Watch us refurbish Hank Smith's banjo in 4 minutes

by Jamie Latty

When you play your banjo as much as Hank Smith does, sometimes you have to send it home for some TLC and a good clean! Which is exactly what Hank did in January of 2021.

Hank is one of those players who is constantly on what I call the 'pursuit of tone'. That is, seeking out and researching any and all tweaks, adjustments, and modifications that may help in his quest for what he feels is the perfect banjo tone. Tone, in and of itself is a strange term because it is so subjective and quite often lives solely in the mind of the player, only to be unlocked by a long journey of trial and error. Patience is key, but the rewards are great. I think it is safe to say that Hank just made significant progress when he received his banjo back over Presidents Day weekend.


While it was here, Hank opted in to upgrade his '06 tone ring to a Kruger tone ring. The result, as he says, is a much bigger, fuller richer sound. He said, an hour or so after getting it back, "the warmth and further depth of tone is unreal. It's literally everything I love about my Maple Blossom and Jens' {Kruger] main banjo". 

After he received his newly refurbished Maple Blossom back from the factory, he gave us an exclusive listen to a new piece he had been working on during quarantine. Please enjoy Hank Smith playing his new "Prelude in A♭."


At Hank's request we also gave it a full stainless steel refret, and cleaned up every last part we could find. We topped it off with a matched maple armrest. Just to give you an idea of how excited he was, this is the actual text I received just after he had opened the box.  

hank smith text messageAll the work was carried out by our banjo technician, Sam Miller who has built quite the reputation for his impeccable fret work.  If you are interested in having us look over your banjo, head over to our Service Center for more information.


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