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Elite Amber Banjo Heads

4.5
  • 18 Reviews
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11" low crown

Item # 0498-L
In stock, ready to ship!

$19.83

6 or more $17.25
12 or more $14.87
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11" high crown

Item # 0498-H
In stock, ready to ship!

$17.96

6 or more $15.63
12 or more $13.47
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12" high crown

Item # 0499-H
In stock, ready to ship!

$22.73

6 or more $19.78
12 or more $17.05
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Elite Amber Banjo Heads

About This Item

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.

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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4.5
  • 4.61 average rating from 18 reviews
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5.0

Made the banjo sound good again.

By
(Customer's Reviews)


The tolerance difference in 11 inch pots makes for a little finessing this head into position; but it did sit down properly with the tension ring and the banjo sounds beautiful again.

5.0

First time customer for banjo products.

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This head sounds exactly like the description and looks great as well. Fast shipping as well.
Thanks,

1.0

Elite Amber Banjo Head

By
(Customer's Reviews)


A very good compromise for an alternative to a skin head in my old arch top Gibson. Nice tone in any humidity. So far, it is very durable.

5.0

Elite  Amber head

By
(Customer's Reviews)


In my opinion, this is the best all around head there is. It has an expressive sound and can add great sensitivity to even an archtop Mastertone, while being great for openbacks as well.

Makes you smile.

5.0

Great sound

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This was a replacement head on a 12" fretless banjo and gave it a great new life!

4.0

Not quite the Elite but okay

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I got these because now they are the only thing offered in high crown. I used to use the Elite, or Fiberskyn before that, and loved the tone for my archtops. Appearance too. However I had uneven tension in making them work. So I tried the Ambers, out of curiosity and necessity, and they're okay. I get a plasticky sound from the high end, although the low end and midrange are good. Don't like the translucent look though; nobody wants to see my tone ring and tension rod. I wish the Elites would come in low crown but these are okay. I will try other heads to see if any are better.

5.0

banjo parts

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I have been buying banjo stuff from Stew Macs for over 20 years & have nothing but praise for their super service. Congratulations for your great service. Photo is Irish tenor, using 5 star heads.

5.0

What a Sound

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I can't really explain in words the tone of these heads. It is a wonderful banjo sound that makes you want to hear more, rather than slapping you in the face. I think we will use them on all our 5 and 6 string open back banjos from now on.

5.0

Balance of Tone... Strength of adjustment...

By
(Customer's Reviews)


It is a perfect fit for my 1920's SS Stewart tenor banjo... This surprised me... I say perfect, but time does funny things to banjo's... It took a lot of brute force to get it into the form the banjo has changed into... This head took extremely well to the contortions which at one point involved a hammer... After the tightening process was complete, everything looked like precision fit... As for the tone, I am amazed at the resonance and feel of it. It is warm and bright, but not annoying at all. If you are looking to tone down the brightness that makes most people want to smash banjos, but keep good tone, This is it...

4.0

Great tone but not built to last.

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I primarily work as a traditional jazz player but I also play old time clawhammer. I have found that the elite amber (also, apparently exactly the same as "Renaissance" heads) really are the best for getting that old, warm plunky sound you want when you are playing pre WWII genres. HOWEVER, they do not hold up to a lot of wear and tear. Before I switched to the eilte I was breaking a banjo head about once every two years, now it's about once every 4 months. That said, I play with a pick usually and play often very forcefully on a daily basis. I don't plan on ever switching from these things because the sound is just perfect without the hassle of a skin head (especially in an extremely humid climate with clubs that blast AC all the time), but I just thought it's worth the mention; these things do not last. But at 17 bucks a pop its worth it for me :)

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