A guy up at the Greyfox festival had a Flatiron banjo a number of yrs ago . I thought it sounded exceptional, and it looked pretty nice as well.
I rarely see these banjos for sale or otherwise. Is there a back story to these ?
Whats the history?
If you do a quick Google search - Flatiron Banjos BanjoHangout. Numerous previous threads will come up.
I have played a few years ago. Very high quality instruments if I recall. I don’t think they made too many as I have only seen a few banjos that had a Flatiron label. Mandolins were the main product. I remember going to Mandolin Brothers to buy a Flatiron Mandolin. Maybe the very early 80’s or late 70’s. That instrument was similar to a Gibson Army-Navy Mandolin. Played great and was loud. I’m pretty sure Gibson actually acquired them a few years after they started making instruments and used their facilities for higher end acoustic instruments.
Flatiron made some banjos before being sold to Gibson. If you look around, you might find the brochure. Gibson dumped the banjo line after the sale. I don't think too many dealers besides Elderly and Mandolin Bros. had them.
Exceptional quality folk and bluegrass, even a few resonator banjos with Whyte Laydie rings.
My main banjo is a Flatiron Sweetgrass. Sold a Huber a couple of Stellings and a few other nice banjos in deference to this banjo. I still have a Gibson ESS but I’ve been thinking of selling it too. It rarely gets played.
The Sweetgrass has a Kulesh tone ring and a two piece flange (structurally a 2 pc flange is just superior but Earl didn’t play one).
Curiously, people often mistake it for a Prucha banjo.
'Staghorn' 1 hr