I’m at the point where I’m daydreaming of a new banjo. I even have a budget in mind. Naturally, there are several banjos from which to choose, and even variations within a particular model. Sooner or later it’s going to come down to which one “sounds best.” Which brings up the question, “What does a banjo sound like?”
I spent decades recording sound, so when I hear someone talk of the "classic pre-war Gibson sound, I ask myself, “Which sound?”
Was it the sound heard over a Philco AM radio with a three-inch speaker? Or was it the sound in the high school gym when the tour bus came to town? Was it the sound of the 78 rpm record, or the later 33 1/3 pressing? Was it the sound recorded with a carbon ribbon microphone or an early Shure?
I dunno, but so many people seem to be smitten by “that sound” and have to have more of it. Steve Martin tells how he was smitten by "that sound"when he heard the Kingston Trio. For me it was the first time I heard a record of F&S with “Cripple Creek” back in 1967.
Earl worked his magic on this child, too.
Just what does a banjo sound like?