Huber Banjos got its start in 1997 when Steve Huber introduced his Vintage Flathead banjo tone ring. Steve’s earlier investigations had shown him that the alloys used in most modern banjo tone rings differed significantly from that which was used for the vintage, “pre war” banjos so prized by banjo pickers and collectors alike. He felt that this difference was a key reason why modern banjos tended to respond differently, and his background in metal manufacturing and machine work provided him with the background to consider making and marketing a vintage replica tone ring for pre war banjo enthusiasts.
The Huber tone rings were immediately successful, and before long, Steve Huber was hatching plans to build a banjo as well, also with the intent of “doing it the pre war way.” Knowing that the tone ring was but one piece of the puzzle, he began a serious study of the many other components of the five string, flathead tone ring banjo. The goal was to help him understand what made these fine banjos from the 1930s and early ’40s so sonically distinctive, and to incorporate these materials, designs and methods of construction into his new banjos.
The banjos were introduced in 2001, and have been embraced by a number of top pickers, with Jim Mills, Sammy Shelor, Cia Cherryholmes, Jason Burleson and Steve Dilling among the many Huber endorsers.
Huber initially made only banjos that were uniquely styled, but with introduction of the Jim Mills and Sammy Shelor signature models, they have begun to offer replicas of classic pre war banjos as well. The interest these banjos have generated has led to the introduction of a new line of reproduction models from Huber.
Five models exist in the Huber Vintage Series, each designed as a replica of one of the pre war classics. These are professional quality instruments, and are priced accordingly between $4200-$5000. That may look steep, until you consider that the original, five string flatheads on which these are styled can go for between $50,000-$100,000, if you can find one!
You can click either of the images below to see a larger version, and many more photos and product details can be found on the Huber Banjos web site.