The AMAZING new “Missing Link” Béla Fleck model five-string banjo is available through Paul Roberts at http://banjocrazy.com. (970) 731-3117.
“Béla and I had a meeting at the 2013 Summer NAMM Show,” said Gold Tone president Wayne Rogers. “He had in mind a new type of banjo. He said, ‘I don’t want the basso tone of the Cello Banjo; I’m looking for a sound that’s as close to my pre-war Gibson’s tone as possible’.”
How did Béla want the instrument voiced?
“The question became, How low can we go before it gets too close to the CEB-5 Cello Banjo?” said Rogers. “We decided to voice the Missing Link halfway between the standard G-tuned banjo and our octave-lower cello banjo. Thus, the ML-1 is tuned to cGCEG. This is a fifth lower than open G, and if you place a capo on the 7th fret it would be in unison with a normal G-tuned banjo.”
“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,” said Rogers.
“Béla has been playing his ML on tour with Abby, and it’s sure to become part of his stable of instruments for many of his shows worldwide.”