Banjo # 018 – Sapele Mahogany – 12″ Dobson style tone ring

banjo headstock
Beartown Banjo #018 – sapele mahogany / paduak – 12″ pot with “Dobson-style” tone ring.

Banjo #018 is the first of the Beartown 12″ Mahogany “Dobson-style” tone ring. This banjo has an 12″  block rim of sapele mahogany with a Dobson style tone ring. Rim cap, heel cap and accent rim layer are paduak. Neck is 2 piece sapele with a thin black center laminate and is equipped with a dual action truss rod accessible at the heel.

Fingerboard is oiled chechen (aka “caribbean rosewood” or “black poisonwood”).  Headstock laminate (front and back) are  Paduak with a headstock inlay of curly maple, black walnut and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish. Banjo is set up with nickle hardware and nickle Gotoh planetary tuners, curved Beartown bridge and shop mounted goatskin head.

Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25.5″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret. The tone is full and powerful with punchy upper range and full low notes.

This Banjo is on display (and for sale) at Ithaca Guitar Works 215 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY Stop in to take a look, and give it a play!!

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Banjo #017 – Irish Tenor – Cherry & Black Locust

Banjo #017 is a custom build finished in October 2019. It now lives in Pennsylvania with its new owner, Brian.

This banjo has an 11″  block rim of curly Cherry and Black Locust with a 1/4″ brass rod done ring. Rim cap, heel cap and accent rim layer are Black Walnut. Neck is 3 piece laminate of black walnut with center rib of black locust with a dual action truss rod accessible at the heel.

Fingerboard is oiled Ironwood.  Headstock laminate is Iron wood on the front and Cherry on the back with a headstock inlay of curly maple, black walnut and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish. Banjo is set up with brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners, straight Beartown bridge and shop mounted goatskin head.

Set up is with a modest scoop to fine tune head clearance and string action. Tone is clear, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. Scale is 21.5″ for Irish Tenor tuning.

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Banjo #015 – Curly Maple, Black Walnut, Purpleheart

banjo #015 pot
Banjo #015 – curly maple, black walnut, purpleheart

Banjo #015 is a custom build finished in May 2019. It lives in its new home with Brian in North Carolina.

This banjo has an 11″  block rim of curly Maple with a Dobson style tone ring. Rim cap, heel cap and accent rim layer are Black Walnut. Neck is 3 piece laminate of black walnut with center rib of purpleheart with a dual action truss rod accessible at the heel.

Fingerboard is oiled Purpleheart.  Headstock laminate (front and back) are  purpleheart with a headstock inlay of curly maple and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish. Banjo is set up with brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners, curved Beartown bridge and shop mounted goatskin head.

Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25.5″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret.  Tone is clear, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25.5″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D.

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Banjo #014 Curly Maple, Black Walnut, Dobson style tone ring

banjo 014 headstock right front view
Banjo #014 Curly Maple / Black Walnut

This banjo has an 11″  block rim of curly Maple with a Dobson style tone ring. Rim cap and accent rim layer are Black Walnut. Neck is 3 piece laminate of curly maple and black walnut with a dual action truss rod accessible at the heel.

Fingerboard is oiled Jatoba.  Headstock laminate (front and back) and heelcap are  black walnut with a headstock inlay of curly maple and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish. Banjo is set up with brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners, curved Beartown bridge and shop mounted goatskin head.

Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25.5″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret.  Tone is bright and ringing, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25.5″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D.

Price including hard shell case: $1675 direct from Beartown Banjo

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Banjo #013 Black Walnut, Curly Maple, Jatoba with Dobson Tone Ring

Banjo #013 Curly Maple / Black Walnut / Jatoba

This banjo has an 11″  block rim of curly Maple. Rim cap is Black Walnut, as is the upper rim layer, which supports brass Dobson style tone ring. Neck is 3 piece laminate of black walnut with a dual action truss rod accessible at the heel.

Fingerboard is oiled Jatoba.  Headstock laminate (front and back) and heelcap are  Jatoba (“Brazilian Cherry”) with a headstock inlay of curly maple and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish. Banjo is set up with brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners, curved Beartown bridge and Elite fiberskin head.

Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25.5″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret.  Tone is pure and ringing, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25.5″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D.

This Banjo is on display (and for sale) at Ithaca Guitar Works  215 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY   Stop in to take a look, and give it a play!!

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Banjo #012 Cherry, Purpleheart, Brass Tone Ring

Banjo #012 Cherry – Purpleheart – Black Locust – Brass Tone Ring

This banjo has an 11″ block rim of cherry. Rim cap is purpleheart, and the upper rim layer is black locust, which supports brass rod style tone ring. Neck is 3 piece laminate of cherry and purpleheart with a graphite fiber neck rod. Fingerboard is oiled purpleheart with EVO gold fretwire.  Headstock and heel are black locust with a padauk laminate layer and headstock has a padauk and mother of pearl inlay. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish. Banjo is set up with brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners, curved Beartown bridge and Elite fiberskin head.

Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25.5″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret. Tone is pure and ringing, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25.5″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D

Price $1675 including hard shell case direct from Beartown Banjo

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Banjo #011 Curly Maple, Black Walnut, Black Locust, Padauk

banjo pot
Banjo #011Curly Maple, Black Walnut, Black Locust, Padauk

This banjo has a block rim of curly Maple. Rim cap is Black Walnut, as is the upper rim layer, which supports a 1/4″ brass rod tone ring. Neck is 3 piece laminate of black walnut with Black Locust midrib. 1/8″ x 3/8″ carbon fiber reinforcement assures stiffness and stability.

Fingerboard is oiled Padauk. Headstock laminate and heelcap are figured Black Walnut with a thin Padauk veneer and a headstock inlay of black locust and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish.

Banjo has brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners. Currently set up with a goatskin head. Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret. Bridge is custom Beartown curved bridge. Tone is pure and ringing, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D.

Banjo #011 is sold, and now lives in its new home with Scott in Ohio.

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Banjo #010 – Curly Maple, Black Walnut, Wenge

Banjo #010 – Curly Maple, Black Walnut, Wenge

This banjo has a block rim of curly maple. Rim cap is black walnut, as is the upper rim layer, which supports the Dobson style tone ring. Neck is 3 piece laminate of black walnut. 1/8″ x 3/8″ carbon fiber reinforcement assures stiffness and stability.

Fingerboard is oiled Wenge. Headstock laminate and heelcap are figured Black Walnut with an headstock inlay of Padauk and mother of pearl. Instrument is finished with a penetrating oil finish.

Banjo is set up with brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners. Currently set up with a goatskin head.

Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25.5″ with 19 frets. 5th string nut is at the 5th fret. Bridge is custom Beartown curved bridge. Tone is pure and ringing, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25.5″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D.

Price $1425 including hard shell case direct from Beartown Banjo

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Banjo #009 Travel Banjo Sapele-Wenge-Padauk

Banjo 009 Travel Banjo Sapele-Wenge-Padauk
Banjo 009 Travel Banjo Sapele-Wenge-Padauk

This banjo is a great companion for travel. With a 9″ pot and 20″ scale, it fits nicely in an A-style mandolin case, and is a breeze to travel with.

Pot is a block rim of Sapele with wenge rim cap and cherry top layer, supporting a 1/4 inch brass rod tone ring. Neck is Sapele, with Padauk fingerboard and Wenge headstock and heel cap.

For a small banjo, it has a nice full voice and strings are gauged for tuning in A/D. I like to muffle the strings south of the bridge with felt or rubber band. Set up with goatskin head, curved Beartown bridge. In a group, this banjo doesn’t have the volume of an 11″ pot, but it sounds great and is sweet to play.

This banjo is living a new life in Australia with it’s new owner, but I can build another for you!
Contact me

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Banjo #008 Cherry Purpleheart Dobson Tone Ring

Banjo 008 Cherry Purpleheart Dobson Tone Ring
Banjo 008 Cherry Purpleheart Dobson Tone Ring

This banjo is the grown up cousin to Banjo #004 of Cherry and Pupleheart, with the addition of a brass Dobson style tone ring. This banjo has a block rim of cherry. Rim cap is purpleheart, as is the upper rim layer, which supports the Dobson style tone ring. Neck is 3 piece laminate of cherry with mid-rib of purpleheart. 1/8″ x 3/8″ carbon fiber reinforcement assures stiffness and stability.

Fingerboard is oiled purpleheart. Headstock laminate and heelcap are also purpleheart. Instrument is finished with nitrocellulose lacquer.

Banjo has brass hardware and brass Gotoh planetary tuners. Currently set up with a elite fibreskin. Set up is with a modest frailing scoop level with the head. Scale is 25″ with 17 frets. 5th string nut is at the 7th fret. Bridge is custom Beartown 11/16″ curved bridge. Tone is pure and ringing, with good sustain and clarity. Responsive in lower positions and up the neck. With a 25″ scale this banjo can easily be tuned to G/C or A/D. I often keep this one in G/C where it has a particularly sweet and mellow tone.

Banjo #008 lives in Rochester, NY with its new owner, Brenn.

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