Five-Star Head

  • 12 Reviews
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Extra strength under tension! Our popular Five-Star® banjo heads feature the "Five-Star crimp," a patented design that firmly locks the head into a special mounting hoop.

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Five-Star Head Frosted 11" medium crown

Frosted 11" medium crown

Item # 0100
In stock, ready to ship!


6 or more $19.09
12 or more $16.45
Five-Star Head Smooth white 11" medium crown

Smooth white 11" medium crown

Item # 0100-W
In stock, ready to ship!


6 or more $19.09
12 or more $16.45
Five-Star Head Clear 11" medium crown

Clear 11" medium crown

Item # 0100-C
In stock, ready to ship!


6 or more $19.09
12 or more $16.45
Quantity Discount Prices apply when you buy multiples of the same item number.
Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Extra strength under tension! Our popular Five-Star® banjo heads feature the "Five-Star crimp," a patented design that firmly locks the head into a special mounting hoop.

The result is clear, crisp tone and extra strength under tension. There's no epoxy to fail or pull loose.

Five-Star heads have medium crown height, and fit standard 11"-diameter flathead or archtop tone rings on most popular banjos.

#0100 Frosted: The white top-frosted coating on .007" white plastic gives full tone with traditional appearance and texture. The most popular Five-Star head, it's been a favorite with Bluegrass players for over 30 years.

Also available in two unfrosted versions for players who want a brighter tone:
#0100-W Smooth white: Uncoated .007" white plastic.
#0100-C Clear: Transparent uncoated .007" plastic, for a distinctive appearance.

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.

Ratings & Reviews

Five-Star Head

  • Based on 12 Reviews
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Service and parts

By Coconut Monk from St.lucie
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, March 09, 2014

I've never been dissapointed by any of the parts purchased through StewMac. Even better is the prompt service and delivery. Thanks StewMac

Product & service

By Bob Jones from Grafton, N.B. Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, August 31, 2012

I recently purchased two 5 star heads for my banjos. I have a Stelling Super Star and a Gold Star. I really like the 5 star head! I have been playing 5 string for nearly 40 years now and the 5 star head really brings out the tone! I am very impressed with the service at Stewart MacDonald's> They kept me promptly looked after in every way and shipped my order promptly and gave me a tracking # and I had my order within a few days. Can't ask for more than that! Thanks Stewart MacDonald's! Bob Jones.

Tonal problem-solver

By toptension from Staten Island, NY
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, May 11, 2012

I've been using Five Star heads since they first appeared in the Stew-Mac catalog. The first thing that appealed to me as a setup guy was the special crimp used to secure the Mylar to the hoop; no glue to become brittle, crack and give up. The main thing, though, is that the thicker Mylar used in its construction provides a somewhat "darker" tone palette, perfect for taming the excessive overtones present in many banjos. If you favor the short-decay, classic Bluegrass banjo tone model, the Five Star is the only way to go.

heads that last

By garydavid2011 from australia
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, April 08, 2012

smooth white best sound possible

A little disappointed

By Ron Brown from Rapid City, South Dakota
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, February 18, 2012

I had heard raves about the 5 star head and am sure it works great for the majority of pickers but on my particular Mastertone, you either have the head sticking up 1/4" or the rim is hitting the groves in the neck making it impossible to tighten the head where you want it. As much as I hated to do it, it was back to the Remo medium that works just fine. This is not a truly medium head, I read the explanation for another issue with the head and agree with the writer. All in all, it's my banjo and not the head as many use them with good results. I returned them.


By banjaboy from Vancouver BC Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, February 09, 2012

I initially ordered 3 heads for my banjo as I couldn't determine the exact size.I made 2 separate orders, they were here within days!!!After determining the correct ones I returned the others. I tracked the package and the day it arrived, my refund was processed withtin hours.I cant say enough about Stew mac, great service, great shipping and I love your catalog.

It's not so much the item purchased.

By Ktwok22 from Mandan, ND
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, December 19, 2011

It's not always about the products ordered although everything I've order has always met my needs and did what it was supposed to do. More importantly, StewMac's Customer Service and Shipping Department are among the best on the internet. Shipping is always very prompt and the orders are always right. StewMac is the best.

Keep up the great work, it is appreciated.
Yes this is supposed to be a review of the Five Star Banjo Head I recently purchased online from StewMac. The product was just fine - did what I needed it to do.

A great head .................

By Andybanjo from UK
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, November 18, 2011

What more can you say? A great head for banjos where you need a serious degree of tension - not just bluegrass 5-strings but also tenors & plectrums as well. Ultra reliable.

Extremely pleased!

By J Chris from Laramie WY
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I was replacing a head that had been on my banjo for 30 plus years. I was at first concerned about the quality of this replacement product, but it did not take long before I realized that the Five-Star head was much better than what I had. Good Job Five-Star!

Double Check Sizing!

By James B. from Ontario Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I ordered the 0100-C clear head for my banjo after measuring carefully. However, the head measured less than 3/8" according to the stewmac height measuring convention. So, though the head is claimed to be a "medium", it was shallower than a "low". Stewmac checked their remaining inventory and they were all like that so I had to request a refund (which they readily agreed to) since this is the only clear head they offered.

I don't know if they will amend the sizing info, or re-stock the heads with correct sizing. But until then, have them double check your requirements before ordering one.

I don't know about the other varieties. Product quality seemed good otherwise.

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Shown on page 81 of our latest catalog.
  • Five-Star® is a registered trademark of Stewart-MacDonald Manufacturing Company, Inc.