Sponsored By
 
Gold Tone “Bluegrass Heart” Béla Fleck
 
Peghead Nation banjo instructor Wes Corbett demonstrates Béla Fleck’s new signature model.
December 13, 2021
 

Béla Fleck’s vintage Gibson Style 75 is a legendary instrument, having been his banjo of choice since the 1980s. Consisting of a 1937 pot assembly and a neck built by luthier John Monteleone (who is known for his archtop guitars), the banjo is a unique instrument that has long been coveted by pickers everywhere. Having previously collaborated on a baritone banjo, Gold Tone and Béla began discussing the creation of a replica instrument, the result of which is the recently released “Bluegrass Heart” Béla Fleck signature model. Peghead Nation Contemporary Bluegrass Banjo instructor Wes Corbett had a chance to check out the second prototype of the model, and in this video, he discusses and demonstrates the instrument. 

One of the distinguishing features of the neck on Béla’s original banjo is that it is much wider and more radiused than most five-string banjo necks. Gold Tone replicated these dimensions, resulting in a width of 1⅜ inches at the nut, combined with a scale length of 26¼ inches. Built out of mahogany, the neck has an ebony fingerboard that features modified “flying eagle” inlays with a red heart at the 12th fret. Béla requested brass buttons on the Rickard tuning machines so they have the same weight as his own Keith tuners. The instrument’s pot and resonator are based on Gold Tone’s OB-3 model, and have a one-piece die-cast flange, a flattop, no-hole bell bronze tone ring, and a three-ply Canadian maple rim. The banjo also includes a Little Mountain–style armrest. 

Wes points out that the instrument also replicates the setup of Béla’s original, which includes a slightly steeper neck angle than usual, resulting in a much higher bridge, which in turn yields a different tension of the head. 

“Having played Béla’s main banjo a number of times, this does an incredible job replicating that,” says Wes. “This is a setup that you really can’t buy standard from anywhere else, so if you’re interested in Béla’s sound and Béla’s setup, look no further than this banjo!” 

To study banjo with Wes, enroll in his Contemporary Bluegrass Banjo course on Peghead Nation!

SPECS: Five-string banjo. 11-inch three-ply maple rim with 24 brackets. One-piece die-cast flange. Flattop, no-hole bell bronze tone ring. Remo head. Mahogany neck. Ebony fretboard with zero fret. 1⅜-inch nut-width. 26 ¼-inch scale. 10:1 ratio Rickard Cyclone tuners with brass buttons. Little Mountain–style armrest. Presto by Prucha tailpiece. $3,699.99. Goldtone.com

Related New Gear Posts
 

Gold Star GF-100JD Bluegrass Album Banjo

Bill Evans demos a banjo inspired by a legendary RB-3.

Read More

 

Deering Rustic Wreath

New five-string banjo combines vintage and contemporary features.

Read More

 

Deering Tony Trischka Silver Clipper

Bill Evans demos the contemporary banjo master’s signature model.

Read More

 

Deering Artisan Goodtime Special Banjo

Bill Evans demos Deering’s newest Goodtime five-string banjo.

Read More

 

Deering Julia Belle Banjo

A unique low-tuned banjo inspired by John Hartford and co-designed by Alison Brown.

Read More

 

Deering Goodtime Six

A great six-string guitar-banjo with an affordable price.

Read More

 

Deering Goodtime Solana 6 Demo

Nylon strings give this guitar-banjo a warm sound.

Read More

 

Banjolit Dr. Arm

Peghead Nation banjo instructor Wes Corbett demonstrates his favorite armrest.

Read More

 

Deering Goodtime Tenor Banjo Ukulele

A well-made banjo uke with a powerful sound and built-in pickup.

Read More

 

Deering Goodtime Banjo Ukulele

Fusion of a concert ukulele and banjo results in a fresh sound.

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Adam Levy and Charlie Rauh | Collings Guitars
Acoustic guitar duo performs "Charlie Rich" on a pair of Collings instruments.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com