FRETNAUGHT fretlessFretNaught.html
CUSTOM  BANJOSCustom_Banjos.html
BUY & ORDEROrdering.html
NEW VINTAGE openbacksNew_Vintage.html
ARTS & CRAFTSArts_%26_Crafts.html

LeVan banjos are made by hand here in the Northern Appalachians - one at a time and no two are exactly alike.   My primary practice is designing banjos for individual customers and each banjo I make is a prototype of that design. I’m not a mass-producer.  The closest I come to that is the NewVintage openback and FretNaught fretless, which I make in small batches of 3 to 6 - but even those are not all exactly the same.   Because of some of the special features and hand work, my banjos are not designed for mass production.

LeVan banjos are built from the ground up. It’s what’s called “vertical integration”;  I do not merely assemble them from parts purchased from other suppliers - I make most of the parts by hand in the shop.


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


© 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 most basic model I make is the

NewVintage, shown below.

Various modifications can be made at reasonable prices.

See the New Vintage page


If you could line up all the different kinds of banjos I have made, it would make an interesting picture:

openbacks, bluegrass banjos, resonator frailing banjos, fretless banjos, banjo lutes, conversions, lightweight banjos, even a child’s A-scale.

Below is a virtual representation of some of them, made from photos of my work I have taken over the years.

Every LeVan Banjo has a distinct personality in appearance and sound