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Jul 11, 2020 - 7:03:27 AM

Dave Churm

Canada

76 posts since 7/24/2007

Getting ready to change the head on a Gibson ESS, some one on the site once said all the heads are built by one maker. I noticed a big price range between, the Deerings, Remo's Weatherkings for top frosted.
Appreciate any thoughts on this.
Dave

Jul 11, 2020 - 7:15:34 AM

Edwards

USA

106 posts since 3/26/2014

Yes I just got a americana 12 inch Dearing good time Recently, recently, so I don’t have to expose my gold tone too harsh environments. On the side of the Dearing head, Reno is Written in micro print. As far As I can tell from one Renaissance had I’on to the next one. They’re both high collar 11 and 12 inch renaissance with no difference in quality except for logo on exterior. I’d go with the Remo head.Good luck in your quandary.

Edited by - Edwards on 07/11/2020 07:17:01

Jul 11, 2020 - 7:37:39 AM

Dave Churm

Canada

76 posts since 7/24/2007

Thankyou very much and stay Safe

Jul 11, 2020 - 9:03:54 AM

Emiel

Austria

9498 posts since 1/22/2003

As far as I know, Deering for some time has used/uses Taiwan-made clear Remo heads and had (or still has) them coated in California to Deering's specification. In the meantime, USA-made Remo heads now have a thicker frosting, too. Taiwan-made Remo heads always had a thick frosting, though different, more coarse.

So there are subtle differences between all those Remo heads. Which head is the best, depends on your preferences and on the banjo in question as well.

Edited by - Emiel on 07/11/2020 09:05:06

Jul 11, 2020 - 9:13:49 AM
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1275 posts since 7/12/2004

I'd suggest checking out American Made Banjo. I've never put an AMB head on a banjo and not had it sound better. That covers everything from new banjos to prewars. Tom uses his own custom coating - material, thickness, or both - so it's not just a rebadged version of someone else's head.

Full disclosure: I'm an AMB endorser (strings). However, I have nothing to do with the heads except as a satisfied customer. They are the best I've found for bluegrass banjos.

Jul 11, 2020 - 12:57:49 PM
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2242 posts since 4/7/2010
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Churm

Getting ready to change the head on a Gibson ESS, some one on the site once said all the heads are built by one maker. I noticed a big price range between, the Deerings, Remo's Weatherkings for top frosted.
Appreciate any thoughts on this.
Dave


Remo manufactures 99% of the world's banjo heads, as far as I can tell. The Deering head is a Remo product that was custom stamped by Remo at the end of production. You might ask how I can be so confident on that detail. In an order of 500 banjo heads from Remo about 6 years ago, I had one stray Deering head in the box. I didn't realize at the time that Deering marked up their heads significantly, or I may have sold it direct to a customer rather than mailing it to Deering at no cost to them. My heads are logo free, and it seemed like too much work to photo and advertise only one head.

I think the reason that Deering branded banjo heads are significantly more expensive than Remo branded heads is they have to allow for dealer markup. Deering has to make a certain profit on the heads they sell as do the dealers that stock them. So all you are getting for your money is a Deering logo rather than the Remo crown.

 

Bob Smakula

smakula.com

Jul 11, 2020 - 1:11:23 PM

Dave Churm

Canada

76 posts since 7/24/2007

Thank you everyone for all the replies, now to be brave and attempt the change. And do have your book Bob, Let you all know how it works out>

Jul 12, 2020 - 9:03:42 AM

1275 posts since 7/12/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Churm

Getting ready to change the head on a Gibson ESS, some one on the site once said all the heads are built by one maker. I noticed a big price range between, the Deerings, Remo's Weatherkings for top frosted.
Appreciate any thoughts on this.
Dave


Remo manufactures 99% of the world's banjo heads, as far as I can tell. The Deering head is a Remo product that was custom stamped by Remo at the end of production. You might ask how I can be so confident on that detail. In an order of 500 banjo heads from Remo about 6 years ago, I had one stray Deering head in the box. I didn't realize at the time that Deering marked up their heads significantly, or I may have sold it direct to a customer rather than mailing it to Deering at no cost to them. My heads are logo free, and it seemed like too much work to photo and advertise only one head.

I think the reason that Deering branded banjo heads are significantly more expensive than Remo branded heads is they have to allow for dealer markup. Deering has to make a certain profit on the heads they sell as do the dealers that stock them. So all you are getting for your money is a Deering logo rather than the Remo crown.

 

Bob Smakula

smakula.com


The fact (and it is a fact) that Remo manufactures the vast majority of the world's banjo heads does not mean that they are all just the same product with different logos. Remo manufactures heads to order, and there are many variables - thickness of the mylar itself; thickness and number of coats of the frosted coating, which may be on the inside or outside; the frosting material; the hoop design and the the method of attachment of the head to the hoop; overall weight of the head. Not to mention the visually obvious and functionally different ones like head color, crown height and diameter. Many of these heads look the same but have very different tonal qualities, so two heads that look exactly the same may sound very different when installed on the same banjo.

Some of these changes also affect the manufacturing cost, and ultimately the retail price. So the higher cost of the Deering heads may have its origin in manufacturing decisions, not marketing ones. Even small companies ordering a relatively small number of heads from Remo can get them built with custom specs, so big companies like Deering almost certainly do.

To get back to the original purpose of this post, it's worth checking out heads from multiple sources, either directly or through the experience of others, even though they all came from the same company.

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