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Nov 17, 2019 - 9:13:21 AM
10 posts since 8/12/2019

I’m trying to find a cheapskate 5 string neck that I can swap out for kicks on my plectrum. I’d like to just get an Eastman but my pennies are pinched too tight. Anyone have experience with those 5 string necks from eBay with all the ornate abalone? Looks like made in Vietnam and sold via Taiwan. Other instruments I’ve seen with similar detail have been very poor quality but with a banjo neck I can’t imagine it going too wrong—yet...

Also I see they offer a steel tubaclone tone ring. Anyone take that gamble? I’m curious.

I’m sure this has been hashed to death, excuse the repetition.

Nov 17, 2019 - 9:57:20 AM

2730 posts since 5/29/2011

This subject has been discussed before. The wood in these necks is not properly cured so they cause problems down the road. They work fine for a while but will warp six months or so after they are installed. And the cost of returning one to the seller is as much as the initial cost. I speak from experience on this matter.
I even got one that had such a back bow that I could not use it at all but, for reasons previously stated, I had to take the loss.

Nov 17, 2019 - 10:07:37 AM

10 posts since 8/12/2019

Oof, copy. I had an easier time finding the old threads on this than I imagined, sorry for the redundancy. It’s a big gamble by all accounts. Anyone on the tubaclone?

Nov 17, 2019 - 10:18:32 AM

12305 posts since 6/29/2005

Originally posted by crowfielder

Oof, copy. I had an easier time finding the old threads on this than I imagined, sorry for the redundancy. It’s a big gamble by all accounts. Anyone on the tubaclone?

I am not familiar with a steel Tubaclone, but have seen steel flathead tone rings, also steel tension hoops and OPF flanges, all chrome plated.  I don't see why those wouldn't work if you don't mind chrome plating.  Made by the same supplier, I'd imagine the notches in the tension hoop would line up with the holes in the flange (at least you'd expect that).

I think you'd be on your own with a steel tone ring, but Deering's steel rimmed banjo seems to be well regarded—you'd have to try it.

Nov 17, 2019 - 12:29:14 PM



11514 posts since 2/7/2008

I have bought steel tension hoops from ebay or amazon. The notched ones work fine, the chrome plating is not deep and lustrous but is ok for a parts banjo or a budget instrument.
There are also un-notched ones that sometimes have the descriptors; brass, grooved, nickel plated of which none are true. They are a chrome plated steel hoop with no groove or notches. The very cheap stamped hooks available will hook over the top ok but the one I purchased was a little too large for an 11" banjo head. I think the inner dia. was about 11 3/16" and wanted to pull off to one side.
I had an asian bowtie style 5 string neck once that came to me in a deal that had a nasty dip near the 5th string peg. I had to remove the finger board, glue on 2 layers of mahogany veneer then sand back to level and reinstall the fingerboard. Not fun!

The Saga necks for about $70 work just fine if you dont mind a plain looking neck. I have used 3 or 4 to build budget banjos and you can dress them up. See pics of altered Saga neck.


Nov 17, 2019 - 5:28:58 PM
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1464 posts since 6/2/2010

I have purchased a few of those asian necks in the past. Some really warped bad and were unusable. Others are still straight and worked fine. You might get lucky and you might not.

I second the Saga neck option. They are usually fine.

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