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Mar 25, 2020 - 12:39:32 PM

O.D.

USA

3457 posts since 10/29/2003

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?

Everett

Mar 25, 2020 - 2:13:21 PM

868 posts since 5/19/2018
Online Now

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.

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:59:24 PM

10679 posts since 10/27/2006

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.

Mar 25, 2020 - 10:28:12 PM

109 posts since 2/20/2004

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.

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