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Inspired by John Hartford’s love for low-tuned banjo, Bela Fleck conceived the Missing Link.

Posted by Paul Roberts on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Missing Link by Béla Fleck

I'm proud to offer this exciting instrument at my Gold Tone site Here are a couple of good videos of Béla playing the Missing Link (Gold Tone model ML-1) accompanying his wife Abagail Washburn on "Railroad." It's interesting to hear how the baritone banjo's sound contrasts with the two different banjos Abagail plays on the two recordings. 

The following is from Gold Tone's website.

Inspired by John Hartford’s love for low-tuned banjo, Bela Fleck conceived the Missing Link, Baritone Banjo. 

Bela’s previous experience with the Gold Tone Cello Banjo brought him to Wayne Rogers.  The two collaborated in the design and, after many months of experimentation and various challenges, we are ecstatic to present the ML-1!

To produce the lower tone with a traditional sound in the lower register, we use a 12 inch, 3 ply Maple Rim with a Bronze Tone Ring.

After Beta Testing a variety of neck and bridge options, Bela signed off on the Compound Radius (5”-9”) Ebony Fingerboard attached to a Hard Rock Canadian Maple Neck and a Cathedral-like Radius Bridge standing 7/8” over the signature black Remo head.

Jumbo Frets, our exclusive Terminator Tailpiece and our Patented ZerO Glide Nut complete the perfect formula for the throaty ML-1.

Bela’s Noveau inlay design courses the length of the fingerboard and finishes on our C-Cut Headstock.  Black Binding, Black Tuner Buttons and the Black Head create a bold, autonomous look.


Neck Maple Resonator 14″ Mahogany
Fingerboard Campound Radius: Ebony Bridge Maple w/ Ebony Cap; Radius-3/4″
Wood Finish Vintage Mahogany Fingerboard Inlay Noveau
Headstock Inlay Noveau Neck Binding Black Abs
Body Binding Black Abs
Nut ZeroGlide Bone Tuners GT Master Planetary Tuners
Tailpiece Terminator Flange N/A
Tone Ring Bronze Bar Style Strings CGCEG – .018, .022, .028, .038w, .018
Rim 3-Ply Canadian Maple Plating Chrome
Tension Hoop Brass; Notched Arm Rest Gold Tone Engraved
Pickup Optional Gold Tone SMP+ Magnetic Pickup/Gold Tone ABS Clip-on Microphone System or Fishman pickup
Case Options Hard Case Included
Scale 26-1/4″ Weight 10 lbs
Nut Width 1 5/16″/33mm Frets 22
Head Size 12″ Remo black swead

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