Richard Katz
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Richard Katz's Discussions

String height
4 Replies

How high should the string be at the 12th fret in inches (not mm)? Using nylon strings here.

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Field Sep 5, 2016.

S.S. Stewart fretboard lengths
9 Replies

I have two S.S. Stewart banjos. Both are Special Thoroughbreds.One has a fretboard length of 19 3/4" and the other is 19".Both have 22 frets.Was there a reason for this?Just struck me as oddContinue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Steve Harrison Jul 8, 2016.

Existing S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbreds
7 Replies

Has anyone ever compiled a list of existing S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbreds? Perhaps a serial number listing. Would be interesting to see how many have survived. Thanks!

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joel Hooks Apr 30, 2016.

Classic banjo serial numbers
4 Replies

I find it interesting the S.S. Stewart Co. did not keep accurate serial numbers considering how detailed Stewart himself seemed to be. Other companies such as A.C. Fairbanks, Bacon, and others seemed…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Richard Katz Mar 27, 2016.

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Latest Activity

John Field replied to Richard Katz's discussion String height
"Joel....agreed...the "high action, low bridge" set up is how I intend to string the SSS Orchestra I'm trying to restore right now."
Sep 5, 2016
Joel Hooks replied to Richard Katz's discussion String height
"It is not fair to compare the banjos built by FVE's hands to others, specially SSS banjos. SSS banjos (and others of that time) were setup for a high action with a low bridge.  Bridges 1/2" or less with 1/4" high at the 12th was…"
Sep 5, 2016
John Field replied to Richard Katz's discussion String height
"I have the ex-Bill Bowen flush-fret banjo (with neck built by Fred Van Eps on an SS Stewart Thoroughbred pot),  and have the string height (measured from the top of the fret to the centre of the string at the 12th. fret) at 1/8th inch. …"
Sep 4, 2016
Joel Hooks replied to Richard Katz's discussion String height
"Most of mine are about 1/4" or slightly higher.  My Van Eps is 3/16" but that one is at a different level than my others."
Sep 4, 2016
Richard Katz posted a discussion

String height

How high should the string be at the 12th fret in inches (not mm)? Using nylon strings here.
Sep 3, 2016
Richard Katz commented on Richard Katz's photo
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1885 map showing the Stewart factory.

"You can view the full map at: http://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/zoom/20619. It is an Insurance Map of the City of Philadelphia, 1897. It is on the Old City Coffee Shop website at the "Our Cafe" tab under "221 Church Streets…"
Jul 30, 2016
Joel Hooks commented on Richard Katz's photo
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1885 map showing the Stewart factory.

"Cool!  Is there more of this map?  It would be neat to see who was across the street.  It is convenient to have a box factory a few doors down too."
Jul 30, 2016
Richard Katz posted a photo

1885 map showing the Stewart factory.

An interesting map from 1885 showing the location of the S.S. Stewart banjo factory on Church Street in Philadelphia. The building now houses the Old City coffee shop.
Jul 29, 2016
Richard Katz commented on Richard Katz's photo
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S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred

"Well, I just don't look at it. Too mesmerizing!"
Jul 20, 2016
thereallyniceman commented on Richard Katz's photo
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S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred

"I am humbled :-) Of course, a bow-tie and banjo are compulsory for classic style! The MOP is beautiful, if migraine provoking, on that lovely banjo :-)"
Jul 19, 2016
Richard Katz posted a photo

S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred

Enjoying my newly acquired S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred banjo. Bow tie in honor of the Reallyniceman!
Jul 19, 2016
John Cohen and Richard Katz are now friends
Jul 16, 2016
Richard Katz replied to John Cohen's discussion Fred Bacon's custom Silver Bell No. 4
"Glad your are the caretaker of this beautiful and historic instrument. Fred would be proud!"
Jul 10, 2016
Steve Harrison replied to Richard Katz's discussion S.S. Stewart fretboard lengths
"As a bit of extra info on this issue, last year, I had to make a new fret board for a banjo I was restoring and rather than doing the maths myself to calculate the fret distances, I found quite a few websites that did it all for me, all that was…"
Jul 8, 2016
Richard Katz replied to Richard Katz's discussion S.S. Stewart fretboard lengths
"Thanks for the clarification. I always wondered about this and now I know. It's so nice to have experts available to answer my questions. Much appreciated."
Jul 6, 2016
thereallyniceman replied to Richard Katz's discussion S.S. Stewart fretboard lengths
"I think this sums it all up for you Richard, but taking it one step further, if there were NO frets on the neck (a fretless banjo) the bridge can sit anywhere on the vellum for the best tone to suit your ear. The spacing on the fingerboard to play…"
Jul 6, 2016

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