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drbluegrass

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I'm sure this has been discussed endlessly, but what is the difference in tone between an archtop banjo and a "regular top" (flat top?) banjo?
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drbluegrass

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I just want to thank Pete Wernick for joining our new Bluegrass Hangout forum. I feel very honored to have Pete stop by.
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TDF5G

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drbluegrass
I'm sure this has been discussed endlessly, but what is the difference in tone between an archtop banjo and a "regular top" (flat top?) banjo?


Another subjective subject. [smile]  IMO a raised head (arch top) has a sharper more treble type sound with greater decay than a flat head, which has a deeper, rounder tone with a little more sustain.  Of course it depends on setup, tailpieces, head types, head tension, bridges, strings,  etc., you know the deal.

I think a person just has to play and listen to different types of banjos and setups to find the sound they like.  


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Bernie Daniel

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbluegrass
I'm sure this has been discussed endlessly, but what is the difference in tone between an archtop banjo and a "regular top" (flat top?) banjo?


Ok is this a test? [smile]
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drbluegrass

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel


Ok is this a test? [smile]


No, I'm actually that ignorant! [biggrin]
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Bernie Daniel

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbluegrass


No, I'm actually that ignorant! [biggrin]


Well color me skeptical! LOL 

I built a 1929 Gibson TB-3 from parts that I collected on the internet etc. I originally found an Gibson arch top tone ring for it. It was OK sounding - -but too bright with no sustain --to my ear.  Later I found a 1960s Gibson flat head ring and now sounds so much more deep and plunky with more sustain -- just right for folk music other than bluegrass of course.

PS thanks so much for creating the Bluegrass Jamming DVDs years ago -- lots of fun on those.
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Andy Alexander

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If you want the Ralph Stanley or Larry Gillis sound, an arch top is the way to go.
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Buzzbomb

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Alexander
If you want the Ralph Stanley or Larry Gillis sound, an arch top is the way to go.


I've found that the thickness of the bridge has made the most difference to the tone. Last year I got a 'stanleytone' spec bridge from Frank Neat & that has made my archtop sound much more on the Larry Gillis end of the spectrum...That and tightening the head a bit.


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Bernie Daniel

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbomb


I've found that the thickness of the bridge has made the most difference to the tone. Last year I got a 'stanleytone' spec bridge from Frank Neat & that has made my archtop sound much more on the Larry Gillis end of the spectrum...That and tightening the head a bit.




Interesting I would have guessed that tightening the skin would gone the other way?
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