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  #121  
Old 05-09-2020, 04:01 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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This Saturday afternoon's trio of players: Republic Duolian - OME North Star - Taylor 356ce 12-String

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  #122  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:18 PM
Mr. Natural Mr. Natural is offline
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Okay fine, you convinced me again. Here's the Ode along with my Kentucky KM-272 mandolin and my beat up old Dobro somebody was getting rid of.

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  #123  
Old 05-12-2020, 04:13 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Natural View Post
Okay fine, you convinced me again. Here's the Ode along with my Kentucky KM-272 mandolin and my beat up old Dobro somebody was getting rid of.

Thanks for posting your ODE! When I was young, I lusted after the ODE Longneck as it was much less costly than a Vega Pete Seeger. I had a chance to buy a used one last fall at Bernunzio's Uptown Music, here in Rochester, but I'd just purchased my Eastman EBJ-WL1, so I had to forego the ODE.
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin D-18 (Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2)
Taylor 717e ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Emerald X20 (Element VTC)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic
Republic Duolian
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  #124  
Old 05-12-2020, 11:05 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
This Saturday afternoon's trio of players: Republic Duolian - OME North Star - Taylor 356ce 12-String

Nice! You have some recordings?
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  #125  
Old 05-13-2020, 04:16 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Nice! You have some recordings?
No recordings yet but I hope to put some together soon.
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin D-18 (Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2)
Taylor 717e ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Emerald X20 (Element VTC)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic
Republic Duolian
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  #126  
Old 05-17-2020, 07:40 PM
bluemoon bluemoon is online now
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So out of all the open backs which ones your favorite?
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  #127  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:31 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by bluemoon View Post
So out of all the open backs which ones your favorite?
Thanks for asking!

It's difficult to pick a favorite as all the banjos are fun and sound great but if I base my choice on the banjos that feel just right when I pick one of them up to play:

I love the comfort and tone of the OME North Star;

The Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie is a joy to play because it feels so compact and comfortable;

The Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone Custom is also easy to play and has a nice full and bassy tone.


All the other banjos still need a bit of tweaking to get them feeling more comfortable to play. The Deering Sierra Flathead is a wonderful banjo but it feels so heavy and I'm really more into clawhammer than bluegrass so it hardly ever gets played.

Current Banjos:
Vega No. 2 Tubaphone
OME North Star Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin D-18 (Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2)
Taylor 717e ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Emerald X20 (Element VTC)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic
Republic Duolian
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  #128  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:24 PM
bluemoon bluemoon is online now
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Nice! Does the one have a rolledbrass tone ring or wood. I think Ome does both ?
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  #129  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:44 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoon View Post
Nice! Does the one have a rolledbrass tone ring or wood. I think Ome does both ?
My OME North Star has the Vintage aged-brass tone ring that is the same as Nickel one in the below photo but is aged brass as opposed to being nickel-plated brass. I think a customer can order an OME model with any type of their metal tone-rings or with their wooden tone-rim.

__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin D-18 (Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2)
Taylor 717e ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Emerald X20 (Element VTC)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic
Republic Duolian

Last edited by SpruceTop; 05-22-2020 at 12:57 PM.
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  #130  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:03 AM
str8blkcoffee str8blkcoffee is offline
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Nice!
I love banjos and have had numerous. My best was a Hatfield Walnut Custom with a Huber tone ring and Cox rim, it was beautiful and sounded so great but times got tough and I had to let it go.

I was down to only 1 my first, an Baldwin ODE series 2 archtop (aluminum pot) but the other day I added a Deering Vega.

I had been wanting an open back again for a while. I had an Gold Tone Cripple Creek back when that was the only open back they sold. I was into bluegrass @ the time and my nephew wanted one for Christmas so it went to him. I also had 2 Goodtimes openback and resonator, but I never bonded with either and flipped them.

I really like ODE banjos and lusted over OME through the years. When I decided to buy an open back I saw that OME has reacquired the ODE name and are now making a mid priced banjo ($1700-$1900)models under that name. They also have a UTE line of affordable no-frills openbacks for under $900. I had read that they were using maple drum shells for these which helps keep the cost down.

On my Baldwin I can take the individual flanges, brackets, and resonator off and have essentially the Series 2 openback. So I was weighing buying a wood rimmed ODE and using it a my grasser then keeping the Baldwin as an openback. That is when I found the Vega and it fell well into my price range whereas the ODE would have exceeded the budget.
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  #131  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:19 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8blkcoffee View Post
Nice!
I love banjos and have had numerous. My best was a Hatfield Walnut Custom with a Huber tone ring and Cox rim, it was beautiful and sounded so great but times got tough and I had to let it go.

I was down to only 1 my first, an Baldwin ODE series 2 archtop (aluminum pot) but the other day I added a Deering Vega.

I had been wanting an open back again for a while. I had an Gold Tone Cripple Creek back when that was the only open back they sold. I was into bluegrass @ the time and my nephew wanted one for Christmas so it went to him. I also had 2 Goodtimes openback and resonator, but I never bonded with either and flipped them.

I really like ODE banjos and lusted over OME through the years. When I decided to buy an open back I saw that OME has reacquired the ODE name and are now making a mid priced banjo ($1700-$1900)models under that name. They also have a UTE line of affordable no-frills openbacks for under $900. I had read that they were using maple drum shells for these which helps keep the cost down.

On my Baldwin I can take the individual flanges, brackets, and resonator off and have essentially the Series 2 openback. So I was weighing buying a wood rimmed ODE and using it a my grasser then keeping the Baldwin as an openback. That is when I found the Vega and it fell well into my price range whereas the ODE would have exceeded the budget.
Which Deering Vega model did you get?
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin D-18 (Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2)
Taylor 717e ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Emerald X20 (Element VTC)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic
Republic Duolian
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  #132  
Old 05-22-2020, 12:53 PM
str8blkcoffee str8blkcoffee is offline
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I got a Vega Senator with the brass tone ring. It sounds great, nice and plunky but rings with plenty of volume. It is heavyish. Far heavier than my old Cripple Creek but it isn't uncomfortable.

The only negative I have, and it is very small, is the 5th string nut is a nail vs. a pip which lowers the 5th a touch. I have thought about adding a pip or just swapping to a raised 5th bridge but it just isn't a major deal.

I thought I wanted a scoop initially but decided that wasn't a big deal either as plenty of folks play over the fretboard and scoops weren't really a thing except within minstrel. It wasn't until Mike Ramsey began offering scooped banjos commercially did people seem to really see a need.

Right now I haven't done any modifications although I may try a fyberskin head, Nygut strings, and experiment with bridges to help bring up the bottom. I have a Moon 1/2" heavy on my Baldwin that I really like so I may try a Moon but in 11/16th size on the Vega to give a bit more height for the thumb on the 5th. For now it sounds pretty good.

I added the Moon Heavy bridge to the Baldwin because it has an archtop and a clear head. It helped with the intonation which what it was designed to do. The heavy bridge calms it down some as did heavier strings but I never thought to replace the head with a frosted one though. It stands out but I like that.
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  #133  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:16 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8blkcoffee View Post
I got a Vega Senator with the brass tone ring. It sounds great, nice and plunky but rings with plenty of volume. It is heavyish. Far heavier than my old Cripple Creek but it isn't uncomfortable.

The only negative I have, and it is very small, is the 5th string nut is a nail vs. a pip which lowers the 5th a touch. I have thought about adding a pip or just swapping to a raised 5th bridge but it just isn't a major deal.

I thought I wanted a scoop initially but decided that wasn't a big deal either as plenty of folks play over the fretboard and scoops weren't really a thing except within minstrel. It wasn't until Mike Ramsey began offering scooped banjos commercially did people seem to really see a need.

Right now I haven't done any modifications although I may try a fyberskin head, Nygut strings, and experiment with bridges to help bring up the bottom. I have a Moon 1/2" heavy on my Baldwin that I really like so I may try a Moon but in 11/16th size on the Vega to give a bit more height for the thumb on the 5th. For now it sounds pretty good.

I added the Moon Heavy bridge to the Baldwin because it has an archtop and a clear head. It helped with the intonation which what it was designed to do. The heavy bridge calms it down some as did heavier strings but I never thought to replace the head with a frosted one though. It stands out but I like that.
Thanks for some background on your banjos! The Vega Senator is a nice banjo and I've been considering getting one. I've had my eye on a scooped version that may still be at Elderly Instruments but I've found that I play over the banjo head with my thumb often just outside the rim and over the fretboard. This is a comfortable playing position for me on most banjos with or without a scoop.

I, too, find Deering's usage of a railroad spike as a draw-down to the fifth fret for its usage as a nut a bit puzzling as it lowers the 5th-string a bit too much and makes hitting it hard and cleanly more of a challenge than a higher, pip-nutted 5th-string like other makers use.

I've changed a couple of my banjos over to Gary Sosebee bridges when wanting to add a bit of height to a maker-installed bridge. I don't find much difference in tone but the extra height makes it easier to play with more precision.
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin D-18 (Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2)
Taylor 717e ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Emerald X20 (Element VTC)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic
Republic Duolian

Last edited by SpruceTop; 05-22-2020 at 03:45 PM.
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