Thanks again Spencer... i like it simple, most amps have a tone, most effects pedals have a tone, so why have one? and it cost less. some of my builds have no volume or tone, you get no frequency loss, just wide open BIG FAT TONE......
Spencer, thanks for the invite. To answer your questions: You can hear a sound sample of the gourd banjo on my website (jugtones.com) or on CBN. It has real gut strings and buffalo bone friction tuners so it always needs a little tuning between sittings, but is otherwise great.
The fiddle is a work in progress. Since those pictures were taken i have installed the electronics and redesigned the way the strings connect (the train-flattened penny wasn't strong to hold the tension without bending.) The E string i have is too short to work with the new design, so i need to search out a longer one... i just haven't put in the effort yet.
And, finally, the fingerboards you asked about are probably Cocobolo. The gourd banjo's fingerboard is Zebrawood.