D P Hopkins Banjos

Paul Hopkins does it again!

There are a lot of people calling themselves banjo builders these days. Some folks have the erroneous idea that you can just kludge together a bunch of random parts and bingo! you have a banjo. And if you pick the right parts, you will have a banjo that looks and sounds like a pre-war Mastertone®. Friends, it just ain't so. It's not just a matter of putting the right parts together. You have to put the parts together right. (pardon the bad grammar!)

Paul Hopkins has been working on this project for a couple of years now. He has been researching banjo tone rings and banjo building for a very long time. He has a dossier on tone ring formulas that you would not even believe. And he has been "doctoring" banjos a lot longer than I have. So when I had an opportunity to get one of his new banjos, I got right in line.

My new D P Hopkins banjo arrived yesterday -- it has a mahogany neck and resonator, a special submerged wood rim, the Hopkins Traditional Cut full flathead tone ring, chromed parts, and it sounds like a million bucks! It is quite powerful, with a bass that snarls at you. The treble is as clear as a bell.

They have a new inlay pattern as well, called the Holly Leaf Pattern. It is similar to H&F, but closer to that which you find on a model 6.

All the work on these banjos is done at their shop facilities near Shelbyville, Tennessee.

You can visit their web site at www.dphopkinsbanjo.com.

Photos of the D P Hopkins banjo

The Headpiece

Front view, and the neck.

Side view showing engraving and binding

The purfling rings and resonator binding.

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©2006 Bill Palmer. All rights reserved. For permission to republish contact Bill Palmer. The opinions expressed on this page are strictly Bill Palmer's. Mastertone, Stelling and the other brand and model names are the property of the manufacturers and other people who own them.