Hi, I am in the middle of cleaning my old Deering Sierra. Long story, but I got my first good banjo back and it is filthy.
The Deering head was worn through and sounded very dead, and I happened to have an older Remo USA wagon wheel head, so I want to use that as a replacement.
My question is:
Any idea why the Remo has a slick top, and frosting underneath, while the Deering head is exactly the opposite. Is one better than the other in sound quality? Thanks!
Yes. In the past, some banjoists didn’t like the scratchy coating on top. The coating damped the tones. Smooth heads are bright. To stiffen the head and dampen the tone, coating underneath was born.
Your Remo head is a bottom-frosted head. Remo also makes top-frosted heads. The Deering head is also made by Remo, newer ones have a Deering custom-frosting. The newest generation Remo heads is also heavily frosted (no wagon wheel, no "Wheatherking").
'Clawhammer hand position' 40 min
'Both Sides Now' 9 hrs
'Bart Reiter Long-Neck' 10 hrs