Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Apr 20, 2024 - 4:16:15 AM
1 posts since 4/20/2024


I'm planning to convert my tenor into a 5 string by putting a new neck onit. I wanted to ask if it's the same neck type for clawhammer and bluegrass? I know gold tone sell necks, i just want to check it's not different necks for these 2 playing styles.

I have 2 tenors now so it makes sense to change the necks on one. It's a very nice tenor and way cheaper to convert it instead of buying a 5 string of the same standard.


Apr 20, 2024 - 4:42:39 AM

676 posts since 2/8/2003

Differences that come to mind is scale, and if it uses dowel or coordinator rods. You do not mention the kind of tenor you have.

Gold Tone has individual necks for all their models it seems, including their open back banjos, with a scoop, and apparently will pre-cut the heal. But you will have to do the lag bolts for coordinator rods, or setup for a dowel stick, and do final setup.

Apr 20, 2024 - 6:48:59 AM
Players Union Member



17513 posts since 8/30/2006

Welcome to the hangout.
A clawhammer or openback or old time banjo rim has straight sides.
A bluegrass type of rim is smaller by 1/4" down below the one or two piece flange, that means only 1/8 per side which is why people pull the flange up over the ledge while tightening the head 'evenly.'

I have used many Gold Tone necks. Yes, the shop will shape the heel for you. It's usually 3 degrees and a 5/8' bridge.
Ask if they have any blems. These are Maple necks which help give you a fine Maple Voice. I finish with frets if I have to, but many necks are fretted and finished which saves everybody time and money.

I find a scoop just wastes playing space, I still get the same sound out of clawhammer out over the 19th fret to get plunky.

Rims are different, I usually layout the top stud at 1" down from the fingerboard, then the 2nd stud is 7/8" or 1" below the top stud.

I clamp the neck upside down on the bench and wedge the heel back up to 90 degrees and drill the stud holes.
Then you flip the neck back over and your studs will be at 3 degrees.

Screw a rim rod onto each stud to do final setup and alignment. Ovalizing holes in the rim is allowed.

Recording King uses a Gibson type rim rod adjustment, but they are tiny.

The Gold Tone rim rods are beefier but metric at 6mm.

Please show us your finished project.

Apr 20, 2024 - 11:36:52 AM
like this

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27982 posts since 6/25/2005

I’ve been playing clawhammer for more than 60 years. My personal preference is for a slightly wider neck than is typical with most bluegrass banjos, though I don’t have any trouble playing clawhammer on a Gibson-style neck. Wider spacing at the bridge is more of an issue.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories