It has cracks, it still sounds ok but it’s time to replace it. Rather than just do the same thing again I’m planning a hollow body electric tub. One of the pickups I am making the other is a guitar lipstick pickup.
Often on banjos the pickup is peizo. The peizo pickup is expected to pick up the instruments vibrations that produce the sound rather than through the air like a microphone. These are ceramic discs mounted to a conductor and they are active pickups, meaning that they need power usually in the form of a 9 volt battery.
I plan to make a passive pickup that will pick up the instruments vibrations through a suspended coil and magnet mechanically coupled to the tone ring. It will require no power and the initial tests indicate that it will provide a clean natural acoustic sound.
The reason that I am adding the lipstick pickup is for an unnatural banjo sound more like and electric guitar. I also have a passive overdrive to get a gritty sound if desired. (For fun)
The picture is a 3D representation of the tub that I plan to start making Soon.