Ken LeVan and LeVan banjos is now part of the Smithsonian Folkways series “North American Banjo Builders”

http://www.folkways.si.edu/conversations-with-north-american-banjo-builders-vol-4-more-north-american-banjo-builders-dvd/old-time/video/smithsonian


© LeVan Banjos • LeVan Banjos is a division of LeVan Design, Shunk Pennsylvania

CannonBell™, Kone11™, SteepCreek™ , ZipNut™, Turbo Pot™ , Tone~Wave™ and Eclectic™ are trademarks of LeVan Design     

LeVan Banjos are made in the USA from sustainable, non endangered materials.


The FretNaught banjos have resin impregnated fingerboards, which are extremely hard and smooth, allowing for clean slides and crisp notes.

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When strung with nylgut strings, a special tailpiece and 2-footed bridge  is used

1.  Fully fretless, no fret markings, resin impregnated fingerboard

2.  Fully fretless, inlaid flush fret markings, resin impregnated fingerboard

3.  Half- fretless,  resin impregnated fingerboard

The earliest banjos were fretless.

The LeVan FretNught™ banjos are the quintessential traditional banjo brought into the modern era. They use the basic NewVintage pot with a SuperWoodie™ tonering, which has a plunkier sound with less sustain than the brass tonerings used on other models.

I make them in several varieties,both 11 and 12 inch.

Below you see some of the ways they can be made.


Of course, they can be made in a very simple, minimal style with no markings at all.

The ones shown below are one-off models, not standard

above:  Night sky, shown with 12” pot, maple rim and neck, baked ipe SuperWoodie tone ring, baked ipe fingerboard, Elite Amber head and steel strings.

above:  Raven, shown with 12” pot, Honduras mahogany rim and neck, baked ipe SuperWoodie tone ring, resin impregnated black locust fingerboard, goatskin head head and nylon strings.

above:  Arts & Crafts Greene & Greene style  with 12” pot, Chestnut oak rim, curly red oak neck, baked ipe SuperWoodie tone ring, resin impregnated baked ipe, goatskin head head and nylon strings.


Any configuration or combination of features can be made