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Nov 20, 2023 - 10:43:01 AM
61 posts since 8/22/2023

Can a Cello banjo have a 22 fret neck? The only production cello I can find, the GT CEB5 has a 17 fret neck.
I’m intrigued with the bass tones you can get with such a banjo but can’t put out $1200 for one.
I would want it to be a 5 string.
So considering building hacker just to see if I like it. My plan would be get a cheap 14” Tom tom drum ($20) and cut it down to the shape of a banjo then put a neck on it. My collection of un loved banjos could provide a neck for this experiment but all I have is a 22 fret Korean banjo.
I know it’s a kind of crazy idea but I’m like that. For example is my Trash Canjo. It works but I have better ideas now for fastening a neck to the body for more adjustability.


Nov 20, 2023 - 11:42:10 AM
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2743 posts since 8/30/2012

There's smarter folks than me here, but I'd think that you would need to have an extended fretboard that extends over the head. Or you'd need a very long scale length.

Nov 20, 2023 - 11:51:35 AM
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1590 posts since 1/9/2012

See .

I think you'd be happier with the overhang than the giraffe banjo solution: .

Edited by - davidppp on 11/20/2023 11:54:21

Nov 20, 2023 - 12:02:06 PM
Players Union Member



1345 posts since 11/8/2014

I agree with Steven. I had a fretless CEB5, which allowed me to experiment with various scale lengths, and I found for that instrument the 17 fret setup (fretless intonation) gave the best sound. I think for a 14" pot you would need a scale length of about 27" or so to get the bridge in a location where the sound would not be tubby as it would be using a neck from an 11" pot. Stewart built a 16" one:
The bridge looks well located on this one, and it has a 28" scale length.

Chris Cioffi built a 14" one; I can't tell where the bridge is on this one; maybe he can let you know his specs and you can derive something from his experience.

Nov 20, 2023 - 12:04:40 PM
Players Union Member



1345 posts since 11/8/2014

Originally posted by davidppp

See .

I think you'd be happier with the overhang than the giraffe banjo solution: .

I think it would be hard to call that a cello banjo, although it is cute:<)

Nov 20, 2023 - 12:04:41 PM

61 posts since 8/22/2023

Thanks for that. Gee I’d like to have that Stewart but surely the bid will go too high for me and I don’t really know anything about the value of something like that.
And yeah, I wouldn’t be able to play a giraffe neck.
To modify my neck so the fret board would over hang the body will be quite a job. Not sure if I should even consider that… but maybe?

Nov 20, 2023 - 5:31:15 PM

705 posts since 6/6/2007
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Maybe you could look at the one Zach Hoyt has for sale here, if only for ideas.

Nov 20, 2023 - 7:26:06 PM

61 posts since 8/22/2023

Wow, Zach makes nice looking stuff.. thanks for the suggestion.

Nov 21, 2023 - 5:50:56 AM

64 posts since 12/8/2011

Would this be of interest?

Versatile string set, allowing standard and cello-banjo (low octave) tunings

Nov 21, 2023 - 6:05:33 AM
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7908 posts since 9/21/2007

A little back ground on the Gold Tone "cello" banjo.

It is actually a tenor-cello banjo with an added 5th peg. By that, I mean, they copied (kinda) a Gibson tenor-cello banjo (pitched one octave below a regular tenor banjo). The size is based on that which is why the neck is so short compared to classic era "cello" banjos which were designed to provide root accompaniment to ensembles.

Why does this matter? Compared to the real deal these are very muddy and lack carrying power or clarity. When played as a solo instrument, I find the GT to be very unpleasant to my ears to where I will leave the area if someone is playing one clawhammer style.

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