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Jun 13, 2024 - 4:23:20 PM

RO75

USA

8 posts since 5/27/2022

Hello All,

I have a custom-built banjo with a goat skin head that recently split at the rim edge.
I was planning on just getting a low crown 11 7/8 +/- Remo head no big deal. I was kind of surprised at the slim pickings of Remo banjo heads available.

It also seems that ordering is a bit sketchy (size wise). High crown heads are more readily available but low to medium crown seem pretty sparse and hard to order? I was wondering if luthiers / builders out there are running into this problem with non-standard sizes or am I missing something?

I have a spare 12" Remo head off an OME Tupelo, but too big. My local shops want between $120 - $200 to stretch. The tightness of the tension hoop to pot (rim) edge kind of scares me about stretching my own hide head.

Any insight would be most appreciated. I'm more of a player and a bit of a dummy on these sorts of things, but thought you builders would know best?

Thanks Rob

Jun 13, 2024 - 4:33:31 PM
likes this

deke46

Australia

184 posts since 8/30/2009

Bob Smacula is the guy you need to con tact, biggest range and most helpful. He`s on the Hangout.

Jun 13, 2024 - 4:40:14 PM

RO75

USA

8 posts since 5/27/2022

Bob Smakula was my first stop, They don't seem to have what I'm looking for, but I do need to call them just to be sure.
I did talk to Benunzio uptown music and Elderly Instruments on the phone no luck...

Jun 13, 2024 - 6:09:03 PM

3560 posts since 4/7/2010
Online Now

I stock heads that folks actually buy. Being in the music biz for 50 years I have never had a request for an 11-7/8" low crown head. That is not a size that Remo would have in stock, but can be custom ordered with a 3 to 6 month wait. And that's shorter than the 9 to 12 month wait of 2 years ago. So there is no "shortage" of that size, there is just no demand.

Your comment that your banjo has little clearance between the tension hoop and the rim makes me think that a plastic head might not fit. The tension hoop may need a section added to get any head to fit correctly.

Bob Smakula
smakulafrettedinstruments.com

Edited by - Bob Smakula on 06/13/2024 18:24:27

Jun 13, 2024 - 6:21:36 PM

706 posts since 9/29/2009

I recently purchased an 11 7/8" renaissance medium head from Brown Dog Banjo in UK. They ship quick and the shipping cost is very reasonable. browndogbanjos.co.uk/banjo-hea...529-p.asp

Jun 13, 2024 - 6:38:03 PM

RO75

USA

8 posts since 5/27/2022

Good to know an 11 7/8 low crown is an oddball. I know Bob is the King of banjo parts and head sizes so thanks for the education.

I'm just going to take the banjo into my local shop and let the experts sort it out.

Thanks everyone.

Jun 13, 2024 - 9:14:31 PM

4183 posts since 5/1/2003

Hey Mr Smakula,I called a couple months ago about a 10.5” head and they were back ordered. Just wondered if they’ve arrived?
I also need a low crown 11” top frosted.

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