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Old 12-22-2017, 10:59 AM
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Default Pisgah banjos

Anyone here have experience with these? I'm thinking of having one made. I've perused Banjohangout about them, but I thought I would also check with you guys. I'm looking probably at the wooden tone ring version (Appalachian), but the Dobson also looks interesting. I play three-finger style mostly but I like the old time plunkiness of open backs. I'd want a full fretboard, not scooped, and probably Walnut.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Anyone here have experience with these? I'm thinking of having one made. I've perused Banjohangout about them, but I thought I would also check with you guys. I'm looking probably at the wooden tone ring version (Appalachian), but the Dobson also looks interesting. I play three-finger style mostly but I like the old time plunkiness of open backs. I'd want a full fretboard, not scooped, and probably Walnut.

Thoughts?
I bought a custom Pisgah directly from Pisgah Banjos that I received this year in late May/early June. You can read about it here: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=474532

In the last 9 months, I've bought all the new banjos in my signature:

Vega 11" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Deering Sierra Maple Flathead

Although I'm an early-stage, clawhammer banjo player, I can offer you my experience on the craftsmanship and tone of these banjos. In short, from my limited experience, Pisgah, Rickard and Bart Reiter offer the best value of the above banjos with Deering and Vega being very good also but a bit more costly for what you're getting. The Pisgah and Rickard have a very "organic feeling" to them--maybe it's the 12-inch rim size but they have a nice vibration to the whole banjo. All the banjos are well-made but I'll give the nod to Canadian-made Rickard for best craftsmanship!

To scoop or not to scoop? In my experience, a fretboard frailing scoop isn't necessary to play clawhammer or any other mode of playing. I play over the head, near the neck/rim junction, and for me to try to play over the frailing scoop just seems a little unnatural. Players who do desire to and transition to playing over the scoop, can be rewarded with a nice fat tone that likely fits their feeling of being more "old-timey-sounding" and preferable to the more focused tone generated by playing over the banjo head.

Regarding Dobson tone-ringed banjos, my new Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson sounds wonderful, and from YouTube videos, so do the Pisgah Dobsons.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have on the above banjos.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-23-2017 at 12:27 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2017, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for the great reply! I am debating between one of the Pisgah banjos and one made by Zachary Hoyt up in New York. Zach says he can have one for me with a Whyte Laydie tonering in a week or two. If you go to the following link, go to banjos and look at the #59. I am thinking of one like this but with a full fretted neck (not scooped).

https://hoytbanjos.com

It looks like Pisgah with the Dobson would be available in April and would be about $500 more.

Thoughts?

Todd
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2017, 12:15 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Thanks for the great reply! I am debating between one of the Pisgah banjos and one made by Zachary Hoyt up in New York. Zach says he can have one for me with a Whyte Laydie tonering in a week or two. If you go to the following link, go to banjos and look at the #59. I am thinking of one like this but with a full fretted neck (not scooped).

https://hoytbanjos.com

It looks like Pisgah with the Dobson would be available in April and would be about $500 more.

Thoughts?

Todd
My wife is looking at getting a fretless Pisgah in the near future. We have met the owner on a few occasions at local festivals and the tone and playability of his instruments is excellent.

From what I have seen, you can get a Pisgah much cheaper directly from him at a show than any other source.

Those Hoyt's seem like a real bargain and the specs are impressive at that price point.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:26 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
Those Hoyt's seem like a real bargain and the specs are impressive at that price point.
+1 and Hoyt is about 100 miles from where I live. I'm definitely going to consider a Hoyt banjo!
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Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Maple Flathead
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-23-2017 at 05:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2017, 02:30 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Thanks for the great reply! I am debating between one of the Pisgah banjos and one made by Zachary Hoyt up in New York. Zach says he can have one for me with a Whyte Laydie tonering in a week or two. If you go to the following link, go to banjos and look at the #59. I am thinking of one like this but with a full fretted neck (not scooped).

https://hoytbanjos.com

It looks like Pisgah with the Dobson would be available in April and would be about $500 more.

Thoughts?

Todd
Todd,

Although I've never played a Hoyt banjo, given the nice direct-to-player prices, I'd sure give one a try. From perusing the Hoyt website, they seem like quality-crafted instruments, and they have a 7-day return policy as copied and pasted below:

Returns
I have a 7 day trial period for any in-stock instrument. If you donít like it you can let me know within 7 days of receipt and send it back for a full refund of the purchase price, though the shipping cost will not be refunded as it will have been paid to the USPS already. Custom builds are not covered by this policy, as they are made to your specifications and may not be what someone else would want. If you should have a problem in the future with anything I have built I will repair it or do my best to otherwise make it right with you.
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Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 356ce 12-String ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Maple Flathead
Ovation VXT
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2017, 03:51 PM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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I had an Appalachian with brass ring for awhile. I loved it. I put a Kershner tailpiece on it just to add a little more adjustment to the sound, not that it needed anything. Had a great playing neck, loved the persimmon wood.

I'm really not much of a banjo player, and ultimately sold it to finance another guitar and mandolin (instruments I have been playing for decades), plus I'm downsizing.

Point is, they are great banjos with some real mojo and very reasonably priced for a professional playing banjo.
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Old 12-24-2017, 04:06 PM
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Well, I ended up ordering a Zachary Hoyt banjo, which he is custom making for me: 12" rim with Whyte Laydie tone ring, Walnut with mahogany fretboard, full fretboard, low action for finger picking, Ren head, brass hardware, bone nut and pip, brass Kershner tailpiece, etc. It should be ready the week of January 1.
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Epiphone Masterbuilt Century Deluxe archtop
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2017, 05:04 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Well, I ended up ordering a Zachary Hoyt banjo, which he is custom making for me: 12" rim with Whyte Laydie tone ring, Walnut with mahogany fretboard, full fretboard, low action for finger picking, Ren head, brass hardware, bone nut and pip, brass Kershner tailpiece, etc. It should be ready the week of January 1.
Great! Enjoy and please share some photos with us!
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Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 356ce 12-String ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Maple Flathead
Ovation VXT
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2017, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Great! Enjoy and please share some photos with us!
Will do! I hope to have it in a few weeks.
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Martin D35 (2017)
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Guild F412 (Tacoma), 12-string
Guild F50R (Corona)
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Epiphone Masterbuilt Century Deluxe archtop
Cordoba C5ce (classical)
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  #11  
Old 12-30-2017, 03:46 PM
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First pics have come in and it's shaping up nicely.
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Martin D18 (2017)
Martin D35 (2017)
Guild D40 Bluegrass Jubilee (Tacoma)
Guild F412 (Tacoma), 12-string
Guild F50R (Corona)
Composite Acoustic (CA) Cargo (carbon fiber)
Epiphone Masterbuilt Century Deluxe archtop
Cordoba C5ce (classical)
several banjos!


www.mcmakinmusic.com
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  #12  
Old 12-30-2017, 04:04 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
First pics have come in and it's shaping up nicely.
Thanks for the build update and I'm looking forward to seeing photos of your finished Hoyt banjo!
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Martin D-18
Martin D Jr B-Band A1.2N-1470
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 356ce 12-String ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Maple Flathead
Ovation VXT
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:09 PM
sevenpalms sevenpalms is offline
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Never played a Hoyt but I hope you enjoy it. I live a couple miles from Patrick Heavners shop (Pisgah Banjos) and am always impressed with his work....and he's a great guy to boot! I had a Pisgah A Scale that was super sweet sounding....
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:59 PM
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The banjo is now done and being shipped tomorrow.

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Martin D18 (2017)
Martin D35 (2017)
Guild D40 Bluegrass Jubilee (Tacoma)
Guild F412 (Tacoma), 12-string
Guild F50R (Corona)
Composite Acoustic (CA) Cargo (carbon fiber)
Epiphone Masterbuilt Century Deluxe archtop
Cordoba C5ce (classical)
several banjos!


www.mcmakinmusic.com
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2018, 10:13 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Nice and I bet you can't wait to get your pickin' fingers on her! Four railroad spikes--Cool!
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Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 356ce 12-String ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Maple Flathead
Ovation VXT
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