FRETNAUGHT fretlessFretNaught.html
CUSTOM  BANJOSCustom_Banjos.html
BUY & ORDEROrdering.html
NEW VINTAGE openbacksNew_Vintage.html
BANJO LUTESbanjo_lutes.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 build is a prototype of that design. I’m not a mass-producer.  The closest I come to that is the NewVintage openback, which I make in small batches of 3 to 6 - but even those are not all exactly the same.   As an industrial designer, I am very familiar with mass production and have incorporated special features and hand work I know is not easily done in a factory.

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

bluegrass,   fretless,   lightweight,   banjo lute,  6-string

New Vintage


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.


If you could line up all the different kinds of banjos I’ve 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 banjos I have documented over the years.

New Vintage,