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Aug 1, 2020 - 8:32:39 AM
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O.D.

USA

3504 posts since 10/29/2003

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teVuNoASfs0

I came across this video while surfing utube . This is one of the best examples of a no hole raised head tone  that Ive come across. I could nt help noticing how it sounds so much like my 27 no holer. These banjos have a tone all of there own  and very  recognizable.

 I thought Id throw this out there for anyone interested in the sound.

Have a good weekend

 Everett

Aug 1, 2020 - 9:06:47 AM
Players Union Member

rbfour5

USA

1055 posts since 11/9/2010

Yes- and Richard Underwood could pull everything out of that no hole! I've GOT to find me one!!

Aug 1, 2020 - 11:14:38 AM
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13249 posts since 10/30/2008

Ah JMB was so great. And still, they couldn't make a financial go of it.

Aug 1, 2020 - 12:19:26 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23887 posts since 6/25/2005

I loved my ‘27 NHAT. But I just never played it....

Aug 1, 2020 - 1:59:17 PM
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13146 posts since 6/29/2005
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Certainly a subject that comes up frequently.

About a year and half ago, I had the opportunity to jam with friends in Brevard NC, and one very good player there had a 1927 Granada No-hole, which was just a few months different from my 1927 Granada 40 hole, so I am familiar with both of them. Gibson in that short period in 1927 changed as they went along, so the no-hole has a Kerschner, and my 40 Hole has a clamshell‚ the no-hole has different tuners that I do, but they both have MOP buttons—Granadas are Granadas.  Mine also has a rare kind of rim, made from recycled BB rims and documented on some high end Gibsons from the period, so they are not "apples to apples".  Both are conversions from TBs with different necks and different setups— hers had the resonator space jacked up with spacers, mine is original spacing

SO, this is not a "research valid" comparison with the tone ring being the only variable, but inasmuch as they are months apart in 1927, and the same model, which was a high-end gold plated one, I'd say there is a valid "similarity of intent" by Gibson between the two.

I have no axe to grind, since I am not in the Mastertone copy business, and prefer the sound of the bluegrass banjos I make, to either one, so you can easily disregard what I say as delusion or economically convenient hearing impairment, but I don't think there is very much difference between the two— they are both great banjos— like the Scots say " there is nae bad whiskey-just some that's better than others", and it's up to you to decide.

If I was going to pick one over the other, I would be loath to tell the difference, let alone if I had to explain it, which would start to sound like wine-tasting nonsense, and I don't think any difference, with variables eliminated, could be picked up by the (pretty good) mike I use to make sound samples., They both sound very good and are capable of producing the iconic Ralph Stanley and Douglas Dillard sound—either one of those guys could have easily goosed the sound they wanted out of either banjo.

Aug 1, 2020 - 2:44:55 PM

O.D.

USA

3504 posts since 10/29/2003

I dont think my presented example relates to the Stanley/ Dilliard sound at all
Not the tight shrill of an arch top
More of a hollow , tight sound.
What grabbed me was the similarity to my style 4

Aug 1, 2020 - 5:06:45 PM
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13146 posts since 6/29/2005
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quote:
Originally posted by O.D.

I dont think my presented example relates to the Stanley/ Dilliard sound at all
Not the tight shrill of an arch top
More of a hollow , tight sound.
What grabbed me was the similarity to my style 4


I said "capable" of producing that sound, which they are, unlike flatheads.  Mine isn't set up (and "set up is the critical term) for that sound, and folks have said it sounds more like a flathead.

Aug 1, 2020 - 5:44:51 PM
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O.D.

USA

3504 posts since 10/29/2003

I'm with you Ken

I'm pickin up what your putting down.

Have a good week end

Everett

Aug 2, 2020 - 4:57:27 AM
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13146 posts since 6/29/2005
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quote:
Originally posted by O.D.

I'm with you Ken

I'm pickin up what your putting down.

Have a good week end

Everett


I'll add that in the Movie "Bonnie and Clyde" that famously used a Scruggs recording of Foggy Mountain Breakdown,  there was a lot of incidental banjo music, all of which was played by Douglas Dillard, matching the Scruggs sound with his archtop—I don't know which one it was or how it was set up—he had several, including a Florentine with a hearts and flowers neck.

Aug 2, 2020 - 8:11:15 AM
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13249 posts since 10/30/2008

I helped a widow friend sell her husband's 1928 no hole Granada. It had a good maple conversion neck, however it had an ebony board.

It was the first known no hole (to me) I had played. It had a very different tone to the 40 holes I owned and/or played. Very hard to describe in words. Set up was "common", nothing fancy. Tight plastic head.

The thing would drive nails. But the sound was less "open" than 40 holes I experienced. The only phrase I can come up with is "choked off", but not meaning that in a bad way. The sound was EXTREMELY focused and tight in projection, like it was processing through a tunnel. Not as "open" and wide-spreading as the 40 holes. If you could draw a diagram of the projection of the sound it would be like a laser gun sight on a target, compare to a normal Mag Lite cone of light. Does that make any sense?


I should have bought it myself -- alas, another one that got away.

Aug 2, 2020 - 8:36:47 AM

Emiel

Austria

9562 posts since 1/22/2003

I always loved (and still do) the tone of Dock Boggs' 1928 RB-3 (archtop; tube-and-plate, of course). That banjo had (I hope still has) a 40-hole tonering…

Aug 2, 2020 - 11:20:37 AM
Players Union Member

rbfour5

USA

1055 posts since 11/9/2010

The Old Timer - that is exactly how I would describe the difference between a no hole and a 40 hole. Or maybe a deer slug versus buck shot. Something seems a bit more pulled back than a 40 hole but the no hole can still knock you down.

Aug 2, 2020 - 12:06:23 PM
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2569 posts since 4/16/2003

Richard Underwood was (is) one of the great but "unheralded" players, and he got a superb tone from his archtop that seemed to sound like a blend of the archtop and flathead sound.

Thanks for posting this clip of the JMB's (which seems to be the second part or a two-part production). One of the all-time best bands of bluegrass.

It's telling that they had to disband for financial reasons. It was 6-7 years ago (or more, perhaps time is flyin' by me) that they got back together (with Michael Cleveland taking Eddie Stubbs' place) for a series of "tribute" shows. I caught them at the Delaware festival (actually in southern New Jersey). They sounded as good as ever. I wish Dudley would get them together to record a new album with a blend of old and new songs. I'd help to produce it with him!

Aug 2, 2020 - 1:42:15 PM

13249 posts since 10/30/2008

I asked some Nashville friends if Eddie Stubbs retirement from WSM last week might mean a JMB reunion show. The answer was "it will never happen".

Aug 2, 2020 - 2:23:02 PM
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13146 posts since 6/29/2005
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I could never understand the fascination with the flathead sound that caused so many incredible old banjos to have their rims destroyed to fit flathead tone rings, many of which were done by people who couldn't tell one from the other blindfolded, but were sucked in by the hype.

I can remember this way back to the 1960s.  Hell will freeze over before I would convert my '27 Granada.

Aug 2, 2020 - 4:24:06 PM
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7776 posts since 1/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

I could never understand the fascination with the flathead sound that caused so many incredible old banjos to have their rims destroyed to fit flathead tone rings, many of which were done by people who couldn't tell one from the other blindfolded, but were sucked in by the hype.

I can remember this way back to the 1960s.  Hell will freeze over before I would convert my '27 Granada.


I could not agree more. Flathead vs archtop. Equal but different. I personally find the archtop to be quicker in response to the player--and quicker in decay. Both of which helps when playing fast tunes. 

Flathead --more ring. Archtop --more snap. 

DD

Edited by - Dan Drabek on 08/02/2020 16:24:29

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