I really wanted to explore a couple of things: First, how would a banjo sound with less metal and more wood? And secondly, I wanted to open up the visual design possibilities of a wooden tension hoop. This is the result, a sort of mini-block rim of solid hardwoods with overlapping joints, a very fussy bit of work that took a bit to perfect. I wanted it to be visually striking but also able to tighten a head to its max without any hint of a problem. I love the simple elegance of this ring, but I can also see all sorts of possibilities for more decorative inlay, or even sculpting the shape. This banjo is equipped with a somewhat thinned Renaissance head -- note that I've bonded a solid brass band to the less attractive aluminum hoop normally visible (photo to the right).