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Dec 1, 2020 - 7:29:46 PM
847 posts since 2/24/2008

I'm sure its been brought up a bunch of times. I don't think they make the 5 Star heads any more. I just busted one on a friends archtop banjo he wanted me to go over for him. What are most people running in place of 5 Stars now. Appreciate the help, thanks, EE.

Dec 1, 2020 - 8:35:08 PM

11371 posts since 6/2/2008

I'm using an AMB head on at least one banjo and like it a lot. It's a Remo with extra coating.

On my one real Gibson I'm using a Remo Weather King, and am liking that, too -- on that banjo.

Still have a 5-Star on one banjo and not sure what's on the fourth.

It's my understanding that Taiwan Remo heads use a crimp hoop like the old 5 Stars instead of an epoxy channel. I don't know if the attachment method alone is enough to make them sound like 5 Stars, since it's also my understanding that the mylar is not as thick.

Dec 2, 2020 - 4:07:02 AM
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2442 posts since 4/7/2010

I have not asked the Stewart-MacDonald products manager about 5-star heads in a year or so. The last word I had with him was that they (Stew-Mac and their manufacturing partner) could not dial in the crown heights.  I am curious if they have given up and are pursuing newer, more profitable guitar parts instead. If I hear any news, I'll post it.

The Taiwan made Remo heads are crimped instead of the epoxy in an aluminum channel construction method. About 5 years ago Remo sent me some of those by mistake. I noticed as they were significantly heavier than the USA Remo heads. I do not know about the thickness of the mylar. Not anything I thought to check.

If you want a 5-Star head, your only hope is to find one used. I have a couple I would sell. Send a private message if interested.

For now, if you want a new plastic banjo head, Remo is the only manufacturer in the world.

Bob Smakula
smakula.com
 

Edited by - Bob Smakula on 12/02/2020 04:09:30

Dec 2, 2020 - 8:19:32 AM

Emiel

Austria

9694 posts since 1/22/2003

The reason the Taiwan Remo is so much heavier than the US Remo, is because of the much heavier "flesh hoop" for the crimped heads.

The newest generation USA-made Remo heads (without "Wheatherking") is heavier frosted, so already comes closer to 5-Star. But no other head will sound exactly the same as a 5-Star head, so if you want the exact same sound: order one from Bob.

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:13:46 PM

11371 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

The newest generation USA-made Remo heads (without "Wheatherking") is heavier frosted, so already comes closer to 5-Star.


Do you know if that heavier frosting the same as on the Remo-made AMB or Huber heads? Or do believe those heads still have their own custom frosting from Remo.

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:29:06 PM

11371 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

I have not asked the Stewart-MacDonald products manager about 5-star heads in a year or so. The last word I had with him was that they (Stew-Mac and their manufacturing partner) could not dial in the crown heights.  


Is that what it was? Don't recall seeing that before. That's really disappointing. I know the most recent partner was Evans, maker of drum heads. Do drum heads not need accuracy to 1/16th inch?

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:45:23 PM

Emiel

Austria

9694 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

The newest generation USA-made Remo heads (without "Wheatherking") is heavier frosted, so already comes closer to 5-Star.


Do you know if that heavier frosting the same as on the Remo-made AMB or Huber heads? Or do believe those heads still have their own custom frosting from Remo.


I never had an AMB head in my hands, so I can't comment on that. But the newest Remo heads certainly are different from the Huber heads, also concerning the frosting. The new Remo heads are very, very evenly frosted and very resistant against wear (unlike the Huber heads).

Edited by - Emiel on 12/02/2020 12:46:43

Dec 2, 2020 - 1:19:13 PM
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11371 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Emiel
quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

Do you know if that heavier frosting the same as on the Remo-made AMB or Huber heads? Or do believe those heads still have their own custom frosting from Remo.


I never had an AMB head in my hands, so I can't comment on that. But the newest Remo heads certainly are different from the Huber heads, also concerning the frosting. The new Remo heads are very, very evenly frosted and very resistant against wear (unlike the Huber heads).


Thanks. I'm going to assume, then, that the coating on Huber and AMB heads is still different from the Remo.

I have a newer Remo head (purchased in late 2018/early 2019) on one banjo. It's coating is not the same as on my one AMB. 

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