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Jan 14, 2022 - 11:30 AM
276 posts since 12/9/2009

So I have a maple Cox Carolina banjo that sounds and plays great. The rim and tone ring were changed out at some point in order to put one of Cox's Kentucky tone rings in. From what I understand, the Carolina originally came with its own unique ring that gave it a slightly different sound. I'm just wondering how that original sound might be different from the standard flatheads that I normally play. Any ideas out there?

Thanks- SH

Jan 14, 2022 - 12:03:35 PM

183 posts since 11/1/2007

I’ve owned two Cox Carolina banjos and two Kentucky 5’s. The last Carolina I had was just like the one you described except the Carolina rim and tone ring were changed out before I got it. I was able to buy a Carolina tone ring and took measurements from a friend’s Carolina and had the Carolina ring fit to a Cox rim that had never been turned.
Because the Carolina tone ring is so different from other tone rings, it has a slight archtop to it when installed. It very much resembles the old Gibson pyramid tone rings and the rim cut is totally different from a standard flathead or archtop cut rim. So it has slightly less than an 11” vibrating head surface.
I think the volume is very good with a slightly crispier archtop sound not as extreme as a normal archtop. The fourth string on both my Carolinas did not seem to be quite as strong as the Kentucky 5’s.
If set up correctly both the Kentucky 5’s and the Carolinas are good sounding banjos.

Jan 15, 2022 - 2:21:58 PM

75315 posts since 5/9/2007

That's a good description of the Carolina ring.I've played the K-5 in arch and flathead and the Carolina is in-between.
My tb-2 conversion has his Kentucky fh on the '29 rim.Jimmy said my old rim was very round which made turning easy.

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