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 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).
We inspect each and every instrument we ship out for maximum playability. We adjust the action and adjust intonation when needed. If you would like a specific adjustment, just add it to your order notes and we would be happy to adjust to your liking.
Serial Number: 221
Scale Length: 26-1/4″
Neck: Hard Rock Maple
Resonator: 14” Mahogany (Convertible)
Fingerboard Radius: 5″- 10″ Compound
Bridge: 10″ Radiused Maple with Ebony Cap
Rim: 3-Ply Canadian Maple
Finish: Vintage Brown
Inlays: Nouveau Custom
Binding: Black Abs
Nut: Zero Glide, 1-3/8″
Tuners: Planetary Tuners
Tone Ring: Sand Cast Bronze
Hardware: Chrome Plated
Arm Rest: Gold Tone Engraved
Head: 12″ MC Black Remo
Strings Gauges: .018w – .022w – .030w – .040w – .018w
Tailpiece: 5-String Terminator
Gold Tone Hardshell Case Included
Important information if shipping outside of the USA:
Please note: To help insure the future availability of certain materials used in the construction of this instrument, additional fees and/or documentation may be required when shipping this item outside of the USA. This is due to the CITES treaty, which regulates international trade of certain materials like rosewood, abalone, and pearl. If you purchase this item to be shipped outside of the USA, we’ll determine whether the regulations apply to your order, and will contact you with more information if necessary.