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Five-star / Ludwig head replacement?

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May 25, 2019 - 1:26:31 PM
169 posts since 3/24/2008

It looks like five-star and ludwig banjo heads are nowhere to be found, and haven't been available for some time?

When I first bought my Gold Star banjo 10 or so years ago, it came with a Five-star head. I have since had it set up on a couple different occasions, and a Remo was put on. I know there are many variables in a banjo's tone, but to my ear, my banjo sounds noticeably brighter since the Remo was put on it, and I don't like it.

I've tried various bridge weights, bridge woods, tailpiece adjustments, head tension adjustments, etc. I've gotten it close, but I think it sounded best with the Five-star. I felt like it had more depth and more bass. It sounds a little too shrill for me these days.

Are there any floating around, or is there another head that might suffice and duplicate that sound? I have a renaissance head laying around I was going to try. Is there anything between a ren head and a frosted top?



May 25, 2019 - 2:16:35 PM

860 posts since 12/8/2006

Vinnie Mondello at Banjo Haven has a couple.

May 25, 2019 - 3:33:16 PM

918 posts since 10/18/2003

Stewart MacDonald has them available again:

May 25, 2019 - 5:06:05 PM

219 posts since 4/14/2017

I checked Stew mac and Elderly too Joseph, they both had them about six months ago but are both out again now. I have no idea what gives.

May 25, 2019 - 5:07:13 PM
Players Union Member



106 posts since 6/10/2017

Originally posted by Prewar00

Stewart MacDonald has them available again:

Look closley. The add says they'll be due in 1+ month. 

Edited by - 2BUCKS on 05/25/2019 17:08:35

May 25, 2019 - 5:18:34 PM

918 posts since 10/18/2003

I guess they sold the first batch out Sean. There was some discussion on this forum when Stew Mac first had them available again.

May 25, 2019 - 8:00:02 PM

9956 posts since 6/2/2008

The new Five-Star heads are (or were) made by Evans. Ludwig is out of the picture.

No idea if they  are simply out of stock or discontinued again.

May 25, 2019 - 9:19:40 PM

219 posts since 4/14/2017

When it says they'll be due in 1plus month, that means that they do not have them. It couldn't be any simpler.They last time they were estimating they'd be out for six months, it took two years. Now they are out again, and that's all we know. Not available.

May 26, 2019 - 5:01:13 AM

3 posts since 12/19/2017

I got one of the heads from Stewart McDonald around 6-7 months ago. I put it on one banjo and got a better banjo shortly after. I swapped the head and when I tightened it up to note. The heads playing surface came apart from the ring of the head. They won’t take the tension of the old ones. Try to see if anyone has a vintage head. I found one and love the tone.

May 28, 2019 - 7:27:45 AM

860 posts since 12/8/2006

Again, Call Vinnie, Banjo Haven!

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