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Huber Engineered Rim

Like the Huber HR-30 tone ring, our new Engineered Rim is the result of the most extensive, scientific and detailed measurement of the acoustical properties of pre war banjo components ever performed.

Though Steve Huber first made his name for his Vintage Flathead tone ring, he has long known that the rim is every bit as as important a component in creating the optimal tone and response from a banjo. As he likes to say, if the tone ring is the engine of a banjo, the rim is the frame on which it sits.

As he became more and more familiar with dozens of pre war flatheads, Steve took note of certain banjos that stood above the rest - the best of the best. These were the banjos which were selected for our testing. 

This was a rigorous and sophisticated study, incorporating the analytical expertise of Dr. Jim Rae, a recently-retired research scientist from Mayo Clinic. Rae made his mark with groundbreaking research into techniques for measuring the tiny currents that flow through individual protein molecules called ion channels many of which are involved in diseases of the heart, nervous system, hearing, vision and many other human organ systems. Many aspects of this research used techniques that are also used in physical acoustics.

After his retirement, Jim created a lab at his home to study the physical acoustics of 5-string banjos. He has published several papers and a book chapter in the scientific literature dealing with banjo vibrations and sound emission.

Jim, or "Doc Rae" as Huber calls him, had also developed a fascination with the banjo and agreed to use his gear to define the ways in which rims from these exceptional banjos differed from the run-of-the-mill. Doc Rae studied the vibrational characteristics of these rims, and helped us develop methods for choosing wood that would give our new rims these same qualities. 

The Huber Engineered Rim is offered for sale at $495.

Jim Rae operating his test equipment on a pre war pot