Huber Banjos: A New Age for The Golden Era
At the turn of the century in the US, times were tough, but the spirits were lifted on a chorus of liberated musical thinking. With the birth of the Jazz Age came the prologue for bluegrass and the golden era for banjo design and tone, which to many, is considered the pinnacle of the instrument’s long and melodic career.
Huber Banjos specialize in these banjos, referred to as the pre-war (Pre-WWII) style. Using modern science and careful focus on history, they curate what many believe to be the true sound of banjos in their prime. And with innovations like the Truetone system and custom banjos heralded by the likes of Jim Mills (Ricky Skaggs), Cia Cherryholmes (Cherryholmes), Greg Cahill (Special Consensus), Ron Block (Alison Krauss and Union Station), Barry Abernathy (Mountain Heart) and Jason Burleson (Blue Highway), it’s clear that Huber Banjos are at the top of their game, and clearly worthy of this installment of the Top Shelf Luthier series.
Steve Huber: A History in the Making
According to the website, Steve Huber was born to strike a chord, in live music or luthiery, with the banjo industry. The site exposits:
“Huber has been widely recognized as a professional caliber banjo picker since the time he was in college, and (even) spent time touring with The Paisleys and Paul Adkins…
Steve would eventually fall in love with the rich and distinctive sound of pre-WWII banjos and would become obsessed with recreating the true tone of that era. It’s what would lead him to tone rings, experimenting with the alloys that compose them, and then curating an entire shop that would see his namesake become the flagship for this distinctive model and tone today.
The Beauty of Banjos
Banjos have come a long way over the years. Switching string counts from 4 – 5, completely upending plucking styles with Earl Scrugs’ Three Finger Picking style, and moving from vaudeville to mainstream music.
Often, bluegrass is the central association of this eccentric instrument, and with time we’d happily indulge in the grander history of this stringed sage. But exceptionalism comes with focus, and no maker understands that more fully than Steve Huber.
True To Tone: The Huber Process
Huber, invested in the distinctive sound of Jazz Era Banjos, enlisted modern science to recreate the authentic sound of pre-war mandolins. For this, Huber partnered with Dr. Jim Rae, a recently-retired research scientist from Mayo Clinic, to test pre WWII flatheads in search of the most rich and resonant banjo sounds. From this work came the Truetone System:
“Two components make up our Truetone system: our HR-30 tone ring and Engineered Rim. Both were developed over more than 2 years of rigorous analysis, testing, and prototyping using state-of-the-art scientific equipment. We refer to any Huber banjo with the Engineered Rim and HR-30 ring as a Truetone.”
These exceptional innovations can be applied to existing banjos or incorporated in a Huber Banjo original creation for maximum effect.
The results are a gorgeous and resonant sound, coveted by incredible banjo players across the industry. Meanwhile, the ornate and unmatched style of Huber Banjos have propelled this instrument to the forefront of banjo praise. From truly stellar reviews, to objectively beautiful sound, Huber Banjos are well worth their praise and deserve your attention.
Huber Banjos: Banjos Past, Present and Future
Steve Huber and Huber Banjos are a true synthesis of science and art. His unmatched devotion to the prewar sound has led Huber to breakthroughs in engineering that have bridged the gap between a heyday of banjo-playing and a new dawn of banjo players born of his exceptional enthusiasm. Huber Banjos strike a chord in this community by being something new in their dedication to the old; they are refinement, they are technology- they are the best of banjos and the future of bluegrass combined in a beautiful moment today.
To experience the timeless Truetone System in your banjo or to purchase an incredible Huber banjo yourself, visit https://huberbanjos.com/
And to have a case custom-fitted to your banjo, visit our banjo case section here: https://www.calton-cases.com/shop/banjo-cases/