Elite Amber Banjo Heads

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11" low crown

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


6 or more $17.25
12 or more $14.87

11" high crown

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


6 or more $15.63
12 or more $13.47

12" high crown

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


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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  • 4.79 average rating from 14 reviews
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Great sound

(Customer's Reviews)

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


Not quite the Elite but okay

(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.


banjo parts

(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.

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