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Stew Mac Elite Amber crown height for Gold Tone cc-100r

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Jun 24, 2019 - 8:41:53 AM
11 posts since 1/31/2004

I have two cc-100r's with the resonator off. Only play clawhammer. I replaced the frosted top on one of them with a Remo Renaissance head medium. Wanting to try a new head and heard Elite amber is good, however they only offer the amber in high or low. They recommend the low crown crown for arch top and high crown for flat. Confusing that they don't offer a medium. So is their low crown really a medium or vice versa? I guess I should just order the high crown? Suggestions?

Jun 24, 2019 - 9:54:57 AM

2551 posts since 2/18/2009

Low crown is 3/8", medium is 7/16" and high is 1/2" Elite Amber is (to the best of my knowledge) a Remo Renaissance with the word Elite printed on it in fancy lettering. Evidently Stew-Mac didn't feel they would sell enough medium heads to warrant ordering them, I am sure they have to order a large batch at a time to get their name on them. I get all of my heads from Smakula Fretted Instruments, their heads have no logo printed on them and they stock a vast assortment of sizes and types. I prefer having no logo, but others may feel differently, I don't know.
Zach

Jun 24, 2019 - 10:00:12 AM
Players Union Member

Helix1

USA

241 posts since 4/17/2019
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High crown

Jun 24, 2019 - 11:32:10 AM

1132 posts since 8/10/2010

Get the high.

Jun 24, 2019 - 11:53:24 AM

hbick2

USA

146 posts since 6/26/2004

Have you tried a Fiberskyn head? I've tried Renaissance heads on several of my banjos and they just don't sound as good, at least not to my ear.

Jun 24, 2019 - 5:32:58 PM
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1811 posts since 4/7/2010

The banjo head marketed by Stewart-Macdonald as "Amber Elite" Is actually a Remo Renaissance head that has Stew-Mac's "Amber Elite" trademark stamped on it. That detail confuses a lot of people and some even think they hear a difference between Amber Elite and  Renaissance heads.

In determining crown height, measure the height of the tension hoop. I know some Gold Tone instruments have short, 3/8" tall tension hoops and require a low crown head.

I have Remo Renaissance 11" diameter heads in low, medium and high crown heights. Cost is $21 and $5 to mail one or 2 heads in the US.

Bob Smakula
smakula.com

Jun 25, 2019 - 3:52:18 AM

Emiel

Austria

9135 posts since 1/22/2003
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Like Bob said, the Elite Amber head is the same head as the Remo Renaissance. I would order medium crown, as Renaissance heads stretch more than others. A medium crown head will stretch to almost high crown…

Jun 25, 2019 - 6:48:57 AM
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Helix1

USA

241 posts since 4/17/2019
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I never saw an Amber Elite until Gold Tone had one, They ARE different, I like 'em . I bought them through Stew Mac but it seemed like I kept getting Elites instead of the Ambers, then I saw that I had them here with Fiberskyn, so I took a photo, they're different. I do like the Renn heads. I get consistent results from them. My Orange Blossom resonator looks great through the head.
The high crowns are 5/8"

They're like Santa Claus and the M & M's, they DO exist. I like Fiberskyn as much as I like 4 flat tires on a muddy road.


 

Edited by - Helix1 on 06/25/2019 06:51:30

Jun 26, 2019 - 3:26:13 PM
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11 posts since 1/31/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

The banjo head marketed by Stewart-Macdonald as "Amber Elite" Is actually a Remo Renaissance head that has Stew-Mac's "Amber Elite" trademark stamped on it. That detail confuses a lot of people and some even think they hear a difference between Amber Elite and  Renaissance heads.

In determining crown height, measure the height of the tension hoop. I know some Gold Tone instruments have short, 3/8" tall tension hoops and require a low crown head.

I have Remo Renaissance 11" diameter heads in low, medium and high crown heights. Cost is $21 and $5 to mail one or 2 heads in the US.

Bob Smakula
smakula.com


OK.  My tension hoops are both 3/8" . So I guess I need a low.  CC100 #1 has a Renaissance medium on it and it sounds fine.  I guess.  I'm kinda new to all this.  Will it make that much of a difference other than having to torque down the hooks tighter?  I went with the medium based on advice from a friend.  Will installing the high crown be a problem?  If so I'll just order a low crown from you.  

Edited by - gmtx77 on 06/26/2019 15:29:00

Jun 26, 2019 - 3:49:17 PM
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1811 posts since 4/7/2010

Using a medium or high crown will have the tension hoop pulling down too far. The head could bottom out in the neck notch, or even the shoes. If nothing else, the tension hoop will be well below the top of the rim.

Low crown is not only recommended, it is necessary.

Bob Smakula

Jun 27, 2019 - 5:53:20 AM
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Helix1

USA

241 posts since 4/17/2019
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I respect your experience, Bob. Then the Gold Tone Spec would be low crown.

They offer Elite and Elite Ambers, I disagree about them being just Ren heads, I took a photo of them together, somebody knows. My photo above is an elite.

I found my other photo: Elite Amber, Elite, Fiberskyn.

Not calling anybody on this, just to clarify.


 

Jun 28, 2019 - 4:36:02 AM

1811 posts since 4/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Helix1

I respect your experience, Bob. Then the Gold Tone Spec would be low crown.

They offer Elite and Elite Ambers, I disagree about them being just Ren heads, I took a photo of them together, somebody knows. My photo above is an elite.

I found my other photo: Elite Amber, Elite, Fiberskyn.

Not calling anybody on this, just to clarify.


The film Remo uses for their Renaissance and Stewart-Macdonald  Elite Amber heads has had subtly different colors since the original offering. The head on the left in your picture is what I remember as an earlier color. The head in the middle is the what is offered now, and of course the head on the right is a Remo Fiberskyn.

I'm looking at Stewart-Macdonald's website as I type this. The Elite head is a Remo Fiberskyn with Stew-Mac's "Elite" stamp. The Elite Amber is a Remo Renaissance with the "Elite" stamp.

 

Bob Smakula

smakula.com

Jun 28, 2019 - 5:06:43 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14121 posts since 3/27/2004

Having ordered Ren heads via StewMac and Elderly over the years I concur with the slight color variance over the last several years.  StewMac's current photos of the Ren head are much lighter than the older offering, as shown HERE.

I'm not sure how folks feel about logos, but I've always removed them.  I prefer the unencumbered look of a plain head without the need for advertising.  Someone had recently posted about finding whatever the ink was on the newer heads from Remo was highly resistant to solvent removal, so that's a big plus for ordering them without the logo.

I'm doing a project banjo that's much more "traditional" than what I usually build and had Bob send a new Renaissance head.  It was nice to not have to take the extra step to remove the logo, as Bob's heads are supplied without the logo.

Thanks for going the extra mile for us, Bob!

Jun 28, 2019 - 5:25:33 AM

1811 posts since 4/7/2010

Currently I am in a discussion with Remo about stamped logos. They want me to have one, whether it's their crown logo or my own proprietary logo. Like Stew-Mac and Pisgah have on their Remo products.

I will continue to politely negotiate to keep the status quo of a blank head on the Remo products I sell. I know people really appreciate that detail of the heads they buy from me

Bob Smakula
smakula.com

Jun 28, 2019 - 5:32:40 AM

11 posts since 1/31/2004

I ordered a Ren from Bob and sending the Elite amber back. When I ordered the elite the guy on the other end of the phone wasn't very helpful. He just regurgitated the catalog descriptions. StewMacs catalog description is pretty vague. It doesn't mention anything about tension hoop size. It's disappointing that a catalog that specializes in luthier tools and parts didn't have more detailed info. Lesson learned.

Thanks for everyones reply.

Jun 28, 2019 - 5:50:43 AM
Players Union Member

Helix1

USA

241 posts since 4/17/2019
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Thanks Bob, keep up the good work, when ordering from stew mac I thought I was getting substituted, I've only been doing this for a decade. I like blank Ren heads. Logos?

Our logos are the way we sound, not the way we look.


Jun 28, 2019 - 5:55:59 AM

1811 posts since 4/7/2010

My shop is primarily a repair shop and we have real life experience with loads of banjo brands. Being a small shop with far fewer parts than Stew-Mac's 7,000 or so, we know our products well.

I do order from Stew-Mac frequently, but with 45 years in the instrument building and repair biz I pretty much know what I need from them. I am grateful for how they have expanded their building and repair tools as well as their hardware. I can do a better job significantly faster than I could 45 years ago.

Bob Smakula

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