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Aug 10, 2020 - 1:35:15 PM
225 posts since 6/24/2019

I like my Hickler 5 string. This Friday will be a full month with it, and it is my very first banjo.

And, I'm already wanting a second one because I'm finding certain chords I'll be playing a lot are just too crowded (the fingerings).

So I think I need a neck with a wider width at the nut as well as a beefy C/rounded profile.

And for now, a decent current production lower end model will suffice. It can even be a Tenor.

I'm having trouble finding specs on them though. Even some of the manufacturers sites don't include them in their specs list. And there aren't any shops in town with examples to try.

For those of you that have grabbed a lot of banjos off the wall, which models have a wide/fat neck ? And again, it could even be a tenor.

Aug 10, 2020 - 3:58:59 PM
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jacot23

USA

144 posts since 12/13/2012

Buy a Hoyt, thank me later; several for sale in the classifieds right now. 25.5” scale 1 3/8” at the nut; necks are just about perfect.

LeVan’s V neck is also very nice if you can find one.

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:11:51 PM

225 posts since 6/24/2019

quote:
Originally posted by jacot23

Buy a Hoyt, thank me later; several for sale in the classifieds right now. 25.5” scale 1 3/8” at the nut; necks are just about perfect.

LeVan’s V neck is also very nice if you can find one.


Thanks, I'll take a look. That may be wide enough.

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:39:29 PM
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KCJones

USA

877 posts since 8/30/2012

I recently took a trip to elderly and tried a few Rickards. They have beefy necks. Amazing sound but I'd never buy one because the necks are very thick is seems, like holding a Louisville Slugger. If you want a big neck, check them out. I prefer a wide/flat neck.

I have a Wildwood Troubadour, it has a nice wide neck but is not thick like the Rickard. Very comfortable, for my preference.

Bart Reiter necks are somewhere in between. Currently waiting on a special order, once it comes in I'll take measurements. Very similar to Vega necks I've tried, although some of those Vega necks were actually Reiter repros.

Gold Tone necks are a bit deeper it seems, but not wider.

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:07:09 PM

225 posts since 6/24/2019

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

I recently took a trip to elderly and tried a few Rickards. They have beefy necks. Amazing sound but I'd never buy one because the necks are very thick is seems, like holding a Louisville Slugger. If you want a big neck, check them out. I prefer a wide/flat neck.

I have a Wildwood Troubadour, it has a nice wide neck but is not thick like the Rickard. Very comfortable, for my preference.

Bart Reiter necks are somewhere in between. Currently waiting on a special order, once it comes in I'll take measurements. Very similar to Vega necks I've tried, although some of those Vega necks were actually Reiter repros.

Gold Tone necks are a bit deeper it seems, but not wider.


The Carlin Gold Tone has a 1 3\8" nut, but I think the rest of the open backs are 1 3/16 ".

I don't think I'll run into one that's too fat for me unless it's a deep U shape. Probably aren't too many of those anyway as far as production models.

I may just wait and save up for a Hoyt or one of the other mid level offerings.

Right now my budget is a lot lower than those.

It's rumored that we have another stimulus check on the way though. ;)

Aug 12, 2020 - 4:15:31 AM
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4885 posts since 5/14/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Hugh Walter Jennings

I like my Hickler 5 string. This Friday will be a full month with it, and it is my very first banjo.

And, I'm already wanting a second one because I'm finding certain chords I'll be playing a lot are just too crowded (the fingerings).

So I think I need a neck with a wider width at the nut as well as a beefy C/rounded profile.

And for now, a decent current production lower end model will suffice. It can even be a Tenor.

I'm having trouble finding specs on them though. Even some of the manufacturers sites don't include them in their specs list. And there aren't any shops in town with examples to try.

For those of you that have grabbed a lot of banjos off the wall, which models have a wide/fat neck ? And again, it could even be a tenor.


If you've only been on this banjo for a month, I'd consider the idea that the problem's maybe not with the banjo, but with your technique. It might be worth your while to take a lesson with someone experienced to make sure your left hand position, the way you're holding the instrument, and even the way you're sitting aren't the problem.

Aug 12, 2020 - 9:14 AM

225 posts since 6/24/2019

quote:
Originally posted by John Gribble
quote:
Originally posted by Hugh Walter Jennings

I like my Hickler 5 string. This Friday will be a full month with it, and it is my very first banjo.

And, I'm already wanting a second one because I'm finding certain chords I'll be playing a lot are just too crowded (the fingerings).

So I think I need a neck with a wider width at the nut as well as a beefy C/rounded profile.

And for now, a decent current production lower end model will suffice. It can even be a Tenor.

I'm having trouble finding specs on them though. Even some of the manufacturers sites don't include them in their specs list. And there aren't any shops in town with examples to try.

For those of you that have grabbed a lot of banjos off the wall, which models have a wide/fat neck ? And again, it could even be a tenor.


If you've only been on this banjo for a month, I'd consider the idea that the problem's maybe not with the banjo, but with your technique. It might be worth your while to take a lesson with someone experienced to make sure your left hand position, the way you're holding the instrument, and even the way you're sitting aren't the problem.


Hi John, that's all good advice but I've got most all of that sorted out.

My fingers are a tad fat for a couple of chords I will be using quite often. 

The Hickler is fine and it's a keeper but I want a wider neck for some tunes. 

Same with my guitars. My flat top is best for some songs and my archtop is better for others.

Edited by - Hugh Walter Jennings on 08/12/2020 09:15:09

Aug 13, 2020 - 5:13:40 AM

AndyW

UK

553 posts since 7/4/2017

Trying to play with full chords all the time will slow you down a fair bit as brushing full chords is not the best economy of motion. Most folks tend to use partial chords when claw-hammering only occasionally brushing a full chord if they decide there needs to be a bit of emphasis.

Only important I suppose if trying to play 'old time' tunes at jam speed, you might be on a completely different type of tune or happy to play slower so ignore me if that's the case.

Aug 13, 2020 - 10:21:15 AM

225 posts since 6/24/2019

quote:
Originally posted by AndyW

Trying to play with full chords all the time will slow you down a fair bit as brushing full chords is not the best economy of motion. Most folks tend to use partial chords when claw-hammering only occasionally brushing a full chord if they decide there needs to be a bit of emphasis.

Only important I suppose if trying to play 'old time' tunes at jam speed, you might be on a completely different type of tune or happy to play slower so ignore me if that's the case.


Thanks for the tips and no, I'm not going to ignore anything offered by someone trying to help !

But I should have posted my question in the shopping advice forum. 

Aug 14, 2020 - 12:05:56 PM
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849 posts since 3/23/2006

Neck widths get discussed a fair amount -- probably because they are easier to describe by just measuring them -- but neck shapes are a less well-defined banjo attribute. I have a couple of banjos with different neck shapes and I think that I am going to do two things to describe the neck shapes (in addition to width) -- whether it's a C-shape or a D-shape or soft V-shape (or something else), and what the thickness is at say the nut, the 5th fret and the 12th fret. Of course, if some of our excellent makers on BHO know the answers for their neck designs -- or better ideas about how to describe them -- they would save me from having to find my calipers.

Aug 15, 2020 - 11:29:57 AM
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13 posts since 5/23/2020

I got a Hoyt in part because I could get the neck width. Ive got pretty knarled up fingers and while I found the neck needing a bit of additional sanding and some smoothing out the profile is nice and the width is great.

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