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Jun 28, 2022 - 7:24:55 AM
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246 posts since 1/26/2003

I have checked the tone ring to rim fit on three different vintage Gold Star banjos in the last few months. The banjos were a G11, G12 & GF-100. On each of the three the skirt of the tone ring sat down on the rim ledge before the tone ring sat down on top of the rim. You can check this by attempting to slip .0015 feeler gage blade between the top of the rim and the tone ring. There should be no gap. One theory is that the climate in Japan is very damp as compared with most of the United States and the rims shrunk over time in the dryer climate of the US.

I am interested hear findings on this from other vintage Gold Star owners.

Jun 28, 2022 - 8:02:33 AM

heavy5

USA

2341 posts since 11/3/2016

I have an 85 wreath ---- will check it

Jun 28, 2022 - 10:50:41 AM
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heavy5

USA

2341 posts since 11/3/2016

No clearance in or out

Jun 28, 2022 - 12:46 PM

pfalzgrass

Germany

51 posts since 9/13/2017

81 GF-85 in Germany here. There is no gap, all as it should.

Jun 29, 2022 - 5:28:04 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5845 posts since 10/12/2009

My '84 G12W (archtop) has no gap......that's 3 with gaps, 3 with no gap......who's got the tie-breaker ? !

Jun 29, 2022 - 9:12:59 AM

327 posts since 3/2/2013

81 gf 100. Checked it as part of my usual set up when I recieved it. Had a slight gap in two places while no tension applied but once i tightened head to my desired tension i tested again with paper slips...no gaps.

Jul 3, 2022 - 8:11:55 AM
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banjoez

USA

2436 posts since 7/18/2007

New or old, GoldStars tend to be all over the place when it comes to ring/rim fit. I've had close to a dozen of them through the years and many had that gap from the factory. Seems to be pretty common. I personally don't think it has anything to do with humidity or climate when built, etc. just poor tolerances. The good news is once that gap is fixed by peeling off a few thousandths on the rim ledge they are fine. I chalk it up to cutting QC corners to save money and keep an affordable banjo. I would bet that the vast majority of buyers tend to be newer players who wouldn't have a clue that it's even an issue.

Edited by - banjoez on 07/03/2022 08:16:30

Jul 3, 2022 - 10:17:51 AM
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246 posts since 1/26/2003

I refit the ring to the rim on all three. There was a noticeable improvement in tone for all three with a properly fit rim/ring. Two of the rims had some varnish on top of the rim I cleaned off during the fitting process. I feel the general build quality and tone of these old banjos is very good to excellent. I really do love these old Gold Stars. It did seem odd to me the only three old Gold Stars I looked at had the same rim to ring fit. But it is fixed now and never to be a problem again. I try to be as complete as I can when I inspect a banjo at set it up.

Jul 3, 2022 - 12:02:01 PM

327 posts since 3/2/2013

I had a 2008 gf-85 i refit because of bad fit on top of rim almost all the way around. Once i corrected this it helped tone and power immensely.

Edited by - 81goldstar on 07/03/2022 12:02:43

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