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May 19, 2024 - 4:41:16 PM
1212 posts since 2/2/2008

Im simplifying this post.

1. Have you swapped necks and heard a difference.

2. Did you weigh the old neck and the replacement neck.

Edited by - 5strings3picks1banjo on 05/21/2024 00:52:14

May 19, 2024 - 6:32:39 PM

5790 posts since 5/29/2011

A heavier neck will give a banjo more sustain as a general rule. Heavier tuning pegs will do the same thing.

May 19, 2024 - 10:11:41 PM
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81 posts since 9/1/2020

My experience has been the opposite.
I perceived the volume and clarity to be greater with a slimmer neck.
I also preferred the playing experience, so I slimmed the necks on four other instruments and felt the change was similar across the board.
Go figure...

May 20, 2024 - 3:13:55 AM

628 posts since 7/13/2008

I'm going to guess that it has a lot to do with the type of the wood and the grain of the wood within the neck and not just the weight.

May 20, 2024 - 4:11:37 AM
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1212 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjowannabe

I'm going to guess that it has a lot to do with the type of the wood and the grain of the wood within the neck and not just the weight.


My experience was 2 identical builds. All maple, just 1 neck was chunky. Although all the same parts where used and I made and machined identical rims to fit Huber rings etc they 2 banjos sounded completely different. The slim neck sounded more gibson and the chunky neck more towards the Stelling sound. Only difference was the extra neck wood.

Since that day I have always viewed necks like bridges.

I wish I weighed that neck. I know where the banjo is, it's in a different country but am sure I will get to weigh it one day and compare with my slimmer neck.

May 20, 2024 - 4:25:46 AM
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5463 posts since 11/20/2004

I would think you would have to try the necks on the same pot to reach any conclusion. You indicate using 2 different rims as well as different rings. I built two mahogany necks for 2 old KK rims and definitely have two different banjos. They were different weights, but like you, I failed to keep up with my notes.

May 20, 2024 - 5:26:50 AM

1212 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by lightgauge

I would think you would have to try the necks on the same pot to reach any conclusion. You indicate using 2 different rims as well as different rings. I built two mahogany necks for 2 old KK rims and definitely have two different banjos. They were different weights, but like you, I failed to keep up with my notes.


Yes having the thought at the time to weigh the necks did not enter my mind. I was happy to have them both finished and playing. 

Although I cut both rims from the same plank and machined both rims there could be a difference but I highly doubt it would have been like a night and day difference like what I heard.  I am certain swapping necks would have proved the difference was the neck weight and mass, I also doubt Steve Huber tonerings would be so far apart from one another. He is very consistent and reliable with his rings. This leaves the only difference was the 2 ebony fretboards and the necks. I'm a believer a neck is like a bridge and not all bridges make our banjos sing. I believe this to be true with necks also.

May 20, 2024 - 5:56:07 AM
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5463 posts since 11/20/2004

Yes, a neck can make or ruin a banjo. I agree 100%, but rims are the same in my experience. Rings are not identical, but more consistent than the wood components.

May 20, 2024 - 1:59:48 PM
Players Union Member

mud400

USA

142 posts since 5/30/2016

I have payed about 20 banjos in my short time playing. All except one had/have a truss rod, and are a single wood with an ebony or rosewood finger board.
The odd banjo out is a Ken Levan. Mahogany is the main wood. It has carbon stringer and the fingerboard is a multi-layer affair consisting of about 4 layers of thin wood. When you knock on it, it has a solid sound. The neck does have a truss rod. But it has multi-laminar construction. There is a center piece as well.

https://levanbanjos.com/levanbanjos.levandesign.com/2_Anatomy.html

All other variables aside (and there a lot of variables), this one has the most responsive hammer-ons and pull-offs of any of the banjos I have played through the years. It makes you lazy actually. Very fun to play.

I brought this up with Ken, and many of his customers agreed.

I just figured it would be a cool thing to think when you are chatting about this.

Edited by - mud400 on 05/20/2024 14:08:50

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