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Sep 30, 2021 - 10:20:22 AM

jbalch

USA

8794 posts since 11/28/2003

I have no financial interest in this banjo and do not know the seller. But these are indeed quite rare and can sound amazing (I have 2 of them set up with Bacon over WL tone rings).

The price is right too:


https://reverb.com/item/45054652-bart-reiter-bacophone-plus-banjo-with-hard-case-excellent-condition-and-hard-to-find

Edited by - jbalch on 09/30/2021 13:50:29

Sep 30, 2021 - 10:59:48 AM

389 posts since 11/29/2012

I wrote them asking if it was an accident they marked it as local pick up only--considering reverb is viewed internationally, they're a banjo retailer, and I'd pay for shipping...we'll see what they say...strange. Also, this Bart Reiter has a Bacon ring over a Tubaphone instead of a Whyte Laydie...hmm? Maybe they'll write back...Thanks for notifying people on BHO!

Edited by - 35planar on 09/30/2021 11:04:33

Sep 30, 2021 - 11:19:46 AM

79 posts since 12/27/2019

Yes, odd to see the bacon over tubaphone configuration. I'm wondering if it came from Bart this way. As it's not too far from me, I have a mind to go try it out...

Sep 30, 2021 - 1:16:20 PM

jbalch

USA

8794 posts since 11/28/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Silver_Falls

Yes, odd to see the bacon over tubaphone configuration. I'm wondering if it came from Bart this way. As it's not too far from me, I have a mind to go try it out...


Mine are actually Bacon over WL rings.  But I have heard of them set up this way too.  Could be original - or retrofitted.  Of course, it isn't hard to do.

Oct 6, 2021 - 7:52:53 PM
like this

79 posts since 12/27/2019

Picked this banjo up yesterday. Enjoying it *a lot*, exceeding expectations in every way. Big props to Keta and Jeff at the Fingerboard Extension music store in Corvallis. Wonderful folk to deal with, highly recommended!

Oct 6, 2021 - 10:07:33 PM

5752 posts since 12/20/2005

quote:
Originally posted by jbalch
quote:
Originally posted by Silver_Falls

Yes, odd to see the bacon over tubaphone configuration. I'm wondering if it came from Bart this way. As it's not too far from me, I have a mind to go try it out...


Mine are actually Bacon over WL rings.  But I have heard of them set up this way too.  Could be original - or retrofitted.  Of course, it isn't hard to do.


It's not hard to do ?

Until just now, I have never heard of this being done. I did not know what you were referring to so I just went to the reverb website. Now I get it 

How not hard to do is it?

 I have a banjo with a 12 in Rickard tubaphone ring and I have a 12 in Dobson not in use. I can't imagine the Dobson stacking up on top of the tubaphone but I never tried it. 

Oct 7, 2021 - 8:53:28 AM

11816 posts since 10/27/2006

Like the WL/Electric, the Tubaphone ring has a round rod topped by a spun sleeve sitting on the square tube. Remove that sleeve (or the rod and sleeve) and substitute the Bacophone that Stew-Mac used to sell.

Oct 7, 2021 - 9:59:05 AM

5752 posts since 12/20/2005

I listened to some bacophone banjos on YouTube just now
I really like the tone
I even looked for one with a skin head, did not see one.
I would bet the farm John Balch has his set up with one.
I have a calfskin head on mine. It is a custom 12 inch 6-string. Rim and neck are East Indian rosewood. It was made by Mark Hickler. It has a partial resonator and a very deep rim. I think it was 4 inches, I will have to check on tha
It has a Rickard tubaphone. And I have a 12 inch Pisgah Dobson tone ring.
Might not be possible to answer this without having first tried it, but do you think if I removed the sleeve would the Dobson sit on it?

Edited by - Leslie R on 10/07/2021 10:04:17

Oct 7, 2021 - 10:28:20 AM

11816 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Leslie R

I listened to some bacophone banjos on YouTube just now
I really like the tone
I even looked for one with a skin head, did not see one.
I would bet the farm John Balch has his set up with one.
I have a calfskin head on mine. It is a custom 12 inch 6-string. Rim and neck are East Indian rosewood. It was made by Mark Hickler. It has a partial resonator and a very deep rim. I think it was 4 inches, I will have to check on tha
It has a Rickard tubaphone. And I have a 12 inch Pisgah Dobson tone ring.
Might not be possible to answer this without having first tried it, but do you think if I removed the sleeve would the Dobson sit on it?


Measure the inner diameter and depth of the sleeves. There's always the possibility it could work.

Oct 7, 2021 - 11:05:55 AM

jbalch

USA

8794 posts since 11/28/2003

These images show how ot works with a Stew Mac whyte Laydie combo.  I am not sure if parts made by other manufacturers and interchangeable in this way or not. 


Edited by - jbalch on 10/07/2021 11:06:40

Oct 7, 2021 - 11:07:48 AM

926 posts since 2/17/2005

I have this kind of cool Rickard rim that I believe was designed to be convertible and may help answer this question. It is one of their spunover 12" rims, but instead of bending over a tonering at the top, above the wooden insert the spunover just goes straight up. You can drop in a Rickard Tubaphone or Whyte Laydie ring OR put a Dobson around the spunover lip. This makes me think there would be enough room to put a Dobson ring on top of these...at least with the Rickard rings.

Oct 7, 2021 - 11:27:26 AM

5752 posts since 12/20/2005

I forgot to mention I also have a Balch goatskin 12 inch head. If I can pull this off, it’s going to go right on there.

Oct 7, 2021 - 6:05:58 PM
likes this

79 posts since 12/27/2019

This Bart Reiter is a bacon over tubaphone setup. I've had a chance now to compare it closely with my Wildwood tubaphone. The tone characteristics are *extremely* similar. So similar, in fact, it's hard for me to say what, if anything, the bacon tone ring brings to the tubaphone party.

Both have similar volume and that distinctive, tubaphone resonance and bell-like clarity. They are similarly sweet sounding.

The Wildwood has just a touch more bass response than the Reiter. The bacon may be attenuating the bass slightly, or it may be down to the deeper pot on the Wildwood.

The Reiter may have a slightly enhanced mid-range and treble. That may be the bacon, or it may be the difference in heads, strings, and setup. The difference is minor, if it exists at all.

The bacon on the Reiter may deliver more forward-projecting sound than the Wildwood. I say this because one difference noted is the effect of stuffing the pot on the two banjos. On the Reiter, stuffing the pot has a noticeably less muting effect than on the Wildwood. Unstuffed, the two banjos are, again, very similar.

These are both finely made, excellent instruments. In terms of quality and workmanship and playability, there is nothing to separate them. All the same, I don't feel like I have duplicate banjos. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy this Reiter in its own way.

Anyhow, the point of this post was to offer my own observations about the bacon over tubaphone setup. While these things are always fun to try and experiment, it may not make such a radical transformation as one might imagine. (If anything, in fact, I'd be curious to take the bacon off this Reiter and replace it with the normal tubaphone sleeve, just to see how that compares...)

Oct 9, 2021 - 7:21:57 PM

1854 posts since 4/10/2005
Online Now

There is a wonderful clawhammer musician who has long played a custom Bart Reiter "Tubaphone-Plus" with a bird, I want to say a robin redbreast, inlaid on the headstock. I thought there used to be a photo of it on the Reiter Banjos site, but I'm not seeing it at present. I think she's mentioned in interviews that someone had it made for her as a gift.

I can't recall her name, but if memory serves, her playing is the banjo instrumental track in the Bart Reiter segment of Craig Evans' banjo makers documentary DVDs. You can see and hear her playing in a few Youtube tracks, I believe at banjo camps. That is, if one had her name to search with. Her banjo has a singularly wonderful tone personality and she is a haunting and lyrical player. (Gosh, come to think of it, was she oldtime 3-finger rather than CH? I'm needing a refresher here, but the tone of that banjo is magical.)

Edited by - ceemonster on 10/09/2021 19:22:56

Oct 21, 2021 - 1:52:06 AM

1854 posts since 4/10/2005
Online Now

Laura Boosinger. That's the player I was trying to recall who apparently plays a custom Reiter Tubaphone "Plus":

Haunting player and singer, and what a banjo tone:


youtube.com/watch?v=IMwlCHqbQ20

 

Another, clearer, closer clip of the same tune, with better views of the banjo:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhl5ryy1KXM

Edited by - ceemonster on 10/21/2021 01:53:57

Oct 24, 2021 - 6:41:44 PM

79 posts since 12/27/2019

ceemonster, thanks for those links to Laura Boosinger -- glad you remembered her!

Here's my "new" one now with a few updates, fresh tucked Menzies skin, Rickard tailpiece and armrest:
 


Oct 25, 2021 - 12:01:40 PM

1854 posts since 4/10/2005
Online Now

What a lovely banjo and outfitting. Hope we hear some sound one day.

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