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Oct 16, 2020 - 7:05:49 AM
237 posts since 1/26/2020

I've had the luck to purchase 2 antique banjos that have Joe Rogers Jr. heads on them. Coincidentally, they are my 2 favorite banjos to play (a Stewart and a F&C), and definitely the best sounding. I'm interested to know if anyone knows of an equivalent head sold today, to the quality of a Rogers head? I saw a link on an old post from 2009 mentioning banjoseen.com, but it seems that site is now defunct. Anyone that might be able to point me in the right direction?

Side note, Clifton Hicks stands by the Remo frosted head, so I'll be trying one of those as well.

Blaine

Oct 16, 2020 - 7:10:12 AM
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1904 posts since 2/12/2009

I have two banjos which arrived with old skin heads one of which was a Jos Rogers, both are now lying in my parts corner while I enjoy getting good tone from my Remo top frosted heads, I guess it depends on what you want soundwise from a banjo, for me the top frosted Remo wins out every time.

Oct 16, 2020 - 7:54:50 AM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5382 posts since 10/12/2009
Online Now

Not sure if there is a modern "equivalent" to old Rogers heads, but John Balch seems to be the "go-to-guy" for hide heads nowadays.

He's a member here, his homepage link is below.

https://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/home.asp?id=1896

Oct 16, 2020 - 7:55:23 AM
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csacwp

USA

2763 posts since 1/15/2014

Stern tanning is the last head maker I know of producing anything of quality, but their output lately hasn't been up to the standard of their earlier heads. Unfortunately I don't know of anyone making good, period heads. Remo frosted tops come closest to reproducing the sound of a tight, high quality calfskin.

Oct 16, 2020 - 8:03:09 AM

237 posts since 1/26/2020

quote:
Originally posted by csacwp

Stern tanning is the last head maker I know of producing anything of quality, but their output lately hasn't been up to the standard of their earlier heads. Unfortunately I don't know of anyone making good, period heads. Remo frosted tops come closest to reproducing the sound of a tight, high quality calfskin.


Seems that this will be the route that I go, then. Thanks John. Thanks everyone. Always a helpful bunch, as usual :)

 

Blaine

Oct 16, 2020 - 8:22:24 AM
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2453 posts since 4/7/2010

I have found the Stern Tanning heads to continually be high quality, but there is a serious supply problem. As Jeff Stern runs a small shop, he does most of the work himself. He tries to hire employees, but no one wants to do the icky, smelly, labor intensive work of tanning. My last order took a year an a half to receive.

Bob Smakula

Oct 16, 2020 - 1:52:38 PM

jbalch

USA

8740 posts since 11/28/2003

As others have said, Stern Tanning Co hides are without-a-doubt the BEST available. I have compared them side-by-side with old and NOS Rogers 3-star heads and find them to be a very good modern alternative.

BUT - be aware that Stern hides very frequently have small translucent spots (mottling) and/or minor natural color variation (light brown or yellow areas). MOST are not perfectly white. This has always been the case in the years that I have used them. Below are some examples showing a range of them:








Edited by - jbalch on 10/16/2020 13:53:52

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