Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

596
Banjo Lovers Online


Page: 1  2   Last Page (2) 

Apr 4, 2021 - 8:53:49 AM
3728 posts since 3/28/2008

My Ome Silver Monarch is a bright banjo, and I'm pretty sure the flange is brass rather than pot metal. Stellings--famous for their brightness--also have brass flanges.

Is there any correlation, in general, between flange material and timbre?

Apr 4, 2021 - 9:07:12 AM

heavy5

USA

1646 posts since 11/3/2016

For the prices asked for the early Gibson OPF's , some people must think so ?
I tend to think there is a lot more to do w/ the rim & ring than the flange & tension hoop but it's just my experience talking .

Apr 4, 2021 - 9:16:40 AM

13899 posts since 10/30/2008

Is a brass flange heavier than a pot metal flange of the same dimensions? If so, I believe that would contribute "something" to a difference in sound.

Anybody know what the American Fender Artists used? Ode/Baldwin Ode C and D models?

Now the big question, post 1987 Gibson Mastertones?

I believe there is a tonal difference on Gibsons using brass vs. pot metal tension hoops of the same dimensions.

Apr 4, 2021 - 9:25 AM
like this

GStump

USA

421 posts since 9/12/2006

I think most of the materials that make up a banjo do in fact contribute to the end result of whatever tone is achieved. having said that - it only makes sense that whatever material do in fact make up the flange, tension hoop, tone ring, etc., all contribute their part to the tone, but the combination of all the parts is also important and can work together in mysterious ways. So with that in mind, it only makes sense they can work against each other! Proper fit cannot be underestimated either - The science of "good tone" has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. if the parts fit together "too tight," it is my opinion the tone will be choked and perhaps muffled. if too loose, the tone can be clangy or simply NOT be solid. and one CAN play a banjo that is solid (and loud) a bit easier or lighter, to tone it down; however - if the banjo is NOT solid to begin with, doesn't have good separation and the notes are not clean, or has insufficient volume, you can play that thing so hard your hands and fingers actually hurt, BUT you still can't get anything out of it!!

Apr 5, 2021 - 7:52:25 AM

3728 posts since 3/28/2008

This discussion actually belongs in the Building, Setup, and Repair forum. I don't know how/why I ended up posting it here.

Apr 5, 2021 - 8:13:55 AM

3384 posts since 9/12/2016

My prewar flange got turned so much it was biting really hard into the rim , a brass replacement too fit loosely was not to be found ,so I had to'' make do'' by sanding the rim , It sounded a lot better .So I go along with too tight is no good especially on the flange. Prucha was advertising pot metal replacements ,maybe some one can chime in

Apr 5, 2021 - 11:21:42 AM
like this

2121 posts since 1/4/2009

I love the tone on my rb-00. I think some of that is from the flange.. theres not much else it could be!

Edited by - kyleb on 04/05/2021 11:23:55

Apr 6, 2021 - 12:23:56 PM
likes this

majesty

Canada

308 posts since 3/20/2011

I have an Ome Silver Monarch as well (tenor) and yes that flange sound can be very cutting if the head is tightened above 90.
It is a powerful banjo, but the flange is a bit much at times. I see Ome has discontinued this flange on the Professional models.

Apr 6, 2021 - 12:42:51 PM
like this

ChunoTheDog

Canada

781 posts since 8/9/2019

I've always wondered if flange composition ever added to or detracted from, a banjo's 'ringiness'.
But there's so many parts and variables at play that arriving at a real educated guess is nearly impossible unless you do some serious testing.

Apr 8, 2021 - 5:02:30 AM
like this

1552 posts since 11/27/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

My Ome Silver Monarch is a bright banjo, and I'm pretty sure the flange is brass rather than pot metal. Stellings--famous for their brightness--also have brass flanges.

Is there any correlation, in general, between flange material and timbre?


There is an absolute difference. In 1978 I put a pre war flange on a gold star and it became a monster and the overtones and sizzle went away and the decay was incredible.

 

Joe

Apr 8, 2021 - 10:02:13 AM
likes this

11297 posts since 10/27/2006

I'm not so convinced. The flange openings combined with the air volume and head tension make the pot a Helmholz resonator—same as a ported speaker cabinet (the head acts as a speaker cone). Change any of those three variables and you change the tone on a banjo — and not just by a little. Put some blue painter's tape over some of the flange holes in your banjo and see what happens.

Except for the 'everything affects everything else' aspect of any musical instrument, I'm not buying that the metal composition of the flange has much effect. The only way to know for certain would be to build two identical instruments where the only difference was the metal in the flange. Good luck with that.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 04/08/2021 10:04:01

Apr 8, 2021 - 2:18:35 PM
likes this

2121 posts since 1/4/2009

Mike, see joe deetz post above. You can swap out a flange in the same banjo and hear the difference.

Apr 8, 2021 - 3:30:43 PM
like this

156 posts since 2/5/2014

Pot metal, or spelter, is a zinc/lead alloy used typically as an inexpensive substitute (i.e. in art sculptures) for denser, more durable metals such as bronze and brass. It isn't very stable and over time becomes brittle and prone to cracking. Gibson undoubtedly switched to nickel-plated pot metal for its flanges in its later banjos to save on cost--probably for the same reason that it replaced the fiddle-shaped peghead with the more easily machined double-cut peghead. The interesting thing is what Joe Deetz suggested. Brass produces a bright, ringing tone, whereas pot metal is dull and lifeless. Therefore, by replacing the brass flange with a pot metal flange "the overtones and sizzle went away and the decay was incredible." So maybe in its cost-saving effort, Gibson inadvertently "improved" the sound of its Mastertone banjos. Anyway, that's just my conjecture FWIW.

Edited by - Bob Sayers on 04/08/2021 15:31:31

Apr 9, 2021 - 8:16:56 AM

heavy5

USA

1646 posts since 11/3/2016

I mentioned this awhile back but it may also fit this thread .
Saga , for which I was a dealer at the time , in their very first Gold Star OPF banjos when I asked about flange & hoop material replied , it was the same as the ring which may have helped produce the killer sound of those banjos . I was doing quite a few conversions at the time in my shop so I stocked up on GS pot components . I have a walnut TB2 conversion from that era that is & was my go to banjo to which I added a 1" radius of filler around the lower res junction of sides & back for better sound projection . When ever I played on stage or jamming at a fest w/ it , people would always eyeball &/or ask me if a prewar or what it actually was I was playing ?


 

Apr 9, 2021 - 12:06:03 PM

344 posts since 2/14/2013

So we can test this to certain extent as Joe Deetz has experienced it, but keep in mind when swapping one flange for another, you are changing 2 variables: composition of the metal AND the particular fit to the rim.
I suspect that each of these variables can have big effect on tone

Apr 9, 2021 - 12:17:56 PM
likes this

11297 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by kyleb

Mike, see joe deetz post above. You can swap out a flange in the same banjo and hear the difference.


Let me clarify my post. Only if the flange thickness, exact dimensions & depth, exact openings and head tension are identical can you know for certain. So, if the same casting was used with the only difference being the metal and identical head tension, bridge and strings... only then.

I suppose I can ask Greg if he did that at Gibson in the late '80s.

So, who has audiograms and sound files?

Otherwise, you can change the tone with flat washers (vary the depth) or tape (vary the openings).

Apr 9, 2021 - 12:23:23 PM

344 posts since 2/14/2013

Yep, that makes sense Mike... making exact physical duplicates would be a way to test it

Apr 9, 2021 - 1:34:07 PM

13899 posts since 10/30/2008

What are the Gibson post-1987 flanges made of?

Apr 10, 2021 - 12:59:24 PM

2686 posts since 4/16/2003

Old Timer asks:
"What are the Gibson post-1987 flanges made of?"

"Pot metal", I would reckon. "Zamac", etc.
I doubt they are brass or bronze.

Apr 10, 2021 - 3:22:55 PM

Brett

USA

2446 posts since 11/29/2005

My thoughts are yes, as I’ve swapped two from brass to pot metal. But I hear no difference in new cheap Presto, prewar presto (have several), or quality new ones.
A guy named buddy looney tried to explain to me as a kid, something about metal crystallization or something. Like anything else, I can’t imagine hearing any difference unless I was a bluegrass picker.
Why? The response rate of note decay is a thing we obsess over. There are zero similarities in what metal pick bluegrass guys you’re addressing with your question, and guys who frail or claw hammer or 2 finger or plectrum or tenor or nylon strings.
You’re addressed one crowd, interested in recreating one sound, that other aficionados have no interest in really.
Yet, you will get guys who clawhammer responding.

Apr 10, 2021 - 5:24:36 PM

344 posts since 2/14/2013

Dick, i know Gibson was using pot metal flanges into the modern era using a reworked version of the Doehler die... is 1987 the year they stopped using it?

Apr 11, 2021 - 3:15:37 AM
like this

1427 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by StudioKing

Dick, i know Gibson was using pot metal flanges into the modern era using a reworked version of the Doehler die... is 1987 the year they stopped using it?


About 1987, at the beginning of the reissue period, Greg Rich had the old original Doehler flange dieset reworked by Delmar Diecasting in Gardena, CA.  At that time the dieset was marked "Gibson USA" and was used to produce many more Zamac alloy flanges until the it reached the point of no longer being used or reworked.  I don't recall the year its use was discontinued.
Here is a raw flange as it was removed from the dieset before cleanup machining and plating:

Apr 11, 2021 - 3:51:48 AM
likes this

344 posts since 2/14/2013

Thanks Frank... you are always a boundless source of Gibson information!

Apr 11, 2021 - 7:43:43 AM

13899 posts since 10/30/2008

Eric I only asked about post 1987 because it represents the beginning of the famed GRE (Greg Rich Era).

Frank, thanks for the report. So I presume most/all of the post 1987 flanges are indeed pot metal? Never brass/bronze?

Apr 11, 2021 - 10:34:14 AM
like this

1427 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Eric I only asked about post 1987 because it represents the beginning of the famed GRE (Greg Rich Era).

Frank, thanks for the report. So I presume most/all of the post 1987 flanges are indeed pot metal? Never brass/bronze?


That's correct, Dick.  All Gibson one-piece cast flanges from about January 1929 through the reissue era of  1987 (Gibson USA) and beyond were diecast zinc-based alloy (Zamac 3 after 1929).  I think, not sure, that flanges were provided by FQMS after the old dieset became worn beyond practical rebuild;  these were also diecast Zamac.
The first generation flanges of 1929 were a common zinc-based alloy not held to the tight specs of the 5 Zamac formulae which were just being developed in 1929.  Consequently the 1st gen flanges are more highly susceptible to zinc pest and creep than the 2nd gen flanges produced after July of 1929.  Remaining stock of 1st gen flanges continued to be used on mostly lower level instruments ( style -1, 11 etc) after 1930 until exhausted.
Yeah, more than you wanted to know......wink

Apr 11, 2021 - 7:17:44 PM

13899 posts since 10/30/2008

Frank, that's the deep pickle crock stuff I love.

Page: 1  2   Last Page (2) 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.28125