say they can't sound shiveringly awesome. Some of the Orpheum banjos have 13, 14, and 15-inch rims. They are often strung with heavy strings and tuned low. I believe Gold Tone made a cheapie 13-inch openback for a while, a model named the Hoab. IIRC the rim was plastic and the head was a weird plastic too. I played one once and it actually sounded kinda cool in an extremely funky way.



There is a youtube clip out there of the inimitable Donald Zepp demo-ing a 13-inch Romero banjo that sounds fabulous. I believe I've heard clips somewhere of 13-inch openback woody banjos made by Chuck Lee that were also amazing. I'd love to have a banjo like that. But . . . not as my first banjo when I have "never held an openback" before and don't know how to play clawhammer yet. And not as my only banjo.


Edited by - ceemonster on 06/14/2020 16:23:19

zac987 - Posted - 06/22/2020:  18:07:36


I find them to be a bit too unwieldy. 12" rims are "just right"

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