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Home : Hardware, parts : Banjo: Heads : Elite Amber Banjo Heads

Elite Amber Banjo Heads

Read 15 Reviews   |   Write a Review

Warm tone with extra clarity. Bring new tone possibilities with a sound that's a bit brighter than the original Elite, but warmer than a standard plastic head.

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Elite Amber Banjo Heads
Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
0498-L 11" low crown Yes
6 or more $14.89  
12 or more $12.64  

0498-H 11" high crown Yes
6 or more $14.89  
12 or more $12.64  

0499-H 12" high crown Yes
6 or more $16.09  
12 or more $13.65  

Quantity prices apply to multiples of the same item number Selected currency  


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Get more "snap" for old-time playing and more depth for bluegrass.
This modern head material is unaffected by moisture and resembles antique amber translucent calfskin. A banjo with a flathead tone ring (or a flat-topped banjo) usually requires a high crown head. The low crown version fits a banjo with an archtop tone ring.

Choosing the right size banjo head
Measure your banjo for the correct head diameter
Your banjo's rim may be slightly out of round, so take at least three diameter measurements at different points on the outside of the banjo's tone ring or rim top. Use the average diameter to the nearest 1/16" to order the correct size.

Most modern banjos use an 11"-diameter head. Modern makers of "old-time" open-back banjos usually use 11" (and sometimes 12") heads. Vintage banjos, however, may have a range of rim diameters from 10" to 12".

Choose the correct crown height
Crown height is the vertical distance from the top of the head's mounting band to the top surface of the head. A banjo with a flathead tone ring (or a flat-topped banjo) requires a medium or high crown head. A banjo with an archtop tone ring requires a low crown head. The correct crown height prevents the banjo's tension hoop from pulling down too far, and ensures the hoop won't be so high as to impede the strings.
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 Ratings and reviews
Elite Amber Banjo Heads
Elite Amber Banjo Heads
5 out of 5 stars
Based on 15 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 11 – 15 < 1  2
5 6-28-2011
Terrific Sound

Thank you for the Elite banjo head. It looks great and has a very resonant warm sound.

C. Dobson  Hastings, Ontario Read my reviews (2)
5 5-21-2011
great sound

The Elite amber head made my banjo sound just as I wanted it to sound. Great prices fast shipping and quality good. Thanks Stewmac!

Dave Alexander  Kamloops
5 2-26-2011
Elite Amber Banjo Head

I recently installed this head on a Bart Reiter Special open back banjo. I examined an installed head on another of Barts works a Galax banjo, and fell in love. I was able to contact Bart via email and he helped me out with the model of head that would properly fit my banjo. After the banjo head was installed, the banjo really responded well! I love the tone and "pop" it has! Stew-Mac has awesome service too, a great price, and quick shipping. Highly recommend the head.

PeteBtL  Plymouth, WI
Customer supplied image for review
5 2-11-2011
Elite Amber banjo head

The Elite Amber head is advertised primarily for use on old time banjos but I have had really good results using it on bluegrass banjos as well. I prefer a deep tone and the Elite head delivers what I am looking for. There is a depth to the banjo's tone that was not possible with a traditional plastic head. It sounds as if I am playing notes, not overtones.

Mark Harper  Lexington KY Read my reviews (44)
5 9-27-2010
Review of the Amber Elite banjo head by Hank Volk

Ive been making and setting up banjos for a long time and have used many types of heads on open back rims from real calf & goat skin, fiber type heads and plastic/Mylar heads. The Amber Elite really lives up to its name. It truly is an Elite head. It is thin and super strong with low elasticity. You will truly get the very best response from your open back banjo with this type of head. It also has very positive aesthetic appeal in that the translucency and the color lend to a very traditional look. I use them almost exclusively on my open back rims. If you want a nice response with a super nice pop when you brush the strings then you will be more than satisfied with an Amber Elite head. They are the ideal head for use in traditional old time styles in particular frailing and drop thumb styles.

Hank Volk  Brookville, IN
Customer supplied image for review
Displaying 11 – 15 < 1  2 /\ Top of Reviews

Shown on page 81 of our latest catalog.
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