hoppers tradition banjo

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Bradford & Franzke Hawthorn® Hollywood Hills five-string resonator banjo

Our "Hollywood Hills" Style 4 walnut banjo was inspired when we heard sound clips of a very special 1929 Gibson, No Hole, "Fatboy rim" banjo now owned by Reuben Valles of Los Angeles. watch the video This banjo absolutely knocked us out and, as there are only a handful of these banjos known to be in existence, we decided to make one. We started with our Ozark Thunder, 3 pound, 8 ounce, No Hole flathead bronze tone ring, poured from a well-tested prewar alloy bronze formulation. Our colleague Randall Wyatt of Wyatt Banjos in Searcy, Arkansas, had us re-machine a standard flange so that he could CNC cut a Brian Sims three-ply Rock maple rim into a "Fatboy" configuration. Mark Franzke inlaid the period correct marquetry pattern into the back of the Jimmy Cox burl walnut resonator. Sticking with tradition, we used chrome plated hardware. Randall Wyatt (inlay) and Ron Coleman of Nashville, Georgia, then built us a neck out of a beautiful piece of black walnut. Mark Franzke installed Keith D-tuners and Keith regular tuners and did his usual excellent job on fit and finish. Banjo setup guru Charlie Cushman of Cottontown, Tennessee, did the setup work, as he did on the original "Hollywood Hills," so named because owner Reuben Valles located the banjo in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, where it had resided for some years. Charlie installed an AMB head and his own hand made bridge. This gorgeous banjo is loud and resonant and has the sound you would expect from a No Hole, "Fatboy" rim banjo.

  • Black walnut neck "Double Cut" peghead

  • Jimmy Cox burled walnut resonator with period correct twin inlayed "style 4" purfling rings

  • Ozark Thunderâ„¢ "No hole" flathead tone ring

  • Brian Simms "fat boy" maple rim

  • Keith tuners

  • Chrome plated hardware

  • Dual action truss rod

  • Dual coordinator rods

  • Rosewood fretboard with classic "Reno Pattern" Flying Eagle

  • Full binding on resonator and neck

  • Charlie Cushman bridge and AMB head

  • Presto tailpiece

  • Premium Hardshell Case or optional Custom Tweed Embroidered Ameritage Hardshell case

  • Full Warranty to original purchaser

  • Hollywood Hills price is $4500