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Apr 9, 2021 - 7:31:36 PM
86 posts since 4/9/2019

Any builder making good quality clones of the Stanleytone banjo?

Apr 9, 2021 - 8:38:58 PM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

832 posts since 8/9/2019

Frank/Ricky Neat make a pretty darn good Stanleytone clone ;)

Apr 9, 2021 - 9:01:03 PM
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139 posts since 6/12/2012

Last I knew the Neats were making an arch top, very similar to the Stanleytone that they were calling a Mountain Doctor, here's  a link to that banjo on their site; http://neatbanjos.com/neat-archtop


Hatfield banjos are making a Rocky Top that is also somewhat similar.  I believe Tommy Brown and Jerome Brown have been playing these and they sound good.

Heres the Hatfield; https://youtu.be/TGo1RLV-B-4 

Edited by - Chris Herring on 04/09/2021 21:09:18

Apr 9, 2021 - 11:47:47 PM
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Foote

USA

491 posts since 3/25/2009

Thanks for the Tommy Brown video. Watching him selling his banjo from the stage took me back 40 years to watching Ralph Stanley selling his banjo (Stanleytone?) from the stage of an elementary school auditorium in Sacramento, CA. That and Curly Ray Cline selling his key chain with his picture on it. Memorable. And the music was great as well.

Apr 10, 2021 - 5:24:49 AM

139 posts since 6/12/2012

I pointed out the two Maple Options above, those are the closest “clones” to a StanleyTone.
The used market has another Neat Banjo product called the Hills of Home banjo. It seems similar as well.
In addition the late 70’s and early 80’s Gold Star arch tops are great products with a lower price point. They are the GF-11 and GF-12. I can’t recall which one is the maple like a Stanleytone.

Getting further from the maple Stanleytone design but still a nice arch top would be the Cox Cumberland. It’s a less expensive but nonetheless impressive sounding arch top. coxbanjos.com/cumberland.php#_nogo

Apr 10, 2021 - 6:25:21 AM
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74546 posts since 5/9/2007

Was Frank Neat involved in Jimmy Cox's Stanleytone banjos?

Apr 10, 2021 - 6:32:54 AM
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86 posts since 4/9/2019

GF12 is maple... been watching for one to come available...
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Herring

I pointed out the two Maple Options above, those are the closest “clones” to a StanleyTone.
The used market has another Neat Banjo product called the Hills of Home banjo. It seems similar as well.
In addition the late 70’s and early 80’s Gold Star arch tops are great products with a lower price point. They are the GF-11 and GF-12. I can’t recall which one is the maple like a Stanleytone.

Getting further from the maple Stanleytone design but still a nice arch top would be the Cox Cumberland. It’s a less expensive but nonetheless impressive sounding arch top. coxbanjos.com/cumberland.php#_nogo


Apr 10, 2021 - 1:57:19 PM
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2706 posts since 4/16/2003

The "Stanleytone" banjos were all made by Frank Neat for Ralph so he could have a banjo with his name on it to sell at a premium at his shows.

I'm goin' out on a limb and reckon that structurally/functionally, they were pretty much "a Neat-construction archtop banjo" with cosmetics to Ralph's specifications.

The Hatfield "Rocky Top" as mentioned by Chris Herring above sounds pretty much like Ralph sounded on one of his Stanleytones.

Although (and it's strictly personal preference) I preferred the slightly more mellow sound of Ralph's old #5 to any new banjo he played.

Before I'd spend the money on a Stanleytone (I always thought they were overpriced), I'd spend it on a REAL Gibson archtop from the 1927-29 period.
It will cost you about the same (maybe even less), and be "the real thing"...

Apr 11, 2021 - 6:04:21 AM
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3584 posts since 7/12/2006

Steve, the stanleytone banjo ,though built by frank neat, does use the jimmy cox archtop tone ring. I know that Frank said no more stanleytones would be buolt after Ralphs death. But im sure he will build a clone .it just wont have the stanleytone name

Apr 11, 2021 - 12:25:28 PM
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74546 posts since 5/9/2007

Jimmy anf Frank had a long friendship.
When I had Jimmy build me a Cox Kentucky 5 in '08 he sent Frank one of his resonators.Mr. Neat finished it with a beautiful burl wanut veneer and perfect binding and finish.
At that time Jimmy told me "Frank Neat is the best "Neck Man" in the business."

Apr 11, 2021 - 12:32:35 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

832 posts since 8/9/2019

Another option also could be to scour the web for an orphan prewar archtop ring, no hole or 40 hole. And send that along to Neat for gold plating and engraving. They come up now and then from folks who swapped them out while converting old Gibsons to flatheads.

Question for Stanleytone owners..were they ever made with walnut necks like the old style 5's? Or were they only maple?

Apr 12, 2021 - 7:37:07 AM
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74546 posts since 5/9/2007

I can't say enough good about the quality of the Cox archtop tone ring.

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