The American Made Banjo Company presents the Kel Kroydon Banjo line. Our reproduction of the ever so popular Original Kel Kroydon Banjo, commonly known as the "Fancy Banjo", and our New Generation Kel Kroydon Banjo line that are featured in this website.
The Original Style Kel Kroydon® Banjo is one of the most sought after banjos of the 1930s in today's Prewar Banjo market. It features an ornate screened designed resonator, fingerboard and peghead veneer with a painted blue or black finish, with or without a modern style Standard Flathead Tone Ring.
The New Generation Kel Kroydon® Banjo shares many of the original style banjo features of the 1930s Kel Kroydon Banjo, substituting ebony or rosewood fingerboards with pearl inlays and presentation woods with stained lacquer to provide a more traditional look and feel.
The new Kel Kroydon Signature Series Banjos designed by Charlie Cushman, Casey Henry, Aaron McDaris and Bill Evans are extensions of each player's style and sound. Personally designed and played during performances and recordings, the Kel Kroydon Signature Series banjos are made with the finest woods available. Each model has its own look and sound developed by the artist. A true hand-made replica of a professional player's instrument.
In 2010 Kel Kroydon introduced the Affordable Series Banjo for the budget minded player who wants a reproduction from the 1990 collectable era at a great price. Assembled and finished with the impeccable craftsmanship of Robin Smith, these professional instruments include components by the AMB Co., Steve Gill Resonators, and the same proprietary 20 Hole Rick Kulesh Tone ring used in the 1990s.
Click any thumbnail below to begin a slide show
of beautiful detail photos of our banjos.
Optional Woods and the Effect On Sound
The sound of a banjo is greatly affected by the type of wood used in its construction. The wood of the neck and rim affect the banjo's ultimate sound. Maple has a bright, crisp sound, while mahogany creates a sweeter tone. Walnut tends to be brighter than mahogany and sweeter than maple.
Each neck is carefully hand made and finished by Robin Smith of Heartland Banjo and Guitar. Robin's impeccable craftsmanship and eye for detail have truly made the Kel Kroydon line a professional player's instrument. Our banjos include the standard Robin Smith neck. V-necks and radius necks are available upon request.
Pre-War Era Style Resonator
All Kel Kroydon banjos use Gill Manufacturing pre-war era style resonators. The sidewalls of our Kel
Kroydon Resonators are reproduced using the same three ply wood construction found in many original Prewar Resonators. For those who pay attention to every detail, the resonator is an important part of the sound and look of the Banjo. Each Resonator is double bound in your choice of design and color. The rear outer layer of veneer is covered in with the KK11 or KK10 design, tinted to your specifications.
Rim construction has an effect on the tone of a banjo. We offer our own Maple rims made to prewar specifications using varied layer thicknesses.
The Tone Ring
Along with the choice of woods, the Tone Ring is one of the largest contributors to the characteristics of the sound. The Kel Kroydon Banjos come standard with the American Made "Dannick" Flathead Tone Ring. The KK46-11 and KK46-10 models have a 1/4" brass hoop and the Woodie has a 3 ply rim with an integral Grenadillo Tone Ring.
Floor Sweep Banjos
Kel Kroydon "Floor Sweep" Banjos are a "Professional Players Banjo" comprised of matching spare parts (not 2nds). Each banjo is hand crafted just as our regular models are, but without most of the frills and decorations, and with a resulting lower price. Take a look at photos of our Floor Sweep Banjos. For features and ordering information, please refer to Banjos / In Stock.
The Style 10 and 11 Designs are Registered Trademarks
of the American Made Banjo Company