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Jun 28, 2022 - 10:54:04 AM
6 posts since 5/26/2022

I have an old aluminum rim arch top banjo that I worked on awhile back to improve the tone, and am very pleased with the results. However, I am somewhat puzzled by the head tension. I don’t have a drum dial, so I just tuned it the best I could without it. Once I got it tightened a good bit, it seemed it was too tight and the tone was somewhat - muted, I guess is the right word? Kinda sounded stifled. Anyway, I backed off the head tension a bit, and am now extremely pleased with the sound! I reckon some bottlecap banjos have have given aluminum banjos a bad stigma, but I am very pleased with the sound of my aluminum rimmed banjo (not a bottlecap, made by Iida). I borrowed a drum dial just to see what number my tension was at, and surprisingly it was around 83. From what I have understood, normal head tension would be accepted to be from 89-93. Is it possible an aluminum banjo don’t require as much head tension as others?

Jun 28, 2022 - 11:08:35 AM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

5248 posts since 1/5/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Jacob Ralph

 

Anyway, I backed off the head tension a bit, and am now extremely pleased with the sound! ~ ~ ~ From what I have understood, normal head tension would be accepted to be from 89-93. Is it possible an aluminum banjo don’t require as much head tension as others?


 

Your ears have spoken, nothing else matters smiley

Jun 28, 2022 - 11:14:45 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1611 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Jacob Ralph

 From what I have understood, normal head tension would be accepted to be from 89-93. Is it possible an aluminum banjo don’t require as much head tension as others?


93 on a wood-rimmed banjo is pretty darn tight!

Jun 28, 2022 - 11:21:32 AM

6 posts since 5/26/2022

It is the tighter end of things! I believe around 91 is normal 

Edited by - Jacob Ralph on 06/28/2022 11:22:18

Jun 28, 2022 - 12:25:38 PM
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5509 posts since 5/9/2007

The old adage .... ?

"Tighten until the head breaks, then back off a 1/4 turn."

Jun 28, 2022 - 2:12:50 PM

14753 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman
quote:
Originally posted by Jacob Ralph

 

Anyway, I backed off the head tension a bit, and am now extremely pleased with the sound! ~ ~ ~ From what I have understood, normal head tension would be accepted to be from 89-93. Is it possible an aluminum banjo don’t require as much head tension as others?


 

Your ears have spoken, nothing else matters smiley


Couldn't agree more!!

Jun 28, 2022 - 2:26:18 PM
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9812 posts since 8/28/2013

The heck with numbers. The ears have it.  've yet to meet an ear that could read a number.

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 06/28/2022 14:28:42

Jun 28, 2022 - 3:54:19 PM

13457 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Jacob Ralph

From what I have understood, normal head tension would be accepted to be from 89-93. Is it possible an aluminum banjo don’t require as much head tension as others?


Yours seems not to.

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