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Sep 25, 2022 - 2:41:43 PM

kevin

USA

1289 posts since 5/4/2003

I have owned a Stelling Bellflower for a number of years and never gave much thought to who built the block rims for these banjos. Did Stelling build them or someone else. Just curious, never had a problem with it. I understand that the early Stellings had block rims, then changed to laminated rims due to supply or some other issues, then later the Pass rims.

Sep 25, 2022 - 5:57:43 PM

12427 posts since 10/27/2006

Early Stellings had block rims.

Sep 25, 2022 - 6:16:30 PM

kevin

USA

1289 posts since 5/4/2003

Did Stelling build the rims or someone else ?

Sep 25, 2022 - 6:45:59 PM

Alex Z

USA

5011 posts since 12/7/2006

There was a supplier.  I vaguely recall that the supplier either died or closed the business, and Mr. Geoff switched to the ply rims. 

There may be an explanation on the BHO from Mr Geoff himself. 

Sep 25, 2022 - 7:36 PM

14974 posts since 6/29/2005

I don't know the history, but Block rims make more sense than laminated ones for the Stelling design and would be easier to make.  I always thought that Tony Pass made the block rims for Stelling.

Sep 26, 2022 - 5:11:25 AM

6661 posts since 10/13/2007

It is my understanding that the Stelling block rims were made by Stelling. The switch to the Tony Pass rims was done to affect the sound and make it more Gibson sounding.
ken

Sep 26, 2022 - 6:17:46 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16104 posts since 8/30/2006

The first block rims were two tier. They were standard latitudinal grain brick rims. TP did some warranty services, he opened one up while I was on the phone to him. There were some few delams where the rim rod holes were drilled. Thus the 3 tier brick rims.

Some of the first TP rims were Maple. The sound and light weight of the Birch was attractive.
The TP rims were promoted as being "virtually solid" which is some of the best "hype" I ever read.

With quartersawn, it is possible to "arrange" the bricks for a better signal path.  Look for unintended optical illusions or chatoyance. 

In my shop i got to see the '76 Bellflower that was played in "Smokey and the Bandit."
It had the Maple laminated rim with the pyramid ledge. The ledge itself was Black Walnut in a U-channel. It had a Maple neck and a distinctive voice.

Edited by - Helix on 09/26/2022 06:19:33

Sep 26, 2022 - 8:21:55 AM
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2687 posts since 9/18/2010

Very early Stelling rims were made in house. Frankly, I don't know who made the early production block rims, but the early 3 ply Stelling rims came from Stewmac. They were apparently made by Cooperman and it looks like the change happened in 1981. When Stewmac quit supplying rims, Stelling 3-ply rims came directly from Cooperman. To me, those seemed to be made from better maple and seemed to be machined better than the preceding Stewmac version, and in fact I grabbed one to replace the older 3-ply rim in my Stelling (but, of course, have yet to make the change). The TP rims came later after I was no longer there.

Sep 27, 2022 - 9:48:27 PM
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15102 posts since 2/7/2003

There is some misiformation here Geoff never made rims the first prototype had a block rim by Chuck Erikson and maybe number two as well after that Oakie Adams made all the block rims until he stopped for health reasons and Geoff switched to three ply

Edited by - desert rose on 09/27/2022 21:51:05

Sep 28, 2022 - 4:44:48 AM

6661 posts since 10/13/2007

I have written Geoff Stelling and hope he can weigh in with the facts here.
ken

Sep 28, 2022 - 3:11:02 PM
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2687 posts since 9/18/2010

quote:
Originally posted by desert rose

There is some misiformation here Geoff never made rims the first prototype had a block rim by Chuck Erikson and maybe number two as well after that Oakie Adams made all the block rims until he stopped for health reasons and Geoff switched to three ply


Thanks for the correction Scott. I thought I remembered Geoff saying he glued up the first few block rims. There was a picture of a young Geoff turning what I remember being a rim on a lathe. Must have been a resonator.

Sep 28, 2022 - 5:00:43 PM
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979 posts since 2/17/2005

I am a big fan of Stellings and I recently got a chance to play a very early pearl banner inlaid block rim Stelling Starflower. The block rim is much thicker than even the later block rims and I could not believe how amazing it sounded. Sure Stellings can peel paint but I've always been most impressed with the range of full throaty sounds and responsiveness they can achieve when well setup.

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