ML-1: Missing Link Béla Fleck Baritone Banjo with Case

Zero Glide Nut
Bronze Sand Cast Tone Ring
3-Ply Canadian Maple Rim
Planetary Tuners

Béla Fleck, surely today's best-known banjoist, has his own heroes. One of these, John Hartford, made extensive use of a low-tuned five-string banjo (a twelve-inch Farland from the 1920s) in his music. While Béla had already been playing a Gold Tone CEB-5 Cello Banjo, he felt that there should be a banjo to fill the gap between the cello banjo (tuned to G, an octave below the standard banjo) and the standard five-string. Béla collaborated with Gold Tone president Wayne Rogers over many months and after overcoming many challenges and the building of several prototypes, the ML-1 "Missing Link" came into being. Tuned to open C (in a G configuration, i.e. an octave below the fifth fret of a standard five-string) the ML-1 features a twelve-inch, three-ply maple rim supporting a bronze tone ring. A specially-made Remo Black Suede head carries a custom 7/8" bridge and an all-wound custom string set hooks up to a Gold Tone Terminator tailpiece. The hard rock Canadian maple neck is topped by a rich black ebony fretboard, honed to a compound radius (5" to 9") and fitted with jumbo frets. The gorgeous art nouveau inlay pattern (of Béla's own design) travels the length of the neck all the way to the peghead, interrupted only by a Zero Glide nut (for super-accurate intonation and low-friction tuning). Black bindings and black buttons on the Master Planetary tuners complete the elegant look.

Use this chord transposition chart to see how the baritone chords translate to traditional banjo chords.

Specifications

  • Neck: Hard Rock Maple
  • Finish: Vintage Brown
  • Fingerboard: Ebony 5-10" Compound Radiused
  • Bridge: 10" Radiused Maple with Ebony Cap (7/8")
  • Tuners: Planetary
  • Inlay: Nouveau Custom
  • Truss Rod: Two-Way Adjustable
  • Tone Ring: Bronze Sand Cast
  • Rim: 3-Ply Canadian Maple
  • Tension Hoop: Notched 24-Bracket
  • Binding: Black ABS
  • Brackets: 26
  • Buttons: Black
  • Hardware: Chrome Plated
  • Pickups: Optional
  • Tailpiece: 5-String Terminator
  • Resonator: 14" Maple (Convertible)
  • Armrest: Gold Tone Engraved
  • Head: 12" MC Black Remo
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Nut Width: 1-3/8" Zero Glide Nut
  • Scale Length: 26-1/4"
  • Weight: 9.2 lbs.
  • Tuning: CGCEG
  • Strings: .018w, .040w, .030w, .022w, .018w
  • Option 1: SMP+ P
  • Option 2: Fishman Rare Earth Pickup
  • Hard Case: Included
  • Bag: HPB
  • Left-Handed Available: No
  • Zero Glide Installed: Yes

Videos


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