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Oct 16, 2019 - 9:49:48 AM
196 posts since 6/15/2006

Has anybody experience with the Deering Skin Tone Heads. I think they may be even more interesting than both renaissance heads and fiber heads for one like me, but i would like to hear from someone, who has tried one. Steen

Oct 16, 2019 - 10:38:24 AM

1874 posts since 2/7/2008

I'm interested in this too. I have a banjo that's too brash and I'd like to tone it down, but I don't want to over-do it. I'd be very curious for opinions on this head. At $50, I'd expect it to sound terrific!

Oct 16, 2019 - 1:44:45 PM

RG

USA

2935 posts since 8/7/2008

If you want a pre-mounted head, check out John Balch's heads, https://banjonews.com/2014-01/natural_hide_banjo_heads.html he's a member here and you can DM him. In my experience the Deering heads are WAY too thick. I've probably installed upwards of 300 skin heads on banjos over the last 15 years, its a real easy job to do if you want to do it yourself.   I like medium goatskins from Elderly and make my own flesh hoops with square barstock on a Harbor Freight cheapie ring roller... remember that the "classic" Earl sound was first created with Bill Monroe on a thin calfskin head banjo...


 


Oct 16, 2019 - 1:48:28 PM

927 posts since 1/26/2012

For $50 it better be awesome.

Oct 16, 2019 - 2:02:26 PM

RG

USA

2935 posts since 8/7/2008

You can install your own for less than $20.00

Oct 17, 2019 - 4:27:19 AM
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maxmax

Sweden

1358 posts since 8/1/2005

The head in question is not a skin head, it's a synthetic head that Deering says is a cross between a Renaissance and a Fiberskyn head.

I bought one, but the European supplier is backordered and waiting for a new shipment, so it will be a couple more weeks before I get it.

Oct 17, 2019 - 4:54:02 AM

Emiel

Austria

9258 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by maxmax

The head in question is not a skin head, it's a synthetic head that Deering says is a cross between a Renaissance and a Fiberskyn head.

I bought one, but the European supplier is backordered and waiting for a new shipment, so it will be a couple more weeks before I get it.


Thank you for pointing that out. I hadn't yet heard about this new head. Would be interestiing to try out, but it's a bit expensive. Please tell us about your findings, once you have it.

I wonder who produces it and whether the hoop is glued or crimped.

Oct 17, 2019 - 5:03:14 AM
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maxmax

Sweden

1358 posts since 8/1/2005

Sure thing!

Oct 17, 2019 - 5:08:15 AM

12265 posts since 6/29/2005

Unless Deering makes them themselves, which I doubt (and I doubt you can patent a banjo head), they will become available at a reasonable price from someone like Bob Smakula who deals directly with the manufacturers.

I would be curious to try one, but not for 50 bucks.

Oct 17, 2019 - 8:22:38 AM

196 posts since 6/15/2006

Thanks for your help until now :). I was hoping to hear from someone, who had actually TRIED the Skintone Head.
To RG. I am not interesting in natural hides, even if they sound better, more charming and interesting than plastic, which they do (, and I think that coffe staining skins to make them look like what they are not, is a funny thing (like battering new guitars before they are sold), but it is certainly ok., if people like it).
The fact that Deering skins are thicker than normal do not scare me at all but on the contrary, because the best skin I have ever experinced was actually thicker than plastic heads for banjo normally are. But thank you for wanting to help me. Others may benefit from it.
But I would still be happy to hear from somebody who has tried it.
I also want to thank those people who gave me pieces of advise about a warped banjo neck, but things happened, so I came away from it for quite some time. Hope some of you will read this :). Steen

Oct 17, 2019 - 8:39:30 AM

196 posts since 6/15/2006

To Ken Le van. Sorry, you came in between, because I got interrupted while writing. I really think you should buy one and try it on one of your great banjos for sale. You just ad the difference of the price of a ren. head and this one to the price of the banjo. It won´t cost you anything. Nobody will notice, and you will still have the the old head left. And of course you don´t forget to write about it here.
Wasn´t that a piece of good advice? :) .
Thanks for writing about folks like Bob Smacula. Steen

Nov 3, 2019 - 6:55:42 AM

196 posts since 6/15/2006

Sorry, but my 3 banjos are all out of 11", so I will not buy one until I have such a banjo, but I would certainly try if I had one. I mean, what if it really beats all the others and really IS the best compromise for us oldtimies and folkies. What if it is more than the cost worth, and disappears from the market, because nobody will buy it because nobody has tried it or heard about someone that has because of the cost.
Isn´t there a rich oltimer out there, who can´t sleep until he has tried this mysterious expensive "Skin Tone Banjohead" from Deering?. Steen

Nov 4, 2019 - 11:13:16 AM
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3612 posts since 5/12/2010
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Good to find out these aren't actually "hide heads". I was afraid Deering would get a patent on rawhide.

Nov 4, 2019 - 11:31:12 AM

4781 posts since 9/21/2007
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by OldPappy

Good to find out these aren't actually "hide heads". I was afraid Deering would get a patent on rawhide.


I would not put it past them to try!wink

Nov 4, 2019 - 1:00:01 PM

Emiel

Austria

9258 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by steen

Sorry, but my 3 banjos are all out of 11", so I will not buy one until I have such a banjo, but I would certainly try if I had one. I mean, what if it really beats all the others and really IS the best compromise for us oldtimies and folkies. What if it is more than the cost worth, and disappears from the market, because nobody will buy it because nobody has tried it or heard about someone that has because of the cost.
Isn´t there a rich oltimer out there, who can´t sleep until he has tried this mysterious expensive "Skin Tone Banjohead" from Deering?. Steen


Thanks for reporting back. I'll sleep over it…

Nov 5, 2019 - 1:00:03 AM
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maxmax

Sweden

1358 posts since 8/1/2005

I picked mine up from the post office last night. I kind of regret telling you all that I bought one, because now I feel rushed to get it on my banjo, lol. It's a bit crazy right now and the little free time I have I enjoy picking, but I'll try to find time this weekend to install it, or maybe the next. I'll remember to post my thoughts as soon as I have it installed though, I promise.

In hand, it's nothing like a renaissance but similar to a fiberskyn, but with a lot less of the mushy material on top. The bottom is clear and shiny and the top has just a very thin coating of whatever that material is. I'm a fan of sanded down fiberskyn heads, so I'm cautiously optimistic. It's glued, not crimped.

Personal opinion, to my eyes it doesn't look all that good. It's very blotchy and screams faux skin. I would have preferred if it was more uniform and not trying to look like something it's not.


 

Edited by - maxmax on 11/05/2019 01:04:05

Nov 5, 2019 - 4:46:12 AM
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196 posts since 6/15/2006

Hello Max. Really exciting. Good you posted. Some people work best under a little pressure :). The reason, I am so interested is this: My favourite plastic old time skin on the market is the renaissance skin. In my ears they have the beauty, the plunkyness, the crispness, the snap, and most of what you could want. So whats wrong? Nothing, except that I have heard so many of them that I am getting a little tired of that specific sound. I think, I know it so well, (and I dont like the looks). The same goes for frosted Remos and fiberskins. On the 10, 1/2" I play these days I now have a Ren. head, that I have sprayed creamy white on the bottom side (also to add a little weight to it). It is way better for, sound, power, (and looks) than the frosted Remo, I started up with.
Thanks for the picture. I think it looks much better than any fiber or rennaissance head. From the picture it could easily go for an old warn and dirty cow head, so put it on whith the Deering stamp under the tailpiece and just play it.
It should be a little thicker than other plastic banjo heads, which I think is absolutely great, because my experience from an other banjo is that a thick head good and tight, gives a lot of energy and carrying power to the banjo sound.
So I wish you the best of luck with it, and don´t think, I will be the only one, who looks forward to a little report once it is on and has settled.
If (or when) I get an 11" banjo, I think this skin would be my first choice (even if we know, it is from "a virtual cow" :).
Best wished Steen

Nov 5, 2019 - 5:04:46 AM
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49 posts since 3/13/2007

I replaced a new heavier frosting Remo with one of these Skintone heads on a Yates that I thought sounded thin. It produced more of a Scruggs sound I wanted to hear.
Then I replaced a pre-epa Remo Weather King on my pre war flathead style 7. Both tuned to 90 on the drum dial. Same result.
I liked the first well enough to buy a second Skintone. Frankly I'm surprised at this result because in the distant past I tried both a fiberskin and a Renaissance head and didn't care for either.
Just saying the Skintone works for me.

Nov 5, 2019 - 5:17:19 AM
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Emiel

Austria

9258 posts since 1/22/2003

It's made by Remo (USA, since the Taiwan Remo heads are crimped, not glued). Remo does not (yet) have the head on the banjo head website, but it can be found on the page with the drumset drum heads:

https://remo.com/products/product/diplomat-skyntone/

"The Diplomat® Skyntone® features warm tone and soft attack with a calfskin-like look and feel. Constructed with 1-ply of a special surface-treated 5-mil film laminated to a 3-mil polyspun fiber. […] Featuring controlled high frequencies and dynamic sensitivity, Diplomat® Skyntone® is the closest synthetic drumhead ever produced compared to traditional calfskin."

Edited by - Emiel on 11/05/2019 05:17:52

Nov 5, 2019 - 7:00:15 AM
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6252 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

It's made by Remo (USA, since the Taiwan Remo heads are crimped, not glued). Remo does not (yet) have the head on the banjo head website, but it can be found on the page with the drumset drum heads:

https://remo.com/products/product/diplomat-skyntone/

"The Diplomat® Skyntone® features warm tone and soft attack with a calfskin-like look and feel. Constructed with 1-ply of a special surface-treated 5-mil film laminated to a 3-mil polyspun fiber. […] Featuring controlled high frequencies and dynamic sensitivity, Diplomat® Skyntone® is the closest synthetic drumhead ever produced compared to traditional calfskin."


Wow! Awesome hype!

Nov 5, 2019 - 8:45 AM

927 posts since 1/26/2012

If that is the same head, Deering must be having them special made in the 11" size. I wonder if they have a deal with Deering where Remo won't market them as a banjo head. They're only about $20 in the 12" size.

Nov 5, 2019 - 8:53:26 AM

1874 posts since 2/7/2008

Do y'all think that spraying the top of the SkinTone head with Kilz to make it a consistent color would dampen the sound too much?

Nov 5, 2019 - 3:12:25 PM

399 posts since 8/14/2018
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

Unless Deering makes them themselves, which I doubt (and I doubt you can patent a banjo head),


You can patent a drum head.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=12&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=drumhead&s2=remo.INNM.&OS=drumhead+AND+IN/remo&RS=drumhead+AND+IN/remo

Nov 5, 2019 - 3:44:04 PM

12265 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by MacCruiskeen
quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

Unless Deering makes them themselves, which I doubt (and I doubt you can patent a banjo head),


You can patent a drum head.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=12&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=drumhead&s2=remo.INNM.&OS=drumhead+AND+IN/remo&RS=drumhead+AND+IN/remo


Very interesting!

That looks to be the patent for what became the "Weather King" drum head.  It seems like what they are patenting is the new material and method of manufacturing it so that it operates similarly to a skin head.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 11/05/2019 15:45:09

Nov 10, 2019 - 4:09:23 PM
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maxmax

Sweden

1358 posts since 8/1/2005

Ok, I got around to installing the head on a five string Flathead. I've had a heavier frosted top and a White Suede on this particular banjo, but never a Renaissance or Fiberskyn so it's a little difficult to compare, but I'm going to make an educated guess.

I'd say the highs are still high and the lows are still low, unlike a Fiberskyn which tends to cut off a bit from both ends, but the biggest difference compared to the frosted top and the White Suede is that it has a lot less overtones. That's something I tend to like on all instruments, so I'm happy with that. My picking sounds cleaner than it ever has on this banjo. I'd guess that some people would think their banjo with this head might loose some "shimmer" or "complexity" compared to a frosted top, but that's two traits I've personally never been a big fan of.

It does a have a "color" or "flavour" or what you want to call it, but I'm having a hard time describing it. Even though as I said I've never had a Renaissance on this particular banjo, I tend to think that a Renaissance head seems to make all banjos sound like a banjo with a Renaissance head. They have a very distinct sound. This head doesn't sound like that. I'm not really 100% sure if I like it or not yet, but I'm going to leave it for now. I think I like it though... we'll see.

Cheers,
Max

Nov 11, 2019 - 3:20:55 AM

Emiel

Austria

9258 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by maxmax

Ok, I got around to installing the head on a five string Flathead. I've had a heavier frosted top and a White Suede on this particular banjo, but never a Renaissance or Fiberskyn so it's a little difficult to compare, but I'm going to make an educated guess.

I'd say the highs are still high and the lows are still low, unlike a Fiberskyn which tends to cut off a bit from both ends, but the biggest difference compared to the frosted top and the White Suede is that it has a lot less overtones. That's something I tend to like on all instruments, so I'm happy with that. My picking sounds cleaner than it ever has on this banjo. I'd guess that some people would think their banjo with this head might loose some "shimmer" or "complexity" compared to a frosted top, but that's two traits I've personally never been a big fan of.

It does a have a "color" or "flavour" or what you want to call it, but I'm having a hard time describing it. Even though as I said I've never had a Renaissance on this particular banjo, I tend to think that a Renaissance head seems to make all banjos sound like a banjo with a Renaissance head. They have a very distinct sound. This head doesn't sound like that. I'm not really 100% sure if I like it or not yet, but I'm going to leave it for now. I think I like it though... we'll see.

Cheers,
Max


Yes, it is hard to put sounds into words. But thank you anyway, it does gives some hints and ideas about how this head sounds. If we really want to know, we'll have to try it ourselves, I guess.

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