Hawthorn banjos

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Bradford & Franzke Hawthorn® Bowtie five-string resonator banjo

There are mahogany Bowties on the market built as Gibson did on the vast majority of its RB-250 Bowties from the 50s and 60s. We build our own Hawthorn mahogany Bowties but nobody else has a production model maple Bowtie of maple of which we are aware. We are told that Gibson built a handful of maple Bowties but they are scarce as hen's teeth today.   We believe in fearless experimentation. Our maple Bowtie has a red maple neck and curly maple resonator finished in a high gloss sunburst or "darkburst" finish. Players who have played our maple Bowties have raved about the tone and volume. If you order one with an ebony fretboard, you really have a screamer. Our favorite tone ring/wood rim combo is the popular Tennessee 20 tone ring on a Jimmy Cox hard rock maple three-ply wood rim.    Another proven combination is the bassy Kulesh Big 10 tone ring on a Randall Wyatt birch block rim. Put a Big 10 tone ring on a Tony Pass birch block Thinskirt® rim and you really have some volume and bluegrass tone. Our tuners are equipped with the period correct cream colored "tulip" tuner buttons. We love the Hoppers cam d-tuners. These can be set to turn the same direction or to turn inward like Keith tuners. For that vintage Scruggs tuner sound it's hard to beat the Hoppers cam d-tuners. We follow the Gibson formula closely but we do use the Gary Price Straight line tailpiece, which we feel is vastly superior to the tailpiece used by Gibson. We believe you will find that our Hawthorn Bowties match up well with the old Gibson flathead Bowties or any new ones being built today.

  • Mahogany neck

  • Jimmy Cox Curly Mahogany resonator

  • Tennessee 20, Kulesh Big 10, or our own Ozark Thunder™ "No hole" flathead tone ring

  • Sullivan archtop tone ring available upon request

  • Jimmy Cox 3-ply hard rock maple rim or Randall Wyatt birch or Euro-beech block rim

  • Optional Tony Pass Thinskirt® birch block rim ($200 upcharge)

  • Nickel plated hardware

  • Dual action truss rod

  • Ebony or rosewood fretboard with classic bowtie inlays

  • No finish on back of neck (speed neck) optional

  • Full binding on resonator and neck

  • High gloss sunburst (darkburst) finish

  • Standard period correct double inlayed concentric circles on back of resonator like on the classic Gibson Bowtie models

  • Waverly nickel tuners

  • Period correct cream colored "tulip" tuner buttons (not shown in photos)

  • Optional Kluson reissue tuners with "tulip" buttons

  • Optional Hoppers cam tuners ($200) or Keith tuners ($250)

  • Gary Price straight line tailpiece

  • Huber bridge and head

  • Dual coordinator rods

  • Premium Hardshell Case or optional Custom Tweed Embroidered Ameritage Hardshell case
  • Full Warranty to original purchaser

  • Prices for the Hawthorn Maple Bowtie start at $4250

The Kluson company has recently reissued the venerable Kluson banjo tuners as used on the old Gibson Bowties of the 50's and 60's. The new tuners include the classic tulip buttons. We offer these period-correct, but new tuners as an option on our Hawthorn Bowties. In contrast to some of the balky original Klusons, these new ones work as smooth as butter. We think they give our Bowties a cool and authentic vintage vibe.