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Jan 25, 2021 - 6:23:18 PM
124 posts since 1/7/2019

I was wondering about how standardized the sizing of tone rings are? Is there any standardization or are they all different? The one in my Iida has the dimensions below and I was wondering if any would be a drop in replacement. I don't really need one as my seems to be of good quality and is brass or bronze (some yellowish metal) and rings nicely when struck with a drum stick. I am just trying to learn more about banjo parts.

Any help would be appreciated


Jan 25, 2021 - 6:30:44 PM

1592 posts since 4/13/2017

Another SHORT SKIRT flathead tone ring would probably drop in just fine. The skirt on yours seems a bit thick, so a new one might be a bit of a sloppy fit.

I believe I had heard (maybe from Warren Yates) that one could correct a sloppy-fitting tone ring by putting a layer of masking tape between the rim and skirt. Don't hold me to this...

But yeah, should be a drop in.

Jan 25, 2021 - 7:01:50 PM
like this

15005 posts since 2/7/2003

In my experience there is no reason to believe any tonering would be a drop in for any Japanese banjo, their goal wasnt copying to that dimension standard


Jan 25, 2021 - 7:15:31 PM



22179 posts since 7/6/2005

To swap tone rings, it is almost a certainty that it will not fit exactly. But, an ill-fitting ring can be made to fit by adding or removing an appropriate amount of wood. I had an Ibanez banjo years ago that I dropped a Stew-Mac flathead in with little alteration. But you won't know until you try. It's not major surgery.

Jan 25, 2021 - 7:27:35 PM

124 posts since 1/7/2019

Thanks for all the replies. As I said, I don't really even want to swap it. Just wondering about the sizes that are out there in case I ever wanted to experiment in the future. I knew that there was su h a thing as a short skirt and a long skirt but I didn't know how consistent the rest of the dimensions were. I just had a rim built by Eric Sullivan specifically for this ring and it fits perfect. I just like to tinker.

Thanks again.

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:57:29 AM

3605 posts since 5/29/2011

Before WW2 Gibson used at least seven different rings in their Mastertones. There was the 1925 ball bearing, the 1926 ball bearing, the no hole arch top, the forty hole arch top, the light weight prototype shell flat head, the low profile flathead, and the high profile heavy flathead that everyone tries to copy to this day. Even the flat head ring was made with or without holes. Not to mention the difference between short skirt and long skirt.
So it stands to reason that people who cast tone rings today have a lot of different specs to go by and they have to pick and choose what design they want to replicate. And that's just American builders. When you get into Asian made banjos you run into things like metric measurements.
So, if you are asking whether or not a tone ring will just drop fit onto a rim, chances are you will have to do a little rim alteration as several other people have suggested.

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