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May 23, 2024 - 5:10:08 PM


New Zealand

12062 posts since 6/29/2003

I read somewhere but can't find the source, where RK tone rings are made of the same metallurgic composition as the pre-war Gibson ones? Can anyone confirm/deny this?

May 23, 2024 - 5:32:36 PM



859 posts since 5/17/2007

I read it somewhere too that Greg Rich had a prewar tone ring tested to make the recording King tone rings.

May 23, 2024 - 5:56:47 PM
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5790 posts since 5/29/2011

I have also read that Gibson didn't have a specific formula, they used whatever the foundry poured. The foundry made trolley wheels so they probably didn't have a specific formula for their brass.

May 23, 2024 - 5:59:13 PM
Players Union Member



1813 posts since 10/11/2004

I thought I heard it was the Kulesh formula ??

May 23, 2024 - 6:38:56 PM

5463 posts since 11/20/2004

Yes, when introduced, was claimed to be one of the prewar formulas from Grich. Another example that the formula is just part of the equation. The way the prewars were poured seems to be hard to duplicate.

May 24, 2024 - 5:55:14 AM
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3083 posts since 8/30/2012

I heard that Greg Rich developed a special magic spray that is applied to the ring before the nickel plate is applied. This magic spray is composed of essential oils that were scraped from the frets, neck, and finger picks of the prewar banjos played by none other than the king himself Mr. Earl Scruggs. This proprietary Scruggs Spray is then mixed with water until fully diluted, and the homeopathic essential oil spray contains the memory, talent, and tone of Scruggs himself. This spray is then applied to the tone rings before final assembly. In the factory they use a special electroplating method to apply the spray permanently.

If you don't have a patented Greg Rich Era™ banjo (a designation that by definition applies to all Recording King banjos), you can always purchase Scruggs Spray in aerosol form from all major banjo retailers. While not permanent, this spray can be regularly applied to your tone ring to get that perfect Pre-War Tone™ you've always desired. LIMITED SUPPLIES! BUY ONE TODAY!

May 27, 2024 - 4:18:09 PM



2371 posts since 8/9/2019

All metals smelted after the atomic age will be different from pre nuclear era metals from an isotope pov

May 27, 2024 - 8:43:20 PM

81 posts since 9/1/2020

Greg did have a pre-war ring tested, but that was back when he was still with Gibson, trying to rebuild their reputation.
He said it was basically the exact same stuff as every other brass part in Kalamazoo.
I assume that's where the hunt for the magic formula petered out.
And I would imagine the RK tonerings would probably be similar enough for his liking.

May 28, 2024 - 12:43:10 PM
Players Union Member



10444 posts since 1/22/2003

Greg Rich, in his Gibson days, had a tiny small sample taken from the tonering in Earl Scruggs' Granada (with Earl's consent) and had it analyzed. This composition was and is used for the RK tonerings.

I think the Burlile ring uses the same formula. Unlike the RK rings, they are made separately one after another, not in a batch, which is supposed to be better, more consistent. Experts may join in…

Edited by - Emiel on 05/28/2024 12:59:50

May 29, 2024 - 6:38:37 AM
Players Union Member



17541 posts since 8/30/2006

Trolley wheels are bronze, brass has too much lead, there is a wear factor

My opinion is about form AND content together with a scan of 6million dots per sq. in. including a great deal of forethought and care on the way to selling out each year

I use an RK FLANGE to index the Gibson 24 hook layout

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