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Béla Fleck showing the Missing Link baritone banjo to his son Juno
When Béla Fleck showed Steve Martin the Missing Link baritone banjo, Steve was so intrigued with it’s sonic possibilities that he immediately called Wayne Rogers at Gold Tone to order one.
Wayne Rogers says:
“Béla Fleck and I both knew the Missing Link was a winner. Within a month he’d recorded with it on five of the tracks on Abigail and Béla’s duet album (which debuted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Bluegrass chart). Béla then showed the ML-1 to Steve Martin, who was so intrigued with its sonic possibilities that he ordered one immediately.”
Inspired by John Hartford’s love for low-tuned banjo, Bela Fleck conceived the Missing Link, Baritone Banjo.
Bela’s previous experience with the Gold Tone Cello Banjo brought him to Wayne Rogers. The two collaborated in the design and, after many months of experimentation and various challenges, we are ecstatic to present the ML-1.
To produce the lower tone with a traditional sound in the lower register, we use a 12 inch, 3 ply Maple Rim with a Bronze Tone Ring.
After Beta Testing a variety of neck and bridge options, Bela signed off on the Compound Radius (5”-9”) Ebony Fingerboard attached to a Hard Rock Canadian Maple Neck and a Cathedral-like Radius Bridge standing 7/8” over the signature black Remo head.
Jumbo Frets, our exclusive Terminator Tailpiece and our Patented ZerO Glide Nut complete the perfect formula for the throaty ML-1.
Bela’s Noveau inlay design courses the length of the fingerboard and finishes on our C-Cut Headstock. Black Binding, Black Tuner Buttons and the Black Head create a bold, autonomous look.