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Sep 18, 2019 - 8:28:36 PM
2 posts since 8/2/2014

I've had my banjo for the past 40 years (bought by my wife as a wedding present). I want to see if anybody knows anything about the archtop tone ring. Many moons ago, I took it to Kyle K. Smith for restomod changes and setup. It got a Tony Pass block rim that was the second archtop rim with the "thin skirt" attribute that he fitted to my archtop ring. It's a unique banjo for several reasons, has to be as it was built by a fella in TN.
Now, about that tone ring. What I've been told is that Mr. Bill Blaylock built 100 of them in the mid-70s. I don't think this is the same Bill Blaylock who builds the rings for Sonny's Chief banjos. This fella was the picker for The Roanokes . . . '69 World Bluegrass Champs. He was in Marietta GA and the story goes that he sacrificed a pre-war Gibson archtop ring to a metallurgist who supposedly determined the exact metallurgical makeup, specs and so forth and helped Bill to replicate the exact formula for the bell bronze.
I would be extremely appreciative of ANY info that's available about this awesome tone ring. It has incredible tone and loudness. When Kyle was done with it, I never thought I would have such a pleasing banjo without spending a fortune. So, what do y'all know about this beast? Thanks in advance.

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