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We met Anders and Kristina Sterner, designers and builders of the STERNER BANJO TAILPIECE, at Frankfurt several years ago. As happens in a conversation, they mentioned to me that they had something which might be of interest and they showed me their wonderful tailpieces. In addition to being delightful people and musicians as well, I thought their tailpieces were the most eloquent, unique design and incredibly functional at the same time! We met them again this year and they agreed that we should carry them in the United States.
There are THREE MODELS available:
OLDTIME shown to the left.
FLATTOP [Bluegrass] shown on the right [with my apologies for the invisible Sterner logo...it was a very bright day] &
the FIVE STRING BANJO CONVERSION KIT below left.
The first thing I noticed were the curlicues where the strings attached! Fanciful, different, yes--but how much more easily would be replacing a broken string on this! It goes without saying!
The second thing that is obvious is how the tailpiece attaches to the banjo rim and here Anders has solved the problem in a very simple way. Every banjo has brackets and the tailpiece tucks away securely behind the brackets.
So for both the OLDTIME and FLATTOP Tailpieces, this is already good.
And then there is the FIVE STRING BANJO CONVERSION KIT which addresses a whole other realm of the Banjo Firmament. In addition to the benefits listed above, now there is the possibility of moving the fifth string peg to the end of the tailpiece, with the string attached with an adapter for where the peg used to be, and having a flat neck on the thumb side of the banjo. There have been many efforts to make the neck smoother, including tunneling down the balance of the neck--which made string changes even more complicated. Here is an elegant solution.
Check out Anders website directly for more information and videos about the tailpiece by following the link at
Sterner OLDTIME BANJO TAILPIECE...........................$55.00
Sterner FLATTOP BANJO TAILPIECE....................................$59.00
Sterner FIVE STRING BANJO CONVERSION KIT................$79.00
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