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Too old and too thick

Posted by dculgan on Monday, July 18, 2011

Some folks say that about me but in fact I was referring to an old banjo head. My Vega Little Wonder tenor conversion came with its original skin head. It's marked in pen and ink on the underside with the original owners name, school, and year ('23). Its been an on and off part of the set-up for the dozens of years I've been playing this banjo. Each time I take it off I must forget how bad its sounded and so every few years I get nostalgic and start thinking how cool it would be to have a skin head on the banjo again. Yesterday I again disassembled the banjo, took off the renaissance head that sounded pretty good and mounted this old '23 again. Tuned it up, played a few tunes and frowned. Tried it looser, tried it tighter, tried it even tighter. Different bridges, different tunings. Took it back off and remounted the renaissance. I think this old skin head is just too thick and perhaps too stiff from age to vibrate in any kind of pleasing way. I need to order a new skin head for the next time I feel like making changes.

 



1 comment on “Too old and too thick”

dculgan Says:
Friday, May 19, 2017 @6:00:13 PM

Fast forward a few years this banjo is now setup with a goatskin head, 5/8" bridge (reset dowel stick), no knot tailpiece, and med. steel strings. Very happy with the sound and setup. Finished tinkering (yeah right).

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