Neck and Resonator Woods

On higher quality banjos, the type of wood used for the resonator and, especially, the neck can have a noticeable effect on the tone. The most common banjo woods are mahogany, maple, and walnut. The density will affect the tone. Mahogany is the softest and tends to have a mellower sound than Maple, which is the hardest. Walnut falls in between the two. The size and thickness of the neck will effect tone and, of course, playability. A larger than standard size neck can sometimes deliver a more solid feel to the instrument. However, too massive a neck could start having a muting effect. A smaller than standard neck can give a more responsive feel, but too small might have a thinning effect on the tone. The resonator wood is less critical since most are made of the same interior wood (maple or poplar), and the outer wood is just a thin veneer. The weight and depth of the resonator could have a noticeable effect on tone.