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Tom Collin's Banjo Bolster Review Video

Check out Tom Collins' Video Review of the Banjo Bolster!

Hilarie Burhans' Banjo Bolster Review Video

Check out Hilarie Burhans' Video Review of the Banjo Bolster!

Introducing the Banjo Bolster!

The Banjo Bolster is a revolutionary, patent pending device that enhances an open back or resonator banjo’s tone by transparently removing undesirable overtones, while preserving the full power and frequency response of the instrument.

Banjo Bolster Hero Image for Home Page

Banjo Bolster Hero Image

Introducing the Banjo Bolster - Part 2

Easily adjust the amount of overtone removal by how the Banjo Bolster is positioned inside the banjo pot, thus providing a wide range of control and customization over your desired tone.

The Banjo Bolster can be quickly inserted, adjusted or removed and does not require any alteration to the instrument.

Designed to be discreet and not draw attention to itself, its original Autumn Brown color and sound wave pattern let the Banjo Bolster recede into the shadows, ensuring that attention remains on you and your banjo – where it should be!

Me Holding the Banjo - Home Page

The Banjo Bolster Inside aBanjo with a Renaissance Head

Customer Testimonial

I had read about the Banjo Bolster and watched Hilarie's (Hilarie Burhan) video and figured it was yet another gimmick.

Then I heard it being used at Clifftop. The player Bill, played with and without the device. The difference was remarkable. It sounded as if the Banjo Bolster vacuumed up all the weird overtones of his already lovely banjo and what emerged sounded clean and curiously a bit louder.

It ain't just a pair of underwear stuffed in the back. I ordered a couple.

- Tony S  Rockbridge County, Virginia

 

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Decorative Element

Don't Stuff It, BOLSTER IT!

Conventional stuffing methods focus on dampening the head’s vibrations in an effort to reduce unwanted overtones. Foam rubber, socks, rolled-up towels and other items are placed between the dowel stick and the underside of the banjo head.

Unfortunately, these methods have the unwanted side effect of reducing both the banjo’s volume and frequency response, often resulting in an overly compressed and flattened sound.

  

Customer Testimonial

“The Banjo Bolster is the fastest, most efficient and user-friendly approach I've ever come across to revive and beautify the sound of banjos; to fine-tune and enhance their expressive qualities. On several banjos with which I’ve tried it, the Banjo Bolster acts as a unique kind of acoustic equalizer and compressor - balancing the entire tonal range and refining the articulation of each instrument.

I love the way I can use the Banjo Bolster to control my banjos’ natural reverb, which on some of my instruments, overwhelms the fundamental tone, making it sound muddy and out of tune. The Banjo Bolster lets me easily control the reverberations, while maintaining the instrument's rich and resonant qualities. The improvement in tone is quite dramatic!

Some of my banjos have inconsistencies in volume from string to string. I've tried all kinds of stuffing, but it didn't help. The Banjo Bolster completely balances my string-to-string volume, much like a compressor used in audio recording, allowing me to dial-in the exact sound I want.

You ought to hear how this kitten can make your banjo purr, while preserving its full volume and tonal range. For such a reasonable price, Ric and Deb Hollander’s Banjo Bolster is a no-brainer!

I love where the Banjo Bolster is taking my music. It's become easier for me to get lost in my music, inspiring my playing to take on deeper levels of tonal nuance.

UPDATE:
Ric Hollander's claim is really quite extraordinary: "The Banjo Bolster... enhances a banjo’s tone by transparently removing undesirable overtones, while preserving the full power and frequency response of the banjo."  What has been surprisingly impressive to me is that Ric's claim is actually true; it's not an exaggeration. The Banjo Bolster is revolutionary in the ways it significantly enhances the tone of all my banjos. For sixty years I had been on what seemed like an endless search to beautify the sound of my banjos. The Banjo Bolster finally answered my search - taking me home to the sounds I had heard in my head, but could never quite pull out of my banjos.

Thanks, Ric and Deb. It's been worth the wait!

Paul Roberts  
(Paul Roberts was co-producer and sound engineer on Adam Hurt's groundbreaking solo album, Earth Tones. Paul Roberts has had a distinguished career as a pioneer music therapist and as a multi-instrumentalist performer who specializes in plucked string instruments from around the globe. Paul Roberts has worked closely with Gold Tone since 2008 as an independent retailer specializing in personalized service and custom orders.)

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Decorative Element

How is the Banjo Bolster Different from Conventional Stuffing Methods?

The Banjo Bolster consists of a cylindrical outer shell made from custom designed cotton poplin fabric and filled with polyester fibers.

Glamour Photo for Home Page

The Banjo Bolster

How is the Banjo Bolster Different from Conventional Stuffing Methods? - Part 2

By treating the banjo’s tone chamber (pot) as an acoustic space, the Banjo Bolster functions as a sound absorber, specifically targeting undesirable sonic energy caused by reflected sound.

As reflected sound enters the Banjo Bolster it is scattered and dissipated by the polyester fibers, significantly reducing their impact on the banjo’s tone.

"It works to an astonishing degree to damp the metallic overtones and not the musical ones -- and has virtually NOTHING in common with the sponges, rags, and socks that people stuff between the head and dowel stick or co-rod at the neck."

David Politzer  Pasadena, CA
(Banjo player and Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology. David was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David Gross and Frank Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics. He also does fascinating research into the physics of the banjo!)

Read David Politzer's Analysis of How the Banjo Bolster Works!

Customer Testimonials

“I've tried many ways to stuff things behind my banjo head on several banjos (including a stuffed animal, foam and sheepskin), but this soft device Ric and Deb developed is the best yet!

For years I’ve tried to control the over-sustain of my Gold Tone cello banjo via stuffing the back of the head with various materials. Ric shared a sound analysis to compare my banjo with and without the Banjo Bolster. I’m pleased how the Banjo Bolster makes such a difference. I get more clarity, yet maintain volume, enriching my iPhone recordings. Thanks for this creation of yours! I’m enjoying my cello banjo even more with it, truly!

I hope others give the Banjo Bolster a try if they're looking to improve tone, eliminate overtones, and want an opportunity to do some easy experiments on their banjos.”

- Janet Burton  Smartsville, CA

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Decorative Element

“I tend to be a sucker for every new banjo device I hear about, most of which don’t turn out to be nearly as good or useful as I thought they would be. But my experience with trying out the Banjo Bolster was pretty much the exact opposite of that scenario.

When I first heard about the Banjo Bolster, I have to admit that I was a complete skeptic. I couldn’t really see much point to it. But at least I was open-minded enough to give it a chance to see if I might possibly be wrong, though I was not expecting to be surprised. Yet, surprised I was, indeed!

I think this is one of the best innovations in banjo related technology to come along in a long time. Like the scoop at the high end of the neck that makes it easier to play directly over the neck and take advantage of the unique tonal qualities there, or Nylgut strings that allow you to get the tone and warmth of the banjo’s original gut strings without the hassles of actual gut, the Banjo Bolster makes it easier to get your banjo to sound its best, with the added versatility of easy re-positioning to find just the right sound for you.

Marc Nerenberg  Montreal West, Quebec

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Decorative Element

Configuring the Banjo Bolster

The flexibility of the Banjo Bolster enables it to be positioned so that all, none, or some of its length contacts the banjo head. The least amount of overtone removal is achieved when there is no contact with the head, and for many banjos this is the perfect configuration.

In contrast, when the entire length of the Banjo Bolster contacts the banjo head, maximum overtone removal is achieved.

This level of adjustability allows you, the banjo player, to attain your own unique tone and maximize the sonic potential of your banjo.

Once properly positioned, you can leave the Banjo Bolster inside your banjo for as long as desired. Its carefully crafted construction ensures that it gently holds its position until manually readjusted or removed and will not scratch or damage your banjo in any way.

Special Benefit for Banjos with Hide Heads

The adjustability of the Banjo Bolster will be of particular significance if you perform in outdoor venues, especially if your banjo has a hide head. A quick adjustment will make it possible to increase or decrease overtone removal, allowing you to efficiently adapt to your changing playing environment while maintaining optimum tone.

Custom Made to Fit Your Banjo

Every Banjo Bolster is custom made to fit your banjo perfectly! All we need is your banjo’s measured lengthand dowel stick type.

Determining your banjo’s measured length is quick and easy. Simply measure the length of your dowel stick or coordinator rod(s). Please see the How to Measure Your Banjo page for helpful instructions.

Huber - Home Page

Huber Bluegrass Banjo

Ready to Maximize the Sonic Potential of Your Banjo?

  • Transparently remove unwanted overtones while maintaining your banjo's full power and tonal response.

  • Configure the Banjo Bolster to achieve YOUR ideal sound.

  • Works wonderfully in both open back and resonator banjos.

  • Purchase three or more Banjo Bolsters in one order and get free shipping. (US orders only)

  • We want you to be 100% delighted with your Banjo Bolster and offer a No Hassle Return Policy.

  • Handmade in the USA from 100% American materials and the highest quality European thread.

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