I have a 40 hole arch top tone ring , with "Buck" hand engraved on it near the neck stud and the number 9 (or 6, depending on orientation) stamped on the inside of the ring. The holes were definitely not done by someone without access to a machine shop. Does anyone have any information about this ring? I was unaware that they made any arch top tone rings
I know the Bucks County Folk Music Shop very well, and I also know Karl Dieterichs, the owner, very well. They've sold me all my instruments and have maintained them for me for well over thirty years now. Karl even helped me design my custom Deering Calico. Karl himself told me that he did in fact design and manufacture tone rings for banjos, and if you have a Buck tone ring it is something of a rarity. If you want to get more information about it you could perhaps contact Karl directly, or his wife or daughter, who both work in the shop. It is in New Britain, Pennsylvania. They have a website, buckscountyfolkmusic.com/
Karl is one of a kind. Give him a call, He will be very happy to tell you anything and everything you want to know, along with a good deal of other info.
A very kind and generous person also. Years ago after stopping into his shop for what I thought would be five minutes, He and I got talking banjos and music for a good long spell. Bottom line is, that at the end of the conversation he gave me a very early NOS Ruben-Scruggs capo in its original packing. Still have it to this day, and think of Karl each time I play in A.
Got a little off topic, but my understanding is that those old Buck tone rings go head to head with the best ever made.
I had a very old Washburn banjo with a Bucks Whyte Ladie tone ring that we put in it. I sold that banjo to a friend in 1984. It was an interesting banjo with a great sound with that ring in it. I went there with a friend who once lived near the shop. It was the kind of place you'd want to go back to but is a mighty long way from where I live.