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Showing posts from October, 2012

Banjo Trends: Dobson Revival

Just like anything else, the craftsmanship of building a banjo goes through trends. The one that my banjo represents is what we'll call the Dobson Revival.

It would be difficult for me to pinpoint when this trend began because it predates my introduction to playing the instrument, but there are certain characteristics that seem to have become ubiquitous among today's banjo builders.

The Dobson family were major innovators in banjo construction during the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the mid-2000s, a renaissance emerged showcasing certain Dobson design hallmarks — some of which may actually have been those of the J.H. Buckbee Co., which manufactured most of the Dobson instruments, as well as other brands.

Dobson Tone Ring
Henry C. Dobson's 1881 "Silver Bell Patent" marked one of the first successful uses of a tone ring. In the mid-2000s, probably with the help of Adam Hurt, a few banjo builders reintroduced Dobson's tone system to modern players. Engineering …