Paramount banjo styles

Paramount banjo styles

I have searched the web and cannot find a decent explanation of the varying Paramount banjo styles (A,B,C, etc., Leader, Artist, etc). Can anyone give me a brief description. I am considering a purchase in the near future and want to be sure I know what I am getting. Thanks!

Re: Paramount banjo styles

I cant help with the Banjo……but saw the name….
is this Ernie????…How are you mate?
Roger B in NH..USA

Re: Paramount banjo styles

Sorry..I don’t think you’re from Doolin like the guy I thought you might be is
Rogb

Re: Paramount banjo styles

Hi,
I believe the only difference in Paramount banjos Style 1,A,B,C,D,F,Leader and the rest is some are made of different woods and the higher end ones are more fancy.I have player them all and I cant find a hell of a difference.
Good Luck.

Re: Paramount banjo styles

Sorry, not from Doolin. As for the woods, I have heard walnut is OK, mahogany is good, maple is better and holly is the best. What about rosewood?

Re: Paramount banjo styles

The basic Paramount design was by William Lange (who also designed Langestyle, Orpheum, and the Recording Epiphones) which consisted of a laminated neck, a thick rim, and the Lange tone ring which was a ring supported by many metal pieces stuck into the rim.

Paramounts have a distinctive sound, are loud and usually very good banjos, especially at the professional levels mentioned above. (There is also a Paramount Junior that has the same tone ring and design that was the lowest on the totem/price pole.)

The woods used in the instruments do make a difference. Maple tends to be brighter, Mahogany mellower, walnut in the middle. The higher grade banjos have more expensive (and prettier) wood in them such as rosewood, holly, and ebony. MOs tof the other banjo makers did the same thing with their banjos, the fancier they are, the rarer the wood and the more carving, marquetry, etc. on the banjos.

The woods can make a difference in sound, I have a Leedy banjo with a Paramount rosewood neck on it that is a wonderful banjo. I have not played a Leedy with the stock neck on it that sounds as good.

But the lower grade Paramounts are still professional level banjos and are a good bargain in the States (kgriffin is from the Midwest) so no matter which one you get, as long as the neck is OK, you will have a nice sounding instrument. Modern copies of the old Paramount catalogues are available, you might check http://www.bernunzio.com to see if they are carrying them.

http://tinpan.fortunecity.com/aprilskies/264/paramount.html has some wonderful pictures of these banjos and you can see how they are the same and differ. If you are looking for sound differences, you have to play a few, but they all have quality sound if set up well.

Mike Keyes
http://www.bansjosessions.com

Re: Paramount banjo styles

Thanks for all your help. We are going with a Paramount Leader from Vinnie. Can’t wait to get it.

Re: Paramount banjo styles

If anyone comes back to this thread looking for info (like I did), I found this old Paramount advert from 1923:

http://www.arcade-museum.com/mtr/MTR-1923-76-7/MTR-1923-76-7-36.pdf

If the link goes the way of all flesh, the relevant info is this:

Style name is followed by price (in 1923 dollars)

A - $130
B - $150
C - $185
Leader - $200
D - $240
E - $290
F - $350