2/12/2015

1980s Flatiron Sweetgrass Resonator 5-String Banjo




Today was light work followed with a bunch of structural repairs. On the "light" side of things was this customer's mid-80s (I'm guessing) Flatiron Sweetgrass. It played pretty poorly and quite out of tune up the neck when it arrived. After giving it a good setup I also intonated the (nice quality) Snuffy Smith bridge for the low D and high B strings. Voila, back to playing!

It's got that bluegrass tone to it that's both familiar and comforting. Sustain is fat and rich without an abundance of extra overtones killing the "mix." It's also brutally loud without being too icy. Yeah, I like it. What I don't like, however, is that bluegrass weight. Ouch!


Despite not being a Gibson, this feels Gibson through and through.


The headstock has an old crack repair. I'm very used to this on banjos with a truss rod that has access at the headstock. Just like those super-thin-necked Asian-import electric guitars, this joint is a weak spot since so much of it is compromised by the rod cavity.


Pretty inlay, as usual.




Mahogany is the wood used throughout.



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