I have two Robin Smith banjos with Bela Fleck specs, and unfortunately with his passing, I know of no banjo maker who can do similar work.
Who is making radiused necks on banjos modeled after the prewar Gibsons?
I was wondering what you are playing. I kept meaning to ask.
Tim Davis can make a Fleck spec neck. I think he even has a model that uses this neck. I want one too.
Richie Dotson can probably make a radiused neck. He’s an expert at otherwise pre-war specs.
I don’t know if these other guys do radius, but Don Bryant, Ron Coleman, Arthur Hatfield are all respected by Hangout folks. Chris Sorensen is new to the game but building a list of satisfied customers. You can probably find all of them through the Hangout.
Frank and/or Ricky Neat can make radiused necks too
There was a Davis with a Fleck neck for sale here a few months ago.
I was almost in the market for a new radius neck and have recently spoken with a bunch of the guys mentioned. Davis can do ‘em, even compound radius on the fancy machine. Richie Dotson said he can do a radius neck, and I have a radius neck from Ron Coleman so he can too. Doug Spencer came highly recommended, we had a good chat.
I have a Companion “woodie” banjo with a radius neck. Chris builds a very good banjo and can do standard inlay patterns or they can do something you design.
I have a lovely radiused neck made my Mark Hickler
Wanting to play guitar at 9 yoa, pops relented - contacted his brother who was a great music educator and card carrying professional musician who (wisely) chose a nice classical guitar with the stipulaion that I take up classical guitar instruction and that if my interest waned, to return the guitar so he could put it back in rotation at his guitar academy (he cashed in on the baby boomer crop)...
So..over time I really didn't have guitars with a radius and even to this day I prefer guitars with a radius of 22 to perhaps 24 which I find very comfortable. Even dead flat is okay for me.
But my question is... what does a radiused banjo neck provide the player? Comfort? String bending?
I'm not sure i understsnd the need.
Per Bela Fleck, space to dig out notes. Having thicker fingers, radiused necks do provide more room provided the Nut is radiused with this fret profile.
'Gold Tone BG-150f' 4 hrs
'ODE Style C' 9 hrs
'Florentine tenor' 10 hrs