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Dec 5, 2021 - 5:55:57 AM
111 posts since 3/24/2020

G’day folks. I started assembling a bass banjo that I’ve been building. For this one I went with a 14” Renaissance Ambassador (tom) drum head. That’s the 2ply medium thickness head. I brought it up to an even 91 on the drum dial. The tap note at this tension is D#.

Dec 5, 2021 - 2:31:51 PM

Fathand

Canada

11873 posts since 2/7/2008

My only thought is that a 2 ply head might stifle tone or volume. Are 1 ply heads available in 14"?
I've been using 1 ply on banjo ukes

Dec 5, 2021 - 4:12:29 PM

50 posts since 10/12/2018

Out of curiosity, how will you be tuning it?

Dec 6, 2021 - 9:12:50 AM

Noodlin

USA

94 posts since 6/3/2019

Out of curiousity, I think the rims on GoldTone cello banjos are 14”- anyone know if those 2ply heads?

Dec 6, 2021 - 1:36:39 PM

111 posts since 3/24/2020

Fathand for 1 ply Tom head remo do the ‘Diplomat’ range which I believe is slightly thinner than their banjo heads. I have a couple of 12” banjos on the bench that will be getting Diplomat heads.

NewBlackDak this bass will get GDAE tuning, bottom to top. Two octaves below mandolin tuning. So the bottom G will have 800mm (32.5”) scale length & the top E will have 760mm scale length. All my banjo builds incorporate fan-frets.

Dec 6, 2021 - 1:46:47 PM

Fathand

Canada

11873 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by martyjoe

Fathand for 1 ply Tom head remo do the ‘Diplomat’ range which I believe is slightly thinner than their banjo heads. I have a couple of 12” banjos on the bench that will be getting Diplomat heads.


Remo banjo heads are fairly easy to find in 12".

When I was sourcing 8" uke heads I found single ply drum heads very close to banjo heads in thickness. 7 mil if I remember right. There are some pretty inexpensive drum heads out there.

Dec 6, 2021 - 3:22:16 PM

14137 posts since 6/29/2005
Online Now

Bob Smakula sells 14" Remo banjo heads. I have no idea how many plies they are, but they are made for banjos.

I've used three of them and they were all good.

Dec 6, 2021 - 3:38:06 PM

5799 posts since 12/20/2005

I have four 14 inch rim banjos. All have 14 inch Remo banjo heads. I can’t imagine another banjo head that could work better.

Dec 6, 2021 - 11:52:29 PM

111 posts since 3/24/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

Bob Smakula sells 14" Remo banjo heads. I have no idea how many plies they are, but they are made for banjos.

I've used three of them and they were all good.


Yes Kevin I'm aware of 14" banjo heads. One thing for me is that being in Ireland it is convenient  to get Tom heads, plus I wanted to try them anyway. I like the wider Tom fleshhoop for my woody stretcher bands. The main reason for putting up this thread was to document the difference in tap tone in case anyone is interested once this thread goes into the archives. 

Dec 7, 2021 - 6:08:27 AM

5799 posts since 12/20/2005

Interesting
I’d like to hear more about the banjo you are building
I once tried what you are doing, I found the drum head does not fit on a banjo. I can’t imagine how you got it on.
The bead on a drum head is larger than that on a banjo head.
The tension hoop on a banjo is too small and I could not make it fit.
What is it you mean woody stretcher band ?

Dec 7, 2021 - 6:46:24 AM

111 posts since 3/24/2020

Leslie R Here is a photo of the banjo in question showing the stretcher band. It is easy to fit a Tom head when you’re making a banjo from scratch to suit it. The port holes are visible in the photo. Port holes are there to let the air in the pot to breathe as it has an enclosed back (not resonator) a bit like a guitar back.

Dec 7, 2021 - 6:55:22 AM
likes this

111 posts since 3/24/2020

Sorry. Here it is.


 

Dec 7, 2021 - 8:57:04 AM

5799 posts since 12/20/2005

Only word I can come up with

Awesome !

What kind of tailpiece will you use ?
K
Ken LeVan made 2 of my 14 inch banjos.
He made the tailpieces out of wood.
For whatever reason, Which I don’t know, they contribute to the tone in a positive way.
Given your capability, I would suggest it is worth consideration.
Love that banjo

Dec 7, 2021 - 12:49:33 PM

111 posts since 3/24/2020

@Leslie R This one is getting a Kershner tailpiece. Due to having heavy strings it won’t work with the Steinburger gearless tuners which I normally incorporate into the stretcher band. The Steinbergers take a maximum of .65 gauge, so it has a traditional headstock & Kluson bass/banjo tuners. It does however have a wooden tone ring that works a bit like the Dobson tone ring with the addition of double sound chambers.


Dec 7, 2021 - 12:58:07 PM

111 posts since 3/24/2020

Here’s how the tuners fit into the stretcher band, alleviating the need for a tailpiece.


 

Dec 7, 2021 - 5:17:29 PM

5799 posts since 12/20/2005

A 65 string. That oughta resonate clear to your backbone.
I really like the design.
I’d wager this will not be your last one you build

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