The Gary Price "Classic" Tone Ring
A very special new tone ring from Gary Price, PhD.
If you have been playing the banjo for any length of time at all, you are probably familiar with the name "Gary Price." Gary is known far and wide as a man who makes high quality banjo and mandolin tailpieces. He is also very well respected as a luthier, both in the fields of banjos and mandolins. He is, of course, the designer and inventor of the Price "Straightline" Tailpiece.
Gary also designs tone rings. This is the first of his tone rings that I have actually tested. Gary has taken the classic flathead tone ring, and by making some modifications to it, has changed the way that the banjo sounds. By making a few subtle changes in the tone ring, he has increased the effective vibrating head area slightly.
I had heard great things about these tone rings, and after a long wait, which was entirely my fault, I must add, I finally got to try one out.
I'll say that again.
The test banjo I put this in (sunken birch Tony Pass rim) has excellent bass response, which one would expect from a banjo with a larger head area. There is also apparently a bit more volume -- I can't be certain of that part, because volume is very easy to change. But the power is definitely there. I was also amazed at the clarity up the neck, and the amount of "pop" and "bite."
It weighs in at 3 lbs. 2.3 oz. It has a very unusual tonal structure when struck, giving an F#, a G# and a C#.
I'm going to keep this tone ring in this banjo for a few more days and play it again. I'll let you know what I find, Meanwhile, you should call or e-mail Gary to get the details on this ring. Gary's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
His web site is http://www.telepath.com/~ghprice/
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