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Oct 24, 2020 - 6:57:57 PM
10 posts since 5/16/2020

Would like to know what number on the drum dial is good for a calf skin head. Thanks for your feedback.

Oct 25, 2020 - 5:18:24 AM

5497 posts since 12/20/2005
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What size rim and what type of tonering is on your banjo ?

Oct 25, 2020 - 5:49:26 AM
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2169 posts since 12/16/2007

Whatever you decide, or are told, is the right drum dial number, the tension will decrease as the humidity increases and the tension will increase as the air gets drier.

Oct 25, 2020 - 12:02:37 PM



246 posts since 1/28/2018

The head may also take a bit of time to settle in - the last one I installed certainly did - a couple of months (though installed one on another banjo it was not so long).Just find it best to tighten to get the desired tone and as others have said may need adjusting now and again - even over a single day!

Oct 25, 2020 - 2:52:14 PM



276 posts since 6/26/2004

I don't use a drum dial to determine the correct tension on a head. I just use my thumbs. Regardless, anytime you set up a banjo and alter the head tension, let it sit for a few days before you make any more changes. I can tell you from experience it will sound different a few days later. A week is even better.

Oct 25, 2020 - 7:27:25 PM
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65 posts since 9/17/2012

I thought I read awhile back John Balch said drum dials did not work on hide heads

Oct 26, 2020 - 2:03:29 AM

527 posts since 2/15/2015

I use a piano, and thump (tap) the head close to the tensioners. Shoot for G#.

Don't ask me why a G# but that's what I've heard time and time again over the years. Must be physics.

What I want to know is how many newton pounds is a G#?

Edited by - geoB on 10/26/2020 02:05:26

Oct 26, 2020 - 4:56:57 AM

13270 posts since 6/29/2005

I have done them initially to 90, then they stretch and I try to keep them at around 89.

Climatic conditions affect them a lot more than plastic heads, so they will fluctuate.

In a radio interview, Earl Scruggs said that back in the day when they used skin heads, they would "tighten them until they broke, then back off a little bit."

Oct 26, 2020 - 5:23:17 AM



92 posts since 10/5/2010

Skin head are not smooth and regular so i don't think drum dial will be effective on it

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