The Kalamazoo Truetone – $5,050

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 7 customer ratings
(7 customer reviews)


The inspiration for the Kalamazoo model, with it’s combination of a mahogany resonator with a straight grain maple neck and radiused fingerboard, came from one of Steve Huber’s most prized pre war flatheads.


The fingerboard is cut to a 14” radius with the original Huber inlay pattern. The headstock is inlaid with a classic fleur-de-lis design. The Kalamazoo is nickel plated and elegant in its simplicity of design – with all the tone you would expect from a fine Huber banjo. The pot is built using the Huber Engineered rim and the Huber HR-30 tone ring.



See Kalamazoo Customizations

Listen to the Kalamazoo


Red Rooster played by Sammy Shelor


Red River Valley played by Ron Stewart


Straight Grain Maple Neck

The kalamazoo features a straight grain maple neck with a mahogany finish.  Banjo players who favor the older instruments always rave about the sound, but also include the feel of the necks and their ease of playability in describing their preference for the pre wars.

With this in mind, Steve carefully digitized the neck of his favorite old banjo, capturing every curve and nuance. The Huber necks are produced using computer aided machining technology, ensuring that each neck is crafted to the exact  specifications – every time!


Matching the finish on the neck, our mahogany resonator has an veneer of mahogany, inlaid with twin concentric circles of white/black/white binding.

Inlay Pattern

The Standard Huber inlay pattern is used for the Lancaster, Kalamazoo, Roanoke and Lexington models. This pattern was designed by Steve Huber and his brother Dave, and has been in use since Huber Banjos’ inception. Dave Huber cuts all of the pearl on a CNC machine, and inlays all the necks. His care and attention to detail add substantially to the beauty of these fine instruments.


The headstock overlay is slightly more ornate on the Roanoke and Lexington models but the fingerboard patterns are the same on all four.

Kalamazoo Nameplate

The pearl block inlay at the 21st fret is engraved with the name of this model, the “Kalamazoo.”

White Binding

The fingerboard and the resonator side walls is trimmed with a decorative strip of white binding.

Waverly V-2 Tuners

All of the Huber Banjos come with Waverly V-2 tuners installed. The V-2s work very well and closely approximate the look of those found on vintage banjos. The tapered underside of the peghead washer helps protect the headstock and the internal low-friction bushings help ensure smooth operation.

Rosewood Fingerboard

All stock models are made with a rosewood fingerboard.

Maple Bridge With Ebony Top

The Huber bridge is made of carefully selected maple and ebony and  is designed for tone, volume and clarity. String slots are cut with a custom-built slotting machine that produces the exact depth, spacing and angle every time.

The Huber bridge is also available as a separate accessory item order.

Huber HR-30 Tone Ring

Our HR-30 Tone Ring represents the pinnacle in prewar reproduction, measured in both tone and responsiveness. It was created after a year of analysis into the vibratory physics of more than a dozen pre war flathead rings, and further research into casting methods that could consistently reproduce a ring that closely matched our prewar standard.

Huber Engineered Rim

The Huber Engineered Rim is the ultimate in tone and response, developed over a year of extensive scientific measurement and careful prototyping.

Dr. Jim Rae is the brains behind the Engineered Rim. Dr. Rae analyzed the vibrational physics and sonic output of prewar rims and used these numbers as the benchmark. Brian Sims worked with Dr. Rae in the prototyping and manufacturing of the Engineered Rim.

Huber Head

Through a special arrangement with Remo, Huber installs a head on each new banjo that is manufactured to his custom specifications. Steve finds that they offer a superior tone to that of the stock Mylar heads offered for banjo.


These Huber heads can also be ordered as a separate, after-market accessory item.


Two-Way Adjustable Truss Rod

We use a two way adjustable truss rod in our necks. The two way rod allows for adjustments in both directions – you can add relief or reduce bow as needed.
The rod is accessible under the truss rod cover in the headstock, just behind the nut.

Nitro-Cellulose Lacquer Finish

Our Kalamazoo model is stained in a natural mahogany featuring white binding and white/black/white resonator rings.


It is finished with multiple layers of nitrocellulose lacquer, hand sanded between coats for a smooth appearance. They are then buffed to a high gloss with careful attention to detail at every step in the finishing process.

Polished Nickel Metal Finish

The Kalamazoo features beautiful polished nickel plated metal.

Presto Style Tailpiece

Like the storied pre wars which inspired them, most Huber Banjos have a Presto-style tailpiece installed during final assembly and set up. Steve feels that the lighter weight of this sort of tailpiece is best suited to the sound he is after.


The pot-metal flange we use in all Huber Banjos is custom machined in a process which allows for more solid contact between the flange and rim, resulting in better structural stability and tonal response.


On all our models, we use a brass notched tension hoop, plated to match the other metal parts.


We use plated steel rods to hold the neck onto the rim instead of the softer brass found in many new banjos. We chose steel rods since the older flatheads used them and, proving that no detail is too small, even the nuts and washers are exact pre war replicas!

Lined Hard- Shell Case

Each Huber banjo is shipped in its own plush lined hard shell case.  The top lid is arched for superior protection.

Lifetime Limited Warranty

Every Huber Banjo is warranted to the original owner without time limit, often described as a “Limited Lifetime Warranty.”


Any defect in material or workmanship, except heads, strings and pegs will be repaired or replaced free of charge to the original owner, if returned to our factory, charges prepaid.


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7 reviews for The Kalamazoo Truetone – $5,050

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeff Blevins

    I purchased my Kalamazoo a year and a half ago. It had a great sound right out of the box. It is even and true all the way up the neck. It has surprised a lot of people that it was a new banjo. The workmanship is absolutely flawless. In my opinion, Steve and his team have reached their goal of capturing the old Gibson sound.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeff Blevins

    I purchased my Kalamazoo a year and a half ago. It had a great sound right out of the box. The workmanship Is absolutely flawless. It has great tone all the way up the neck. It has surprised a lot of people that it is a new banjo. In my opinion, Steve and his team have reached their goal in capturing the old Gibson sound.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Len Saari

    I first purchased a Kalamazoo with the Vintage ring and later upgraded to a TruTone rim/ring (actually the rim and ring were prototypes at the time before the TT name was used). I very much liked the tone of the Vintage ring, but when I got the TT rim/ring, I noted a tremendous increase in presence (i.e., there was a lot more sound and it was great). The workmanship is top-notch as well as the sound. This banjo is the gold standard by which I judge other banjos.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tim Kruzic

    I got my Kalamazoo originally with the Vintage ring and wreath-style neck over 10 years ago. I had Steve install the HR-30 tone ring and engineered rim at the point when they were first ready as production versions. I really liked this banjo when I first got it; the tone was crisp and clear and it played well. Installation of the HR-30 ring and engineered rim provided subtle changes to the tone that added a fullness and depth that made it sound even better. I love the speed neck on this banjo; it really enhances playability. I have played a lot of banjos in my lifetime, and I believe that this Kalamazoo banjo can hold its own with any of them. Steve has really gotten as close to the pre-war Gibson sound as anyone, and I highly recommend the Kalamazoo or any of the banjos he builds.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bob McSeveney

    I have owned my Kalamazoo for about two years. I bought it new from Greg Boyd Music. It is a stock Kalamazoo with the added feature of a speed neck. The banjo is perfect. It has great action and outstanding tone. I own 6 five string banjos including a Gibson Blackjack and Granada. The Kalamazoo is the banjo I go to all the time. It is hard to put down!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Charles Bates

    I received my new Kalamazoo last week. (I also own a VRB-3)

    This instrument has “presence”, clarity, sustain, unparalleled workmanship… Unrivaled Beauty!

    Steve Huber is to the banjo what Stradivarius is to the violin.

    To quote the Beachboys: you play a Kalamazoo and “You’re sittin’ on top of the world”.

    Not only has he “captured” the Gibson sound… he has improved upon it.

    I chose the Kalamazoo not only because I wanted a radiused fret-board and a maple neck, but above all, I feel this instrument is a personal expression of Steve’s love for the banjo with his inlay design, the “feel” of the instrument, and…. THE SOUND.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Chuck Bates

    I loved my Kalamazoo so much I bought another one. This time Steve customized it with a maple resonator and of course I had to go all the way and have it gold plated.
    I love the sound and quality of both the banjos; they are both “keepers”… “’til death do us part”. Both Kalamazoos sit side by side in the practice room and both get equal billing in my practice sessions and performance. The tone of these banjos is beyond astounding. Words cannot express my total admiration for Steve and the highest quality of artistry and skill that are instilled in these banjos. If you are seeking the unequivocal pinnacle of musical quality and banjo building, you need look no further than this website.

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