17 October 2021

More on the Gold Tone 'Bluegrass Heart' banjo

On 10 September the BIB reported on the announcement by the Gold Tone Music Group of the release of their newest banjo: the Mastertone™ 'Bluegrass Heart' Béla Fleck signature model. It is scheduled for release early in 2022, and can be pre-ordered through the Gold Tone website. In addition to the details given there, readers who are interested in this instrument should consider having a look at two discussions on Banjo Hangout.

The first, 'The real lowdown on the upcoming Gold Tone OB-Béla "Bluegrass Heart"', opens with detailed statements by Wayne Rogers, president of Gold Tone Instruments, and Marc Horowitz, originator of the project to produce this instrument. These, amplified in response to questions, make it clear that choices were made about every part of the banjo in order to meet Béla Fleck's stringent requirements for a touring instrument that would, in effect, replicate his irreplaceable main banjo.

The second discussion, 'Bela Fleck banjo specs', considers how far Fleck's individual requirements as embodied in this instrument (in details such as string spacing and bridge height) relate to those of other players, and to personal playing styles.

© Richard Hawkins

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