As is obvious from the title of my post, I need/want a new head for my banjeaurine, it currently has a fibreskin head (I think!) thick and rough to the touch but, worse ! I noticed a tiny rip in it near the tailpiece so, I am a bit afraid of tightening it too much. what would be a good choice ? it is a 12 1/4" size so not gonna be spoiled for choice probably ! All my other banjos have top frosted Remo which I like, should I be looking at something different for a banjeaurine ? Bob at Brown Dog Banjos has a huge selection of heads in all shapes and sizes and, he will probably be my first port of call.

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I have never known a Fiberskyn head to rip. If that's what it is it will likely  have "Fiberskyn" printed on it somewhere.. It will be smooth and shiny on the underside.  Deering and Elite sell an equivalent head that doesn't say Fiberskyn which is a trademark name of the Remo company,  I can't tell from your Calliope Rag video for sure but it looks like you might have a natural vellum on there, an animal skin.  If Brown Dog has all sizes then you are all set. Otherwise try Bob Smakula in West Virginia. He has many sizes.  If I were replacing a banjeurine head with a synthetic head I'd probably go with a Renaissance Head or Amber Elite (trade names for essentially the same thing). Fiberskyn might be too dark sounding for such a big pot. It's hard to predict perfectly.

maybe it is an old skin head, I am not too on top of this kind of stuff always having used and liked the top frosted Remo heads, just a bit of a drag  having to consider changing the head so soon after acquiring it ! I like snap and pop from my banjos but obviously this little thing is yappy like a little dog already being tuned so high, if I can find a Remo I hope it doesn't spoil things by brightening it up too much !

I am not at all sure I would mount a plastic head on a thin rim. I love Fiberskyn (I have it on two Bacon FF Pros) but it is quite stiff and strong, I have to be careful not to put too much tension on it...and I've bent hooks and stripped threads in the past.

The Renaissance or Amber Elite are better (in my mind) on thin rims as they are slightly more flexible...but they'll also be brighter than the Fiberskyn. Frankly, I prefer the sound of Fiberskyn.

Best (my opinion, of course) would be a nice bit of standard calfskin. I agree with Jody, your video makes it look like it currently has calfskin mounted. I also have never seen a rip in Fiberskyn. I've seen them worn so badly that the fiber layer is gone, there's clear plastic underneath.

Banjoists are funny, I never liked top-frosted heads, all my BG banjos wear bottom-frosted. I guess I don't like the scratchiness of top-frosted under my picks.

I agree with all of that.  And also: Because the Ren head sounds brighter it is likely to compensate for potential tubbiness from the large size pot. 

Trapdoor2 said:

I am not at all sure I would mount a plastic head on a thin rim. I love Fiberskyn (I have it on two Bacon FF Pros) but it is quite stiff and strong, I have to be careful not to put too much tension on it...and I've bent hooks and stripped threads in the past.

The Renaissance or Amber Elite are better (in my mind) on thin rims as they are slightly more flexible...but they'll also be brighter than the Fiberskyn. Frankly, I prefer the sound of Fiberskyn.

Best (my opinion, of course) would be a nice bit of standard calfskin. I agree with Jody, your video makes it look like it currently has calfskin mounted. I also have never seen a rip in Fiberskyn. I've seen them worn so badly that the fiber layer is gone, there's clear plastic underneath.

Banjoists are funny, I never liked top-frosted heads, all my BG banjos wear bottom-frosted. I guess I don't like the scratchiness of top-frosted under my picks.

The strings are tuned high in pitch but not high in tension. The scale is so short so the tension should be similar to that of a full scale banjo.

nick stephens said:

maybe it is an old skin head, I am not too on top of this kind of stuff always having used and liked the top frosted Remo heads, just a bit of a drag  having to consider changing the head so soon after acquiring it ! I like snap and pop from my banjos but obviously this little thing is yappy like a little dog already being tuned so high, if I can find a Remo I hope it doesn't spoil things by brightening it up too much !

I am not at all sure what I will be able to buy that will fit anyway, the head currently on it could well be as you guys describe, as I said I dont have a great deal of experience with heads other than Remo, I have used them exclusively for years just because well..... if it aint broke ! plus running around gigging they require zero maintenance . I guess I will have to find out what is available, the head currently on it is kinda rough on both sides and, if it turns out to be "natural" maybe I will try to repair the little hole in it.

Repairing a rip is actually a viable fix in some instances. It won't last forever but it can last a year or more. Remo, by the way, is the manufacturer of FiberSkyn heads as well as of the frosted top heads you've been using. Fiberskyn is a laminate of two obviously different materials. In humid climates it is absolutely the best thing for the banjos for which it is suited. On other banjos it is a tone killer. At the moment I have some banjos with Fiberskyn heads, some with animal hides and some with Elite or Ren heads. Remo frosted heads have not given me what I wanted... on *these* particular banjos.  I played other banjos with that kind of head and it worked great.  

nick stephens said:

I am not at all sure what I will be able to buy that will fit anyway, the head currently on it could well be as you guys describe, as I said I dont have a great deal of experience with heads other than Remo, I have used them exclusively for years just because well..... if it aint broke ! plus running around gigging they require zero maintenance . I guess I will have to find out what is available, the head currently on it is kinda rough on both sides and, if it turns out to be "natural" maybe I will try to repair the little hole in it.

I used to own this banjo, it's a skin head. Glad its gone to a good home, kind of sorry I let it go now. 

did ya Andrew ? did I buy it from you ? 

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