Stelling USA Hand Built Banjos at Eagle Music Shop
Since 1959, while still in high school, Geoff Stelling has been either playing the banjo or trying to improve on its design. Stelling Banjo Works was established in 1974 while Geoff was stationed at a Naval Base in San Diego. As a semi-professional banjo and bass player in various bluegrass bands since the mid-60’s, Geoff developed an ear for banjo tone and experimented with the mechanics of banjo construction until he patented a revolutionary design that his banjos are famous for today: the wedge-fitted pot assembly. Prior to Geoff’s design, tone rings and flanges were machined to slip-fit over the wood rim. Such a design proved to be less than perfect when changes of humidity and temperature manifested themselves as changes in tone and volume. The patented Stelling wedge-fit assures the best possible tone ring and flange to wood rim fit possible under all circumstances. The resulting purity of tone and unrelenting power are unparalleled.
In addition to a structurally superior pot assembly, Stelling has designed and patented a most useful “pivot-pin” tailpiece for the banjo. Strings are easily changed without having to thread any of them through a hole in the tailpiece because each string has its own access slot. The tailpiece is also completely adjustable six ways: up, down, left, right, in and out.
tailAnother feature unique to Geoff’s banjos is the Stelling bridge. The birch is chosen for its grain direction and number of growth rings. The shape is artistic yet functional with a design that maximizes volume and minimizes harsh overtones. The standard height is the popular 11/16 inch size, although 3/4 or 5/8 inch are available on special request (requiring a slight heel adjustment during assembly).
geoffSince intonation has been an inherent problem on stringed instruments, Geoff has since devised a compensated nut that nearly perfects the intonation on all models of Stelling banjos. By selectively notching the nut slots to different lengths, relative string distance from the nut to each fret is adjusted. This adjustment to the nut is one of several final operations Geoff Stelling performs on every banjo.