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Try to figure out a certain builders name.

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Mar 4, 2020 - 1:50:27 PM
96 posts since 2/3/2016

There was a guy who built and setup banjos but he claimed to have a special way of setting up banjos that was very secretive and had a certain name for it like frequency set up or something like that. I believe his name is Kyle or something like that.

Mar 4, 2020 - 2:13:49 PM

2172 posts since 12/31/2005
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Kyle Smith.  His granular knowledge of parts, how they interact, and the different variables was something else.  I am only speaking in the past tense because my understanding is that he has decided to leave the business.  I have one of his banjos.  It is awesome.  Wish he was still in the biz.

Edited by - Brian Murphy on 03/04/2020 14:15:28

Mar 4, 2020 - 2:59:40 PM

chuckv97

Canada

49108 posts since 10/5/2013

Brian, how is it different from other banjos?

Mar 4, 2020 - 5:16:08 PM
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2172 posts since 12/31/2005
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For one thing, he had a model called the "Legend," but it is not a standard model as you would normally think of a model. He used a variety of woods, rings, etc. depending on the wants of the customer. So there isn't, for example, as distinctive sound to them. He would ask what you liked and wanted and built it to sound and look like that. Mine is a mahogany, V-neck, Fleur de lis headstock and gull inlays (I think that is a Style 1 pattern). Prucha hardware, Pass Rim and TN-20 ring.

Construction is excellent. Other than tighten the head on rare occasion, I have not touched the setup. Great, dry tone. Nice decay. Very balanced across the strings and all the way up.  But if you wanted something bright with a lot of sustain, he could do that too.

I think building was something he developed a little later on. He was well known for setting up banjos, and must have learned a lot doing that.

Edited by - Brian Murphy on 03/04/2020 17:16:39

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