Stelling now uses the Tony Pass 600TS old wood rim as standard equipment on all new Stelling banjos. Retrofits for older Stellings are also available.
This wood has been lying on the bottom of Lake Superior and other bodies of water for over 100 years and could have been hundreds of years old when it was cut down. After a special kiln drying process, this wood is in better than new condition (acoustically speaking) because of the age of the wood combined with the microbiological action to which it was subjected for so many years. It’s been said that Stradivarius took advantage of the same process for his violin wood, but for a much shorter time (perhaps only a few years). The result in a new (or even used) Stelling banjo is awesome. It’s been compared to prewar banjos in such a superior way for tone and volume that we now use these rims as standard equipment on all new Stellings.
Tony Pass “Old Wood” Block Rim Testimonials:
“I’ve always loved my Stelling, but this [old wood rim] puts it over the top!”
Tony Trischka, Fair Lawn, NJ
“The new old wood rim gives my Murphy Flower (custom Stelling) a richer, deeper tone while still keeping that sharp, bright Stelling edge that I love. It’s also still one of the loudest banjos on the planet!”
Murphy Henry, Winchester, VA
“I expect my banjo will still improve over time, but I must say the old wood rim makes a significant difference in the tone of the banjo. It has more power… a clearer sound, and it is balanced between bass and treble… It has guts and tone. What more can you ask? I’m happy… I can highly recommend the Tony Pass rim.”
Bob Kelly, Ft. Worth, TX
“I could not believe that my Stelling could be made to sound better than it already was. The Old Wood rim has greatly enhanced the tone and clarity of this banjo. I just can’t put it down. Many thanks to you.
Larry Wisse, Marysville, OH
“Thanks for the quick response in getting my banjo back to me so fast. I played it a few hours this weekend, and my initial reaction is that the Old Wood sound is an order of magnitude better than the previous 20 year old rim. I really notice the clarity when playing up the neck; the tone in the higher registers is much more clear. I’m really juiced about the instrument, and look forward to figuring out how to play it to get the best tone.”
Joe Page, Round Hill, VA
“I got my banjo yesterday. Thanks for your speedy service. The volume is greater than before, but still not too loud for me. The sustain is much better than on any other banjo I have heard. The tone is clearer and more crisp at every fret. Pulloffs are sharper and clearer. Slide tones are clear and audible at all points. My 3rd and 4th strings have come alive and have a more pleasing tone than I thought possible. In short, I love my Staghorn more than ever and am glad I got in before the rush that you are bound to see…”
Joe Fielding, Dallas, OR
“I received the rim yesterday and put it into my old [Jan. 1978] Golden Cross. Unexpectedly, it has a much mellower and warmer sound than the old rim, and expectedly, a lot of volume and sustain. With the former rim, I had to adjust the head tension, tailpiece… to get a balanced sound (depth, punch, etc.), but with this rim, the banjo seems to make an open sound, no matter what the adjustment is. Fitting to the older tone ring and flange is perfect!”
Masahiro Soutsu, Tokyo, Japan