From Rick, North Carolina...
WOW is not good
enough to describe the sound that this ring
produces! It delivers unsurpassed tone and volume with ease. You were
Ron, this ring is miles and miles ahead of anything out there. The
notes up the
neck are so big and fat. The decay time and response is just perfect. I
wait to play it with the band. Do you have two more nickel rings
could ship to me? I have a 1937 TB-75 and a 1934 TB-3 that
these rings in them. Thanks for putting the real thing out for us
enjoy! By the way the gold plating matched my Granada really well!
From Mike Casey, Texas
Ron and Paul,
Whoooo Weeeee, Son! I
was not expecting it to sound so great right out
of the box. I've had the ring in about 35 minutes. I have had to keep
tensioning the head a little as it all settles in. When I get it all
in just right, it is a bonafide "chicken killer" banjo. This title is
reserved for banjos that will knock a chicken graveyard dead at 30
Paul and I talked last night for more than an hour about banjos and
rings and set up. He confirmed some of my thoughts and some of my
suspicions and told me things I'd always wanted to know, but no one
knew would tell me. Its like they were guarding the secret of the
universe or something. Paul isn't like that. He didn't treat me like
that just fell off of the turnip wagon. I appreciated that. He is the
man I like to deal with.
Pass this note on to him as I know he will want
know my first impressions of the Hopkin's full flathead ring. This is
only and I mean the only tone ring I have ever used that met my
across the board. I have never owned a pre-war banjo. I have only
This Hopkins ring makes my new Gibson Granada sound like a Gibson
Granada should sound. The sound is big and sweet up and down the neck
an even volume and tonal quality. It is as close to a pre war as I've
had and I mean that sincerely. When a banjo sounds this good after 35
minutes you have to wonder what it will do in a year or two. I don't
like I have to force anything out of it. Its already there and waiting.
As Paul and I talked I realized I set my banjos up just like he does
down to using the McPeake bridge. I tighten the head to a G# and I put
action on 8/64 ths at the12th fret. I use the thicker Huber WeatherKing
head and Paul uses the regular. I felt like it calmed down the banjo
the old ring in it. The original Gibson tone ring was a squeeze on fit
it was very difficult to get off. I went ahead and sanded the rim
the Hopkins was a firm slip on. It won't fall off when turned upside
but you can pull the ring off now without getting both feet and both
into the act. That is the only alteration I did to the banjo.
is as it came from the factory. The ring fit as advertised on the top
the side. I know the ring fit makes a difference in sound, but it would
never account for the difference I'm hearing.
The banjo sounds incredible. I took the rings to my post office scales
weighed them. The Gibson ring weighed in at 3 pounds 4.9 ounces. This
the second gold plated Gibson ring I've had that weighed in at 3 Lbs.
ounces. The Hopkins weighed in at 3 pounds 1.3 ounces. I believe that
what you said you all were shooting for. I see what he means about the
different angle on the face. It puts the angle up toward the head a bit
more than is standard. The Gibson ring has a totally different sound.
does not have the full bore bass and rich tone this ring gives off. The
Gibson is more treble oriented. The bass this Hopkin's ring gets is
When I was messing with the Huber rings I wanted them to sound
better than the Gibson rings. I really did. I was disappointed. In my
opinion they just didn't sound much better than the stock ring. I wound
putting my Gibson rings back in. I'm not saying these Gibson and
rings aren't good quality. I'm just saying they don't satisfy me like
Hopkins ring does. I can see why the people who know banjos like them
I will mess with it a little more and then let it rest overnight. It
probably seat in some tonight. Otherwise I'd be up all night and both
wife and dog would have murder on their minds for sure. I'll take it
to Mike Fuller's tomorrow and see if the folks like the sound. I won't
them anything until they get to hear it. I want to see if they are as
favorably impressed as I am. I am going to have to take a second job so
can get me a couple more of these. I'll have to get one engraved like a
and one like an 18. I can't imagine a better sounding tone ring. Thanks
million for all your patience with my questions. I appreciate it. This
a tone ring that makes a big difference.
The Banjo Tone Lab
From Cap Spence, Florida
I must tell you the Hopkins tone ring is everything
you said it
be. As you know, I installed a Chrome Model flathead ring, SN#118, in
1932 TB-4 one-piece flange conversion. Although I have only had a
chance to play it for 3 days now, I like
more each time. Can't wait to hear it after several months/years. The
banjo was already a fine sounding instrument, but the Hopkins
as given it an additional depth of tone and increased volume. In
addition, I had Jimmy Fee lean into it pretty hard and its tone
not seem to suffer in any way. Is there any way that I could bribe you
two not to make any more? Or
maybe just for us? Great job. Nice box. Please pass on my remarks and
give my regards to Paul.
And this followup from Rick in North
Good Morning Ron,
I couldn't ask for anything more from the banjo, it
sounds fantastic. It
reproduces my musical ideas just the way I think they should sound. The
tone is very rich and warm with lots of volume if needed - I love it! I
can't wait to try the Ni rings! Thanks again Ron.
Have a great weekend.
Revised: 11/05/2017 ndn