Huber Banjos has been known for building prewar replica banjos of the highest quality, for the most discriminating players. But their newest model, dubbed The Workhorse, sets a different goal.
Officially introduced this week, their latest entry is designed to offer the quality workmanship that has been Huber’s hallmark at a price more attractive to budget-minded pickers. It’s what they call an entry-level, professional grade banjo, made in their shop near Nashville, TN by the same team that builds the vaunted Truetone line.
For $2499 you get either a mahogany or curly maple banjo, made with a Huber tone ring, rim, neck and resonator. They aren’t the same components as used in the Truetone models costing twice as much, but still manufactured to Huber’s specs. The tone ring is made from an 844 brass alloy, often called “red brass,” rather than the prewar formulation, and is cut in the Huber shop to prewar dimensions. It is fitted to a 3 ply rim made by Brian Sims in the Huber facility in Louisiana where their Engineered Rims are constructed.
Joe Spann at Huber Banjos tells us that they can offer such a pro level banjo at this price by controlling labor costs.
“We are able to produce the Workhorse banjo at this price point because we are building them in batches. We are using ebony fingerboards, a satin nitro-cellulose lacquer finish and offering only one option (mahogany or curly maple wood). We have reduced our labor cost in the Workhorse, but the quality will remain at the same level Huber banjos are known for.
The banjo has a classic pre-war look (because we love pre-war banjos) with a double-cut peghead and our 1941 leaves & bows inlay pattern.”
Here’s Steve Huber demonstrating the Workhorse in action.
There are no Workhorse details yet on the Huber web site, but Joe said that he’ll be happy to answer questions for anyone who wants to email or call (615-264-4959) the shop.