This has only happened one other time in the 24+ years I've been playing banjo, but tonight I blew the head apart on my Whyte Laydie! Any recommendations for a new banjo head?

Thanks and Happy Holidays to all!

Greg

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Ouch, painful ! 

I have had a few calf skin vellums bust but only when the banjo was stored in their case, for some reason. Was the tail piece a midge too close to the vellum and rubbing it through over time?  In the UK is it usually so damp that on the rare days of dryness I guess the skins can dry out and pop... or by storing the banjo too close to a radiator which is what I did with a beautiful Top Tension CE Paragon... I split the resonator right across the back :-((  

I was very young though and it was a "special" made in black ebony finish by CE for the Preston Police Band and had just bought it ;-(((  It was "mint" :-(((   .... I can't go on as I am filling up with tears !

Season's Greetings to you too Greg.

Back to a new calfskin vellum is what I would recommend, as a Whyte Laydie deserves it and if it lasts 24 years you will get your money's worth.

Oh boy, that is not a happy sight!

You have a lot of options to try Greg.  Write Bob Smakula and get several different kinds.  Try a renaissance, bottom frosted, fiberskyn, white opaque (but not coated).  I think you are limited to Remo products in the size you need.

Hi Greg, regarding Remo sizes, Brown Dog Banjos in the UK supply the various types of heads in sizes of 1/16" increments from 8" up to 12 2/16". I've a number of vintage banjos of non standard head sizes and have always managed to find ones to fit...Steve.
Joel Hooks said:

Oh boy, that is not a happy sight!

You have a lot of options to try Greg.  Write Bob Smakula and get several different kinds.  Try a renaissance, bottom frosted, fiberskyn, white opaque (but not coated).  I think you are limited to Remo products in the size you need.

I've been using Bernunzio's calfskin "medium grade" heads for many years. They're inexpensive @ $18 and very serviceable. If you call them, they'll sort thru for any variable you specify (thickness, color, etc.).

Elderly Instruments also carries calfskin...even cheaper! They have a lot of goatskin heads too (I'm not a fan of goatskin).

Of course, both carry Remo heads in many diameters and many finishes.

If you don't have a flesh-hoop, your "big box" stores like Lowe's and Home Depot carry 8ga copper ground wire...which makes great flesh hoops. Some carry 9ga galvanized steel...also great for flesh hoops and less likely to turn green...

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