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Aug 15, 2022 - 10:05:38 AM
3 posts since 12/8/2013

I have an old Kalamazoo 5 string and the 5star head is super old with a small divit. Do banjo heads wear out? When should it be replaced short of a tear or hole?
Love banjos!

Aug 15, 2022 - 10:20:28 AM
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76666 posts since 5/9/2007

Old heads still sound good.I have a stack of old heads from the last 40 years and can't bear to throw them away.
I only replace them when I can't stand to look at the wear,anymore.

Aug 15, 2022 - 10:29:42 AM
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Eric A


1606 posts since 10/15/2019

My oldest one had a lot of grunge on it but I figured that was all me, I earned it. I was sad when it broke. Had to start all over.

Aug 15, 2022 - 10:37:18 AM
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1781 posts since 8/30/2012

Top-frosted 5 Star heads carry some value, since they aren't made anymore.

You could sell your current head, replace it with a new Remo, and make a little cash.

Aug 15, 2022 - 11:19:55 AM

4593 posts since 5/29/2011

My 1962 Vega Wonder still has the original head on it. Maybe it will be good for another 60 years.

Aug 15, 2022 - 2:37:48 PM



644 posts since 6/26/2004

Not sure what you mean by a small divot. Is it a hole that goes through the head or just a nick? The one thing to watch for with plastic heads is the mylar film breaking away from the bead or ring that pushes it down. I had a Whyte Laydie one time that really started sounding bad. I took the head off and it was ripped away from the bead. You couldn't see it because of the stretcher band.

Aug 15, 2022 - 3:49:06 PM



1244 posts since 11/30/2015

If the "divot" is not a hole through the head it might be fine. If the banjo stays in tune from one day to the next the head is probably still fine. I prefer older heads on my banjos, most had a heavier metal crimp ring and sound better.

Aug 16, 2022 - 5:44:51 AM

76666 posts since 5/9/2007

When the Cox heads first came on the scene I cut a 2" hole in a Fiberskyn head and played it for 6 months.
Holes in the visible top are quite stable.

Aug 16, 2022 - 11:03:46 AM

3 posts since 12/8/2013

Thanks folks, the consensus is that if it's not broke don't fix it. I will therefore soldier on with the old 5Star.

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