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Gold Tone Béla Fleck ML-1 Missing Link Baritone Resonator Banjo - NEW - RIGHT or LEFT handed (both available)

(NEW) 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 (mahogany on the LH model - see note below) 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. The LH model (see note below) has the Bluegrass Heart inlay pattern. 

Includes hard case.

NOTE: WE have LEFT handed (custom) and RIGHT handed versions of the ML-1 in stock! See note below * Call ahead and tell us which one you want!!  

* Gold Tone does not offer the ML-1 in a left handed version. The ML-1 “lefty” we have is a custom banjo consisting of the standard ML-1 pot and hardware and the Belá Fleck “Bluegrass Heart” neck (MAHOGANY neck -same as Belá’s RB-75) with compound radiused fretboard, and the Bluegrass heart inlay pattern - no Heart on this one though) 

Here is a link to the Bela Bluegrass Heart neck (which we use on the LEFT HANDED ML-1 only)

AMW Price: $1,799

For more information, email or call (412) 422-0710