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1930s double bass banjo:

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by PixelPyrus, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. PixelPyrus


    Oct 28, 2017
    oh god , That thing is "HUGE"

    This was a fail attemept to make double bass banjo , See... Gibson has always sucked!
    The bass was to big , the frets were too wide , and it sounded too deep to atleast hear a note.
  2. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    A trumpet player made his own and had wanted me to play it on a riverboat gig. I couldn't make the gig and am still not sure if i dodged a bullet or missed an opportunity!
  3. The Gibson sounds fine here:

    This guy made one that is more of double bass:
    Winoman likes this.
  4. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    my daughter's ancestor, posing for the newspaper with a few of his creations

    Winoman likes this.
  5. PixelPyrus


    Oct 28, 2017
    Well , Mines SUCKS!

    I rented 2 double banjos , The first one was a real beauty , but the second on , nah , The frets were to wide and i couldn't tune it , and it was missing a string!
  6. PixelPyrus


    Oct 28, 2017
    Your sis must be proud.
  7. this one looks easier to play ...

    VictorW126 likes this.
  8. farace


    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
  9. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Old Banjozilla is 25 years old now. I finished building him in 1992, and did a major rebuild in 2006. He's got a quiet comfortable spot down here in the Secret Underground Lab, in the warehouse bay right next to my office. In November, I wheeled him over to the Steam/Steampunk festival here in Fillmore. I spent an afternoon answering questions and posing for pictures with him.

    Banjozilla's own web page is still up and running: Bass Banjo

    IMG_3677B. IMG_3681B.

    Over all these years, I'm surprised that very few people have tried to build similar instruments. I'm only aware of two guys who tried to build a few upright bass banjos to sell, and I believe they both shut down after a few years. And I know of maybe six guys who have built their own, using bass drum shells and homemade necks. I haven't seen anyone else take it to the level I did, making a complete instrument from scratch. There is some small market for them. I've had steady requests to develop out a production version to build and sell. I could probably sell 10 of them without too much trouble. But I'm just too busy with all my other instrument lines. Maybe someday.

    Meanwhile, Banjozilla isn't lonely.....One night, I thought I heard some Pattycake with roots and fifths going on....

  10. ron berry

    ron berry Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2018
    self employed sole trader
    is my wordpress site for my luthiery school has details of the four I built and some history and theory on the acoustics of getting them to sound good on the double bass banjo page here
    Double Bass Banjo
    I have advised many builders who have asked for advice on copying the design and had many others embaress me with the only sincere form of flattery - imitation.
    dbb22. dbb4.
    Mine sound awesome btw, fatter and louder with a quicker attack with a big thunk in the slap tone, here is a couple of pictures of the best sounding one Fatima with a 40" marching drum as the resonator, it dwarfs the 22";
    [​IMG] fatima.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2019
    farace and Bruce Johnson like this.

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