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Nechville booth at SPBGMA.

James McKinney and I…

Being in-person at these shows gives us a chance to show off the versatility of our product line. Our booth always displays something that raises questions from the curious pickers looming about. This year we had a tempered fret scale neck mounted on an open back Moonshine EX. We got constant questions about the weird crooked frets on that banjo.

Another curiosity was another Excelsior Heli-mount pot with a nice traditional looking neck and a wild Cocobolo Turbo module installed. That monster was tuned a full fifth low to open C tuning and vibrated the entire room when turned on. Sometimes we get tire kickers who sneak a pick on a Nechville and escape before learning how to tailor the tone to their liking. It is just as common however to have someone return a year or two later, pick up a similar banjo and be completely blown away because they never suspected the tone they were looking for could be hidden in there.

We congratulate our Friend Barry Waldrep as the new banjo guru at Banjo.com for picking up Nechville’s Vintage line. Congratulations also to Capo’s Music’s Gill Braswell and Emory Carty for adopting the Saturn line. We are excited to see the Banjo Revolution gaining ground.
We were happy to have spent the evening with Sonny Smith, super picker from Pigeon Forge. We outfitted Sonny with his latest “Diamond Joe” model now with fancier outlined binding, visible Turquoise side dots and nickel hardware.
SPBGMA weekend also gives us a chance to yuck it up with our friendly banjo rivals. Since it is all in good fun, we like to go visit each other’s displays and play each other’s banjos. Huber had a neighboring suite to our room and was a handy place to go for borrowing screw drivers. Ha ha. A trip to Arthur Hatfield’s Room is almost like a trip to his living room. You always feel welcome and a great jam is always imminent. Arthur played lots of guitar for all the drooling banjo players. I was one of them. We drool when we play because his ‘joes sound so sweet!

The best part of any festival is the good times with friends. Of course it is awesome to see my old friends Ian Perry, Jack Hatfield, and Tim Carter. It is also a treat to get better acquainted with friends and associates like John Lawless and Sean Dysinger from Bluegrass Today. We love having the entire banjo spectrum covered between the Nechville booth, the fine selection from Paul and David Hopkins and the forest of banjos displayed by Mitch Meadors and Dan Garrett.

Congratulations also to Katie Keller from the Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro KY. She took on the challenge of learning the banjo with her new Moonshine and help from Todd Fink of the Giving Tree Band.
Well it is time to go home and pack up for Wintergrass where we will be participating with Al Price for the 22nd time. We will again be a sponsor at Merlefest and we are participating in Banjo camp North in May. In June I will be traveling and doing workshops with monster picker from Toulouse France, Fred Simon. We have a demo June 11th at Down Home Guitars in Frankfort Illinois, an informal presence during the first weekend of Bean Blossom, A demo/jam at Brewskis in St Charles MO on June 15th, the same at Tejon Street Music on June 16th before we spend the weekend at Telluride Bluegrass Fest.

Banjo Revolution- My New Year’s Wish

Nechville Heli-Mount Banjo

Here is Nechville’s special wish for the new year and beyond. We hope that you will be encouraged to make music a priority in 2015 and support the work of the Banjo Revolution.

First the “Banjo Revolution” obviously refers to the one-piece revolving flange on the modern Helical Mounted banjos. When Nechville entered the professional luthier business, no one was really asking for a better banjo. However, our instinctive understanding of the instrument gained from many years of obsessive study, emboldened  us to put forth some radical redesigns that we felt had the potential take this traditional American instrument to the center stages of popular music. During our three decades of banjo “rebellion”, the revolving Heli-mount design has caught on with top performers, grassroots players and music lovers across the globe.

In addition to hailing our “Revolutionary” banjo design improvements, the pun intimates a reverence for what our forefathers fought for, i.e., freedom of expression. The banjo originally came to us in the freedom songs of slaves. Its unmistakable sound echoes of America’s trials and triumphs through its history and remains a sound of freedom to this day.

Today the freedom to create a future for oneself;  to pursue happiness, is considered the central benefit of being a free human being. In my personal example, with the full support of my loving wife and family,  my once imaginary career of designing banjos is now in full bloom. Similarly for your life; if you have a musical vision and play your way toward it, you will get there. The joyful phenomenon of making music that our banjos were designed for should be among everyone’s life goals. It will spread a friendly revolution of musical experience, and good times for all.

The “Banjo Revolution” slogan therefore invites all of humanity to discover the creative spirit such as that which guides our hands in making music. Musical collaboration, especially that involving bluegrass music, opens new social channels and connects people of diverse origins in fun family-friendly festivities. Personal bonds won through music can influence the world significantly for all of us. The hope behind the Banjo Revolution, therefore is social revolution; when a major segment of our population embraces bluegrass-inspired music.

The ultimate victory for the Revolution will be when our lawmakers and powerful money-moguls  develop a commitment to spreading work to everyone while lessening the burdens on themselves and others, with the goal of creating more leisure hours for everyone. The Banjo Revolution describes a lifestyle choice based on relationship building through homegrown music among friends and family worldwide.

Mankind has lived for thousands of years without cars, planes and computers, but with the explosion of time saving technology and mechanization, we should have discovered how to redeem benefit from the fruits of our ingenuity to arrive at a better balance between work and play.  Happily our work satisfies much of my creative desire, but I still struggle to find that ideal balance. Unfortunately, artistic pursuits such as learning the banjo are completely off the radar by those over-stressed by full-time jobs and basic lifestyle responsibilities. Let’s encourage people from all walks of life to take time for the challenge and camaraderie of learning music together.

The Banjo Revolution as a force for positive change can remain forever a fantasy, OR it can instantly become a reality if it sparks a musical fire in your life. Our sincere congratulations if you decide to invest the fruits of your labors in an instrument, or simply decide to turn off the TV to jam with your kids or friends. Banjo has the power to “revolutionize” your life as you experience the true meaning of making beautiful music together.

Your friend in music, Tom Nechville
Viva La Banjo Revolution!
a tom@nechville.com
612-275-6602
www.banjorev.com

The Banjo Revolution: Not Just a Slogan

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For most of my career as a banjo designer and manufacturer I have used the slogan “Banjo Revolution” without often explaining its fullness of meaning…

First, it obviously refers to the mechanical revolution of the flange component of my unique Nechville Heli-Mount banjo. When I entered the professional luthier field, no one was really asking for a better banjo. However, having studied the instrument from an in-depth mechanical design perspective for many years, I instinctively understood the difficulties that tended to keep this traditional American instrument on the sidelines of widespread popular music, and made it my personal mission to correct this limited perception. Now having reached the point in my efforts where many world-renowned professional performers are appearing with my instruments in hand, the merits of Nechville’s common-sense designs are beginning to manifest themselves not only for top performers, but with grassroots players and music lovers across the globe.

But in addition to hailing my “Revolutionary” banjo design improvements, the pun intimates a reverence for what our forefathers fought for, i.e., freedom of expression. Having the freedom to create a future for oneself is the central benefit of being a free-thinking human. In my example as a free-born North American, I have been fortunate to be able to follow my passions in this way. As impractical as it may seem to some, with the full support of my loving wife and family, I decided to invent, build and play banjos for a lifetime career. The joyful phenomenon of making music that Nechville instruments were designed for can cause a revolution of thought that reinforces our freedom to act toward global betterment.

The Nechville world view summed up by the “Banjo Revolution” slogan invites all of humanity to discover the creative spirit such as that which guides our hands in creating music. Musical collaboration, especially that involving bluegrass music, opens new social channels and connects people of diverse origins in fun family-friendly festivities. I dream of a social revolution when a major segment of our population embraces bluegrass-inspired music, since personal bonds won through music can influence the world significantly for all of us.

Mankind has lived for thousands of years without cars, planes and computers, but with the explosion of technology and mechanization, we should have discovered how to redeem benefit from the fruits of our ingenuity to arrive at a better balance between work and play. Perhaps our currently overdrawn government obligates us to work off our national debt to sustain the credence of our dollar as a functional form of currency. The ultimate victory for the Revolution, however, will be when our lawmakers and powerful money-makers develop a commitment to allowing employment to all that want to work. therebyfreeing up more priority time for relationship-building among family and friends. As idealistic as it sounds, why not promote the proliferation of homegrown music worldwide? Our existence becomes a little happier when we experience the true meaning of making beautiful music together.

I feel fortunate to have found a form of work that satisfies much of my creative desire, but even I struggle to find the ideal balance between work and play. Unfortunately, artistic pursuits such as learning the banjo are considered unattainable by those over-stressed by full-time jobs and basic lifestyle responsibilities. The reality, however, is that people of all walks of life and the world at large can benefit from creative pursuits as simple as friendships through music.

The Banjo Revolution can remain forever a fantasy, OR it can actually happen if you decide to invest the fruits of your labors with a Revolutionary banjo. Nechville banjos are made by inspired craftsmen who truly believe in our mission to build better banjos for your musical success along your life journey.

Your friend in music,

Tom

I was in a conversation with Sonny Smith the other day. He said the bluegrass banjo sound is changing and that the Nechville banjo fit that change perfectly. I thought that was interesting. I don’t know if I would say it the same way however. There is a complicated web of factors that influence what sound you might consider to be best. Let me say this at the risk of raising an argument. My view is that with the development of more varied styles and genres, it benefited the music to make modifications to the traditional set up in order to smooth and refine the sound. I think people are finding that the influence of jazz and other music on the banjo has indeed resulted in the banjo becoming a little more musical. Evidence of this long term trend can be heard during any bluegrass radio show that spans the 30’s to today. Players of traditional Bluegrass today are mostly aware that the “old banjo” is not the only sound that works. In fact, our obligation to honor the essence of Bluegrass does not mean we should use 1940’s technology to produce music that will thrive into the future.

I have succeeded for 30 years as a builder only because I have found customers with discerning ears. They have taken time to figure out why helical-mounting leads to enhanced tonal purity. I didn’t invent the modern banjo sound, but I initiated several sound design enhancements when I wasn’t getting what I needed from my old Mastertone. I realized in the early 80’s that for Bluegrass and acoustic to grow as it has, the banjo needed some refinement and variety, so that is what I dedicated my life to. (I sometimes wonder about myself)

Sonny is right. Banjo makers and set up specialists have learned to improve traditionally made banjos, with better tone and balance, which indeed has helped the Bluegrass sound evolve. Lucky for me, the even, pure tone inherent to all helical mounted designs fits in all musical situations and is adaptable as musical needs change. . . I’d simply say, Bluegrass continues to get better as musicians discover banjos that enhance but don’t distract, and blend but can still stand out when you want them to. What is holding you back from learning more about Nechville?

Reflections of a Banjo Designer

There are times in my life that I need to remind myself that no matter how trivial my career seems in the grand scheme of things, banjos are my particular specialty. Building, playing, repairing, listening tweaking; an endless cycle in the continuing quest for the perfect banjo sound.Tone components placed within my Heli-Mount construction are unencumbered with hardware and neck attachments and are therefore free to produce a purity of tone that is unique to Nechville instruments.This fact is what excites and motivates me along my journey. If, for example, you wanted to test all the various types of tone rings, you would have a very big job indeed. Different weights, shapes and tone ring material compositions offer countless options. If you combine the myriad of different rim constructions, types of heads and bridges you face a limitless expanse of potential tone combinations. With a bit of knowledge and intuition, exploring the universe of banjo sounds is great fun! I love my job.
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One relatively unexplored region of banjo space has recently reopened to me. The long neglected Bronze Heli-Mount, originally cast in 1987 has been dusted off and outfitted with an antique maple 3 ply rim and a Nechville made experimental tone ring. The discovery of this particular combination justifies all my exploratory work.  It speaks with a luscious voice that removes all doubt that banjos are destined to grow and thrive upon this planet.If you are interested in knowing more about the one and only Bronze Heli-Mount, or the other pieces in Nechville’s private collection, you contact me at tom@nechville.com.

I see banjos as mankind’s gift to a happier future. If you build, play, teach, perform, listen to, learn or just appreciate the banjo, you may want to join me in supporting the vision of the Banjo Revolution.

Nechville and Wintergrass

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Al Price, Emory Lester and Tom Nechville

22 years ago, Tom Nechville was approached by Wintergrass promoter Earla Harding at IBMA in Kentucky. Tom accepted her invitation to participate as a vendor at a new festival called Wintergrass, and has been a part of it ever since.

Over the years, Nechville has been a part of various Wintergrass programs and workshops, teaching and providing mini-banjos to kids. This long term commitment to led to Nechville becoming one of the festival’s major sponsors. For several years, Nechville has donated a banjo worth between $3000 to $5,000 while exhibiting his unique line of banjos and doing on-site repairs for pickers. And yes, another Nechville banjo will be up for raffle again this year.

“The friendships I have made out here have made all the difference in my business,” says Tom Nechville. Nechville’s business was propelled forward when one of his Wintergrass customers and friend, Al Price from Auburn WA decided to go to work for him as Nechville’s sales and marketing manager in 2004.

Nechville Banjos from Minneapolis MN stand out as being the world’s leader in banjo design and innovation. “Being a picky musician and an inventor, I can’t stop finding new solutions to old banjo problems,” Tom says.

Nechville makes banjos for everyone, but has had particular success with traveling performers. Steve Martin likes his Orion because it keeps its consistent good tone even after rugged tour transport. Nechville is the originator of Heli-Mount acoustic banjos and pioneer of electric banjo technology and continues to innovate with new tools for string musicians.

You may see some Nechvilles in the hands of members of Elephant Revival, Dailey and Vincent, Emory Lester, Noam Pickelny, and other Wintergrass artists at the 2014 Wintergrass Festival in Bellevue. For certain, the Nechville booth will be in its customary spot, buzzing with activity. Stop by and say hello to Tom and Al.

Functional design, comfort and playability make Nechvilles stand apart. and that’s why we are so popular with experienced players who usually already own nice regular banjos. Many have heard about Nechville, but they get more interesting the closer you look.

Originating in the mid 1980s, Nechville Musical Products has blossomed into a world leader of banjo innovation and design. As a fully integrated manufacturer of several styles of banjos, Nechville holds patents on Helical mounted or Heli-mount banjos. Nechville is also responsible for the newest  trend in banjos known as Flex-Tones. This gives traditionally made hook and nut style banjo bodies a chance to live on, mounted to an adjustable Nechville neck via the patented “Flux Capacitor” neck connection. Nechville has not only advanced the modern banjo, but introduced new improvements to the Bluegrass, Old-time and Traditional worlds. FLUX-Mounted necks have given openback and traditional bluegrass players infinitely more control over their set up and playing style while adding the benefit of portability. With Nechville’s neck system, the action is easily adjustable and the neck pops off for easy packing and travel.

Every component of the banjo has been evaluated  and optimized for top performance by Nechville. For example, The Enterprise Bridge is uniquely shaped, weighted and measured for repeatable in-tune performance. The Nechville Inline Tailpiece offers more efficient string vector pull with fewer parts and no need for fasteners. Nechville re-engineered the armrest for beveled comfort in gorgeous figured woods. Nechville necks are optimized for glitch free performance with perfect conical radius fingerboard and perfectly dressed frets. The many conveniences and  sound freeing aspects of “Heli-mount-ing ” the tone ring and head as opposed to a banjo held together with 80 or more extra parts are truly “revolutionary” to anyone familiar with the old, heavy, standard banjos. Nechville’s Top-of-the-line offers his own patented “Capo-bility” system. A complete built-in capo that is always there and goes to every fret including the zero fret without retuning.

Nechville designed accessories are also available such as the all new dual pickup, three control, banjo amplification system called the  Crescendo Acoustic Harness. The Nechville factory is now equipped with state-of -the-art turning and machining facilities for producing the world’s best precision tone rings. Distributor and builder inquiries are invited. Straps, caps, shirts, capos, expert service and parts, as well as Tom’s book, The Dynamics of Banjo Sound are all a part of Nechville’s offerings. If you are a collector of Gibsons or some other traditional name banjo, you may also want to inquire with Tom about his Vintage Collection.

Nechville fulfills the needs of all performers from the grass roots all the way to top entertainers with their high quality, thought-out and trouble-free designs. Steve Martin continues to expand the profile of the banjo with his custom Nechville Orion resonator banjo. New solutions developed by Nechville originally for Bela Fleck,  Alison Brown and the Dixie Chicks have helped open doors to banjo popularity.  Nechville has custom designed banjos for the hit Broadway musical, “Once”. The Meteor Electric Banjo continues to project the banjo’s sound into millions of  ears through top country groups like Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Springsteen’s band, Zac Brown, The Hollies, Big & Rich and others.

Brief History

Nechville started in Tom’s home garage shop in the 1980’s. Early prototypes of the Heli-mount banjo were introduced in Nashville in 1989 and sales began slowly in the 90’s. Tom moved into an office/shop headquarters converted from a 1930’s farmhouse in 2001. The location served them well for a few years until the city purchased the Nechville building due to street widening in 2005, paving the way for an expansion into a more productive factory/warehouse and office.

The current home of Nechville Musical Products is a 13,000 sq foot industrial / office / retail building located at 9700 Humboldt Ave. S., Bloomington, MN 55431.

The latest Nechville expansion was the acquisition of Woodhaven Industries, The nation’s top tone ring producer. Now NMP is geared for OEM Tone ring production giving Nechville a firm vertical integration in the growing banjo market.

The goal of Nechville Musical Products is to innovate to meet the changing needs of modern musicians. Reducing nearly seventy parts of a traditional banjo to two has benefited thousands of Heli-Mount  players with time saving and purer banjo sound. Tom’s electric banjos and pickups continue to find solutions and feed the evolution of the banjo. Nechville is eager to build the instrument you’ve been dreaming about.

In Support of Emily Yates

You may have already seen the video about Emily Yates getting arrested with her banjo. If not, you need to watch this video that led to her arrest where she was being very reasonable and peaceful then suddenly got violently cuffed and dragged away.  It is extremely upsetting. Have they changed the constitution to outlaw peaceful assembly and freedom of speech while I have been away?
She is right, apparently we live in a police state. I am amazed and shocked at the injustice done. At the same time I deeply admire her courage to stand up and publicize the sad state into which America has fallen. Not having been an activist to date, I live like most Americans, slightly aware, but indifferent to most stories about rights violations. This arrest, however, involving someone I know personally and furthermore a banjo, jars me from my complacency.
I am not as courageous and influential as Emily, but at least I can broadcast my opinion. If they come after me, I too will go down unwillingly. For now I will use my rights as a US citizen to speak out. I hold conservative values and I am optimistic about music and its abilty to de-fuse conflict. This video is an amazing and eye-opening look at what America MUST NOT BECOME. Why is this not on the front page news?  This story is real, provoking news that needs to be in America’s focus. Violence and the fear of terrorism is the lifeblood of the media, It’s time we put things in perspective and heard some raw truth.Probably 99.999% of people are not terrorists, so why all the fear? Do you cower at the thought of being hit by falling space junk? Our chances of being a victim of a Muslim extremist attack is about the same. I am not against reasonable security measures, but overblown fear has lead to everything from airport delays to restriction of our constitutional rights as clearly evidenced in the video. Fear mongering has been counterproductive to the economy and blinded us to potential solutions.

Her reason for being on that public land was presumably in protest to further US military involvement in Syria. I think most Americans would agree that sending troops to that volatile region without a clear objective would risk worsening and prolonging the suffering there. Neither should we turn our backs and say nothing. In this information age, there are millions of people who can share ideas and offer solutions. Why can’t the US use its massive resources and governmental influence to provide citizens, diplomats and concerned parties in an information driven template for sifting out the best global solutions? If the priorities of the conflicting parties are computed along with the top solutions, a template for specific action can be drawn up and even enforced if necessary at some future point as an extreme last resort. As things are today, we as a country have no business sticking our arsenal in their faces without any sort of clear plan of action. Our diplomatic forces need to listen to all sides of the conflict and sort it out. The tools are right there in front of us.  America, we can become a freer society while telling the rest of the world that we care. I think the computer and internet has given all of us a voice, and I hope we will use it.
Emily  has done us a great service. I hope she wins a huge lawsuit against the arresting agency.
There is more to be said about this, but if you agree, please do something, you can contribute to her defense fund at this link: Emily Yates Defense Fund.

Heli-Mount banjo design

Much has been written about the benefits of Helically mounted banjos, or Heli-Mounts. But if you have not tuned in to Nechville.com lately or have not viewed our banjo setup videos, you may not be aware of the amazing simplicity and versatility of Nechville’s design.

The Reasons for Helical Mounting

The main acoustical reason for helical mounting is the separation of structural components from the acoustic components of a banjo. In a standard bluegrass banjo, the neck is directly connected to the rim and tone ring imparting mechanical stresses and interference to the pure tone of a rim / tone ring that is mounted without connections to metal parts.

The many side benefits to helical mounting add up to make it the clearly superior method of banjo construction. Tone component changes and adjustments are quick and easy plus the Heli-Mount frame provides an easy, secure, adjustable and removable neck connection.

Head Adjustment

You may have heard of the Heli-Mount’s unique ability to switch heads in 2 minutes or less.  The threaded flange is the only moving part responsible for tensioning the head. Perfect concentricity, and perfectly even tension is applied automatically to the head.

This sets Nechville in a league of its own when it comes to clarity and evenness of tone and volume on every spot of the fingerboard. You turn the 2 pinion wrenches counter-clockwise to tighten the head. Since you are applying tension around the entire perimeter of the head, you will have to turn both wrenches with sufficient force to bring the head up to the desired level.

Use of Drum Dial

A dial indicator mounted on a base, called a Drum Dial, is useful in determining the approximate ideal tension for the head. If you tighten until the dial reads 90 -92 you are in the Bluegrass head tension range. If you can hear the pitch of a tight head, some players try to tighten it until the G# note predominates.

You can also use the top of the tension hoop as a rough guide when using a medium crown Remo head. When in the proper range of tension, there is only about .1″ between the top of the tension hoop and the surface of the head.

 

Choice of Bridge and Placement

You probably have a bridge that came with the banjo or an alternate bridge that you plan to use. There are many reasons to consider a higher bridge, and so I generally suggest bridges that are 11/16″ or taller.

Be sure that the bridge you choose is radiused to match the curvature of the frets, and be sure that the 3rd string is correctly intonated especially high up the neck. I strongly suggest the use of only Enterprise compensated bridges for Nechville banjos. Place the bridge using the 19th fret harmonic and match the fretted note at that location. If the action is too high or low, you will address that in the next step, and you will need to re-intonate the bridge for proper placement once the neck is finally set.

Neck Angle and Truss Rod Adjustment

The neck needs to be in the proper angle to achieve perfect action, plus the shape of the neck’s bow must simultaneously be correct for the playability to be optimal.  If you hold the taut string against the fingerboard at the 1st and last fret and inspect the distance between the string and the middle frets, It should only be about .01 or the thickness of a business card.  Some people go a little more or less and the neck angle can be set accordingly.

With a straighter neck, the neck angle needs to be a little shallower, raising the action so strings do not buzz. More bow means that neck angle can be set back for more uniform playability from low positions to high. Intonation problems tend to crop up more when the neck is too bowed, so I suggest straighter necks with fairly low action down low and gradually getting higher as you go up the neck.

Tailpiece Adjustments

The Nechville inline tailpiece has down, left right and forward back adjustments through turning the set screws on the back of tailpiece. You may want to check the note that comes from the tailpiece side of the strings and get it to match a higher octave of one of the string’s harmonics. I use that 19th fret note and try to bring the tailpiece back far enough to get that note behind the bridge.

 

If strings are slightly off center, you can turn either the left or right set screw until the strings line up as desired. Downward pressure generally should be minimal for fuller sound. Tightening the center set screw brings tailpiece lower, sharpening the sound and lowering the action slightly (which is another micro action adjustment to keep in your bag of tricks).

 

Once you have snugged up the head and set the neck for perfect action, you can be confident that your HELI-MOUNT WILL GIVE YOU COUNTLESS HOURS OF FUN and entertainment.

tb11cBeing a banjo player you are like me in certain respects, especially concerning the banjo. We can’t tolerate anything being out of sorts for the most enjoyable and  confident playing. Even the look and feel of the instrument needs to be right for the experience to be its best. It’s my job to fulfill banjo dreams.  Whether that means fixing those irritating problems through a professional tune-up or providing a whole new banjo, we can agree that it’s more fun to play with the right equipment.

When I dream, the banjo often recreates itself in my mind. Nothing about the instrument need be held as sacred in the fantasy world of recreational invention. But assuming we are bluegrass musicians, let’s start dreaming on the iconic image of “banjo” that for many of us may be a 1934 Gibson flathead five string. The old flat heads that have withstood the test of time, still sing with a timeless voice that defines the classic sound of the instrument.

In your dream let’s say you pick up this imaginary instrument a garage sale for $100 tb11band you are thrilled. After playing it for a little while you notice that its weight begins to drag you down. Your dream instantly provides you with a lighter weight flat head of the same vintage with the similar character of sound. Your playing commences only to be interrupted by the thought that the neck was profoundly narrow for your style and hand shape.  Poof! The neck widens into a shape that makes chokes and slides effortless.

The shape of the fingerboard raises up slightly down the center of the fingerboard almost to meet the strings. Your left hand is now more comfortable than ever, but you notice that the old bridge is saggy and certain notes don’t ring with the same pure sound.  Poof! The bridge grows taller, especially in the middle and you find clarity of every note until you find the third string going sharp. Poof! The bridge reshapes to provide correct compensation and all is well again.

tb11ASuddenly one of the strings pops out of the bridge slot because the tailpiece is was apparently originally designed for a narrower 4 string banjo.  Poof! The tailpiece widens so that each string has the ideal straight line break angle over the bridge, and your dream goes on until dark when the dew appears on the wildflowers.

In the moist air the fingerboard swells causing low action and string buzz, the one way truss rod suddenly becomes a dual action rod solving yet one more problem. Your dream calls you to fly to a foreign land to play. Poof! With one twist of a tool, the neck pops off and you carry your banjo through customs nestled safely in your suitcase. Upon reassembly you find that the neck has a range of adjustment adaptable to any height bridge or string height and you quickly find the perfect neck angle for buttery action, and the party begins.

Your dream is interrupted by a smart phone alarm. It is Al Price with some great news from Nechville. An all-original 1934 TB-11 one- piece flange pot was recently decked out with a matching new Nechville neck. This is a Pre-war flathead without all the weight of a full tone ring. The brass top on the 11’s old 3 ply maple rim is about 3 pounds lighter than other banjos in the Mastertone family. The wide radiused frets and compensated bridge remind you of your dream. You realize that your dream has come true when you hear about the flux-mounted neck and comfort bevel armrest provided on this dreamy hybrid of a banjo.

It’s here, It’s real, It’s a dream come true for one lucky picker. Now available from tb11dNechville for the honest value price of $4999.99. Let’s add one penny for shipping to make a round figure.

Please note that the same banjo with lesser necks have been sold for 3 to five times the price with the simple modification of adding a pre-war style tone ring. Nechville builds authentic pre-war spec tone rings and professionally installs them in our custom shop. Personally, I think it is better to keep this pot original but we have the know-how and the best tone rings to take it to that next level if you want.

If this banjo or one that pops into YOUR dreams tickles your fancy, please contact me or Al.

 

This story brought to you by the Banjo Revolution.

Contact Tom@nechville.com

or Call 612-275-6602

See and hear and learn more at www.nechville.com