I Have A 1954 Gibson Archtop, Over The Years The Flange Has Pulled Up, It Still Has Killer Sound,
Should I Replace It With A Prucha Mastertone Style Banjo Flange
Or Should I Just Leave It Alone?
I say leave it alone, but if you replace the original do not get rid of it ! My 2 cents.
Thank You, I Have The Original Tail Piece, And I Would Keep The Original Flange,
I agree with Mr. Frady, leave it alone.
It's only cosmetic, and as you say about the banjo.."it has a killer sound". The flange may not change the sound, but what if it does ?
Many original bowties have a 10 11/16 ID flange which is smaller than many flanges. If you go for replacing, measure it before buying a replacement. Initially, Recording King made these, but no idea what they now offer.
Some time ago, to preserve the original flange, I replaced it with a 2000s Gibson stamped flange on my '30 PB4.
The fit was perfect but the sound has changed. I put the original back.
In my opinion the flange affects the sound.
I believe the fit of the flange affects the sound, but unsure a dead pot metal flange itself has substantial influence. Going to a brass flange would be a change.
As a flange turns up, it becomes tighter against the rim at the top edge, which has an affect. They will also become egged , if the rim does, over the years. This too, changes the pressure exerted on the rim, if a replacement is used.
Keep it and avoid the headache of making the change fit, and the inevitable doubt that will creep into your mind about the sound changing.
Just wait until it fails or bows so bad that it's useless and worry about it then....
just like the tires on your truck.
I think the way we were taught to skip around to tighten is one cause of this--yes they will get to squeezing at the top--but this fix has held fine --with a slight all around tightening again and again until correct tension was reached--but no guarantees --just the things I do on my own banjos--Prucha sells pot metal replicas
Hey foxlawn - I think you could certainly replace the flange if you like, and go with a used (newer or repro, or new like prucha or stewmac or recording king, or original, explanation follows) Unless I am mistaken, the flange is probably the same as was used well into the 60's and those are actually not TOO HARD to find, and are not terribly expensive. Called the "bowtie" era flange, they are also available in both nickel and chrome plating, and I think about 250 to 350 dollars (300 average?) price for one of those is about right.
I had bent my flange years ago and was able to straighten it out. Locked it in a vise and pushed it, it bent easily. Then rotated it around to another spot.
Mine was only bent near the neck joint, what happened was I had tightened the head to the point where the head's hoop was making contact with the wood of the neck, and any further tightening just pulled on the flange. I had not realized what I was doing but nowadays I make sure I have daylight so I don't bottom out again.
'Brass guitar slide' 1 hr