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Jun 12, 2024 - 7:08:52 AM
375 posts since 2/22/2019

Curious as to the advantages/disadvantages of each. Standard/Guitar/Dobson. Add more if you wish.

Jun 12, 2024 - 8:05:29 AM

5847 posts since 5/29/2011

Unless it is a unique design that has a structural purpose like the old Ludwig banjos had, it is more a matter of form than function. I would not build a Gibson-styled banjo and use a Vega heel, nor would I build a Vega design and use a Dobson heel. In keeping with tradition I stick to the features of the design I am trying to emulate. Here is one of my own designs which I have used numerous times.

Jun 12, 2024 - 8:23:28 AM

8359 posts since 9/21/2007

How is "Dobson" a descriptor? Which Dobson? This also presumes that the unspecified "Dobson" is the originator of a specific heel shape, as far as I know none of them had a proprietary heel shape and generally just used what Buckbee was cranking out (Buckbee was just making cheap copies of "professional level" banjos of the "New York School" like Clarke and Wilson and Farnham).

Jun 12, 2024 - 8:28:30 AM
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809 posts since 7/10/2012

Originally posted by Joel Hooks

How is "Dobson" a descriptor? Which Dobson? 

I've seen the rounded over heel along the lines of some Brooks Masten and Pisgah banjos referred to as a "Dobson style heel" enough to understand what the OP meant, I think... 

My understanding is that the "boat heel" shape enables the banjo to not only float on the water, but also navigate more easily due to the aqua-dynamic shape.  

Edited by - dpgetman on 06/12/2024 08:28:46

Jun 12, 2024 - 8:47:14 AM

8359 posts since 9/21/2007

That rounded heel shape was in use before and after the Dobson family members were actively marketing banjos.

Jun 12, 2024 - 11:36:39 AM
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5847 posts since 5/29/2011

That's true but the term does persist. It's kind of like a Whyte Laydie tone ring. It was used in the Vega Electric banjo first but it is still referred to as the Whyte Laydie.

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