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Nov 12, 2021 - 10:52:07 AM
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219 posts since 11/26/2007

Hello BHO!

I have a question regarding a topic that has been discussed ad nauseam….

What full weight tone ring have you had the best results with for a cut rim prewar conversion?

I am most interested in hearing from people who have tried multiple rings in the same banjo and what those results have been.

Thanks and I hope it’s not too big of an ask. Thanks and be safe out there!

Nov 12, 2021 - 1:02:41 PM



11868 posts since 2/7/2008

Following this because I have a Crowe ring to put in a TB1 someday.

Nov 12, 2021 - 4:58:38 PM

75315 posts since 5/9/2007

my main banjo is 9469-44 tb-2 double converted by Jimmy Cox in '99.He cut it to fit his Kentucky 5 20 hole flathead ring.He said it was his version of a pre war Gibson ring.I can't think of anything I'd change about this banjo.Powerful and full sounding anywhere on the neck.

I also have StewMac Vintage kit I put together in '86.This banjo has their "Extra Bass Response" flathead ring.I called them and requested that ring instead of their standard flathead just to try it.Excellent flathead ring.

Nov 13, 2021 - 5:24:52 AM

4721 posts since 11/20/2004

I tried 15 or so of the popular rings over a few years. Most had slight differences, not
dramatic. I have not yet owned the now popular Sloan ring. I found the Sullivan V35 to suit my ear best. It is a strong ring and takes a little time for the overtones to settle. I use a heavier bridge for a few weeks, then change to my usual weight range. I have 3 on 30's rims, and like all banjos, each is little different.

Nov 13, 2021 - 1:08:21 PM
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1661 posts since 5/19/2018

My opinion, from someone who owns a pre-war hoop banjo.

Little secret a number of us here know...the original Pre-WWII hoop banjos when set up properly sound equal to, if not better than most Pre-WWII Mastertones. FM Breakdown was recorded by Earl himself on a RB-11.

I personally prefer my own RB-1 to almost any of my Mastertones.

Try to hoop. Please don’t cut yet another Style 1 to chase a sound you may never achieve.

Nov 14, 2021 - 6:19:58 AM
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2433 posts since 12/18/2004

I have tried probably almost every tone ring out there at one time or another and have changed out many over the years in my shop!
My take on them is that almost all of the newer tone rings out there seem pretty close to each other in my ear and I believe the differences may be attributed to the different rims more than the ring itself!
But I will say I think that Jerry Sloan's 20 hole long skirt flathead rings on a prewar rim sound closer to an original prewar flathead ring than any other out there today! This is just my opinion and I am sure others will have other opinions.
As many know, my opinion is more about the rim than the ring!
I have converted many prewar tenor sub-mastertones to 5 string leaving hoop intact and without the 3 lb ring you can get some incredibly good sounds out of them as well....Just saying!
Don Bryant NC banjo luthier

Edited by - bryantde on 11/14/2021 06:22:22

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