Designed by award winning multi-instrumentalist, Johnny Butten.

Beautifully hand crafted by Sullivan Banjos, Louisville, KY.


RESONATOR: ONE-PIECE BACK, QUILTED MAHOGANY


RIM: CUSTOM DESIGN 3-PLY  BUILT BY JIMMY COX


FLANGE: JIMMY COX ONE PIECE


HEAD: REMO FROSTED HEAD, 11" HIGH CROWN


TONE RING: FROM 1930s GIBSON MASTERTONE


TENSION HOOP: 24-HOOK BRASS NOTCHED; ROUND AMERICAN THREADED HOOKS AND NUTS

BY JIMMY COX


COORDINATOR ROD(S): JIMMY COX 1930’S STYLE


NECK: ONE-PIECE SLIM PROFILE MAHOGANY


FRETBOARD: EBONY installed with 22 frets (0.53" Mandolin fretwire)


HARDWARE: NICKEL-PLATED


TAILPIECE: KERSHNER


BRIDGE: DAVIDSON MAPLE / EBONY; 5/8"


NUT: BONE


INLAY: HEARTS AND FLOWERS M.O.P. INLAY


PEGHEAD: DOUBLE-CUT GRANADA STYLE


OVERLAY: EBONY PEGHEAD OVERLAY WITH MOTHER OF PEARL INLAY


TUNERS: KEITH D-TUNERS WITH GEARED 5TH PEG


BINDING: FLAMED MAPLE


ARMREST: GIBSON SINGLE BOLT


FINISH: NITROCELLULOSE LACQUER (PLAYABLE NECK AREA SHELLAC)

To say I designed this banjo would be a stretch, considering it borrows many features from other high end banjos and looks similar to most Gibsons and the like.

But when I was 15, I sat in class and 'designed' my banjo, my ultimate weapon.


Around this time I was studying carpentry/joinery at college and playing several nights a week with a local country band Denver Spur.

At a gig in Wales I met the banjo player from another band also playing the show. He was playing a 1930's Gibson Mastertone. The head of his banjo had a soundhole cut into it....these were a fad (in my opinion) among many banjos players of the time.

As we talked about banjo setup, I learned he had replaced the original tone ring in favour of a Liberty tone ring! I was stunned, why would anyone remove an original 1930's tone ring from an original Gibson?

By the end of the show, we struck a deal for the original Gibson tone ring...£30 (around $60 at the time). 


My late father built me a banjo from scratch and used this tone ring. This banjo 'popped' like the old pre-war flatheads and I played it for several years until it was smashed in a horrible altercation.


30 years later I had the opportunity to have her rebuilt.....

All the rim hardware was sourced from the late Jimmy Cox, as was the 3 ply rim. I had Jimmy make me a one off rim with a mahogany centre ply (maple/mahogany/maple) for a warmer sound.

The neck and resonator were made by Sullivan banjos, Louisville, KY and they did the final build and set up.

The playable neck area has a light shellac lacquer, the rest is nitro-cellulose.


She retains one or two parts of the banjo my Dad made, for sentiment.