Because I've encountered a number of fine old 2 pc flange Mastertones that sounded GREAT with no-cut arch to flat head conversion rings, I decided to finally give it a try myself. I recently acquired a purty 1929 2 pc flange TB 4 conversion (Bill Sullivan neck) in chrome and mahogany (!). 40 hole tone ring. I arranged with Steve Huber to try out his no-cut conversion ring. Interestingly, he said he would not touch the old rim, even to get it back to perfect circularity if needed. He said he prefers to machine his conversion tone ring to FIT MY RIM!
This banjo also had a modern Czech tension hoop (the little bird logo -- is that Prucha or Czapek?) with plating that didn't match the chrome on this CLEAN old banjo, so I asked Steve to replate this tension hoop, since it wasn't original anyway. (The Czech hoop might have been nickel plated?)
Took about a month or so because the chrome plating operation was backlogged. But got the rim, new tone ring and replated tension hoop back in late May, put the banjo together with a new Remo head, and BOY OH BOY am I pleased! Huber's chrome plating matches the original plating to a T. Fit and finish are beautiful. I've played the banjo in the house for a month or so and took it to the Jenny Brook festival last weekend where it performed at a high level and drew a lot of compliments. No, it doesn't sound like my Greg Rich RB 3 flat head, but it sounds great. Reminds me of the tone of Ben Eldredge's banjo on the early Seldom Scene records. Terrific clarity, good "twang", and good ability to "drive". Good open 4th string.
Bottom line, I'm glad I did it! Kudos to Steve Huber.
How did you contact him? I called, was told to email him, I did…. And have received no response. I re-sent that same email several times. Also sent the same email just to the general customer service and no response there either… I have heard good things, just can’t understand why I’ve never received a response. I was inquiring about getting some parts plated as well…
Email. In the past I have also experienced slow responses. A few times I spoke with an assistant he has around, who could answer some of my questions. I've learned from many BHO posts that you have to keep trying. I believe his staff is basically himself and sometimes one other!
'Odd looking banjo' 1 hr
'For JD Crowe Fans…' 1 hr
'Josie-o ' 1 hr
'Josie-o' 1 hr
'3 Banjo resonator' 4 hrs
'Banjo necks' 5 hrs