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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: 2 Gold Tone ML -1 Missing Link Baritone Banjo Questions


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/379977

timacn - Posted - 12/21/2021:  17:01:06


The Gold Tone ML-1 is a beautiful looking and sounding banjo, but the smooth black head, though nice looking, seems slippery to me. My fingers slip when I plant my hand to pick. Does anybody know what the crown size for a replacement head would be? The banjo has a 12 inch pot. (Of course, I guess I could put some black tape in the area where I plant my fingers to prevent the slipping)

Also: the bridge height on the banjo is a very high 7/8." Can this be lowered or would that lower the action of those thicker baritone strings too much?

Thanks for your help.

jasonlampel - Posted - 12/28/2021:  16:22:19


Not sure about the head size to replace but You may be able to switch to a slightly shorter bridge. You would have to adjust the neck angle though and I wouldn’t go too far with it. And you still may get some buzzing with those strings. Also you need a bridge with the same radius.

I was thinking about experimenting with a little bit lighter strings, has anyone tried this?


Edited by - jasonlampel on 12/28/2021 16:24:16

Tractor1 - Posted - 12/28/2021:  17:04:04


I built the first banjo christened a baritone a year or 2 before bela's came out.. I have a regular height bridge and feel that his suggested string gauges are way overboard. The wrapped outer strings would wear really quick. the g string on a regular banjo would run from 14 to 16 his outside g strings [same g]were something like 18s.I actually run 14s and a longer scale neck by about 1 and a half inches. can't say how hard to change the neck angle though.that would be in order to drop the bridge height--- and yes i know bela plays better than me

Ken LeVan - Posted - 12/28/2021:  18:08:39


Reading on the Goldtone website, it's a 12" banjo with a 26 1/4" scale.  I don't know what the missing link part is (?) 



I make 12" banjos with 26 1/4" scales all the time—they are pretty normal, and you can string them any way you want.  They are recommending really heavy strings, but you could put any strings you wanted on it.  The missing link part must be the heavy strings they recommend—that's all I can figure out.



I'd love to hear an explanation, because I'm missing something (no pun intended).


Edited by - Ken LeVan on 12/28/2021 18:09:16

Tractor1 - Posted - 12/28/2021:  20:02:35


It was aimed at bluegrass pickers . Being a grass type ,but liking to sing things lower I have kept a low tuned masterclone for years. Finally got around to building one with a twelve inch pot and longer scale.Also a reg sized gibson resonator was fitted . I called it a baritone because those guitar players doing similar used that word. Baritone is the note range .but can't say if it matches the standard baritone range. A year or 2 later bela invented the same thing --The missing link part is between the regular G and the goldtone cello tuning.

Ken LeVan - Posted - 12/29/2021:  06:01:30


quote:

Originally posted by Tractor1

It was aimed at bluegrass pickers . Being a grass type ,but liking to sing things lower I have kept a low tuned masterclone for years. Finally got around to building one with a twelve inch pot and longer scale.Also a reg sized gibson resonator was fitted . I called it a baritone because those guitar players doing similar used that word. Baritone is the note range .but can't say if it matches the standard baritone range. A year or 2 later bela invented the same thing --The missing link part is between the regular G and the goldtone cello tuning.






I'm not sure Bela "invented" it.  More likely John Hartford, quite a while ago—in the book “Masters of the 5-string Banjo”, Hartford said he had 4 banjos on stage, tuned to E, C, D, all tuned to standard G tuning intervals at different pitches, and another one which he called an “octave E”.  He used heavy strings on all of them.

I’m guessing the “octave E” may have had a bigger pot (?)



Also, Hartford had the bridge close to the middle, like the "missing link".  Deering has a grip on the "John Hartford" name, so Goldtone couldn't reference Hartford and went in another branding direction with another banjo celebrity.

Tractor1 - Posted - 12/29/2021:  06:48:36


quote:

Originally posted by Ken LeVan

quote:

Originally posted by Tractor1

It was aimed at bluegrass pickers . Being a grass type ,but liking to sing things lower I have kept a low tuned masterclone for years. Finally got around to building one with a twelve inch pot and longer scale.Also a reg sized gibson resonator was fitted . I called it a baritone because those guitar players doing similar used that word. Baritone is the note range .but can't say if it matches the standard baritone range. A year or 2 later bela invented the same thing --The missing link part is between the regular G and the goldtone cello tuning.






I'm not sure Bela "invented" it.  More likely John Hartford, quite a while ago—in the book “Masters of the 5-string Banjo”, Hartford said he had 4 banjos on stage, tuned to E, C, D, all tuned to standard G tuning intervals at different pitches, and another one which he called an “octave E”.  He used heavy strings on all of them.

I’m guessing the “octave E” may have had a bigger pot (?)



Also, Hartford had the bridge close to the middle, like the "missing link".  Deering has a grip on the "John Hartford" name, so Goldtone couldn't reference Hartford and went in another branding direction with another banjo celebrity.






I am sure he didn't --I have evidence on line that I already had one at the low C before his. The big pot idea I got from the old time guys at thr fraley festival--the long neck was a Tom Nechville suggestion--The need I came up with and started doing in the 70's --not to copy the great John Hartford but to sing bluegrass standards in C and D  instead of G andA--It is handy for fiddle tune transposition also--The volume is too wimpy for loud jams though-- but not a problem for a hermit like myself






here it is


Edited by - Tractor1 on 12/29/2021 07:02:03

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