Haha!!! Yes that tied me over, some serious driveway time watching that twice. So if I put that mute on my banjo I sound like that??? Sold, I’ll make installment payments. Ken is an incredible player, thanks for that. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you too are a great player.
Thanks, Mike. Good luck trying to locate a Richelieu mute. Nobody is making them anymore as far as I can tell. Too bad. They were once a hot little item. Recently, Elderly of Lansing, Michigan had two of them for sale, but they didn't last long. (I think I know where they went.) Maybe if you keep an eye out long enough, one will turn up somewhere. Every now and then, you'll see one on a banjo for sale. You can always offer just to buy the mute.
Edited by - Omeboy on 01/08/2019 16:01:43
Looks like Bernunzio has a couple of them for sale:
There are actually 3 on that well-known auction site, right now. No connection... just curious, did a search for Richelieu Banjo Mute.
The other mute which I bought but couldn’t install because of the design of the bridge I use (designed and built by Steve Caddick) is Mike’s Mute. Nicely designed and constructed and a much lower profile and physical presence than the Richelieu. The mute is new, obviously never installed. I still can return it for a full refund, minus shipping, but if anyone wants it from me you can have it for $35 which includes shipping within CONUS. From Mike’s Mutes it’ll cost $36.99 which includes shipping. You can search for him on the internet or in Banjo Hangout. The mute gets good reviews.
If you’re searching for the Richelieu it is officially called the “Master Mute and Tone Clarifier.” $40 at Bernunzio is the going price for one. New, back in 1980,the mute was $15 for nickel, $25 for gold (plated).
At the time of manufacture there was an LP “I Love the Banjo”available from CUCA-Banjorama label (#KS-2098) which claims to give a full demo of the Master Mute. (All of this information is taken from the instruction sheet included with the used mute I bought.)
'Good Moonday Morning' 2 hrs
'Michael Fox Dulcijo' 6 hrs
'Vintage Vega 5 String' 9 hrs