What makes a Hutchings banjo different ?
The most important part of the banjo is the rim – you can have the most expensive tonering available but fitted to a poor rim the banjo will still be average at best.
I build all my block rims myself, from solid walnut and take great care to make sure they are perfect – the results show in the improved tone and power of my banjos.
I’ve tried different combinations and I think european walnut is the best tonewood for a banjo rim. It delivers the brilliance of maple but with more of the other frequencies too resulting in a more “complete” tone.
Compared to the more usual method of constriction (3 Ply) there is more wood and less glue in a block rim. This is effect even more pronounced on a 1/2″ thick rim. Less glue – more tone !
The metal parts I use are the best quality items from the USA, Czech Republic and Japan – I won’t compromise my own work by fitting cheaper hardware !
My range of standard banjos are great sounding and playing instruments all built around my block rim. They are simply decorated (but beautifully finished) so this keeps the cost down.
Anything is possible, from upgraged hardware, inlays and finishes to Masterclones, multi string specials , electric banjos etc… Just contact me to discuss your project
Left handed banjos?
No problem, Left handed banjos can be built to order and there is no extra charge
Setups, Repairs, Restorations, Conversions etc…
All possible – just ask !
Why build an Irish banjo with fan frets (multiscale) ?
Imbalanced string tension is a common problem with Irish tuned banjos and is caused by the combination of low tuning (GDAE) and short scale length – particularly on the 17 fret banjo.
19 fret banjos, have a longer scale length which allows for better string tension across the fretboard, but the wider fret spacing means they can be difficult to play for those using mandolin/fiddle fingering.
17 fret short scale banjos have a smaller fret spacing that makes playing the melody easier but they need thicker strings to maintain proper tension, which in turn impacts the playability, tone and intonation. The low G is especially affected as it is impossible to find a satisfactory balance between sufficient tension and good tone and intonation.
An irish banjo with fan frets is as easy to play as a regular 17 fret banjo but has the following advantages due to the optimised string tension…
Narrow fret spacing on the melody strings
Balance of tone across the fretboard. The low G is now useful
Intonation is improved along the length of the fretboard. Chords now ring out
Need more ?