We heard recently from Sam Farris, developer of the Tranjo Travel Banjo. His company had a humble beginning, to wit, Sam’s desire for a practice banjo he could easily disassemble and reassemble when traveling. He built one himself with a detachable, full scale neck, and a six inch head. The neck was made using a headless design, with the five tuners installed inside a body cavity beneath the head.
Initial reaction was so positive that he decided to pursue building and offering them for sale. Now, he has several different models and options available, and a licensing arrangement with Gold Tone Banjos to build a less costly, authorized Gold Tone Tranjo in Korea, available to all Gold Tone dealers. Farris will soon introduce a solid body electric 5 string travel banjo, the Trancaster.
He has also recently introduced his Silent Banjo System, a nylon mesh retrofit head that can be installed on any 11” banjo pot. He says that concept of a mesh head is one that drummers have embraced for “silent practice” for some time, and was brought to the banjo world by a small builder in Texas, now out of business, who was offering 10” banjos using this sort of head. Sam arranged for them to be manufactured for 11” rims, and offers them exclusively through his web site.
The mesh heads are also available in 6” sizes for use on his Tranjo models.
You can find more photos, sound clips and product details for all these items on the Tranjo web site. Click on any of the images below to see them enlarged in a pop up window.