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-   -   Your Thoughts On Open-Back Banjo Choices Welcomed! (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=467165)

SpruceTop 06-10-2017 07:26 PM

Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone Custom Has Arrived!
 
A few days ago, after placing my custom order 5-weeks ago, I received my Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone Banjo. I'll post some photos soon but let me say I'm really pleased with Patrick Heavner's craftsmanship and the tone of this banjo! I've loved the Vega Tubaphone tone ever since I was young and listening to The Kingston Trio, Pete Seeger and other artists, and this banjo brings me that old-timey-/folk-music-tone in spades, and with a downhome, simple visual aesthetic. Thanks Patrick and Pisgah for making me smile! Hmm, what's next, a Pisgah 12" Maple Tubaphone Long-Neck Banjo?

SpruceTop 06-26-2017 07:41 AM

Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone Custom Has Arrived!
 
See new thread about receiving this Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone at: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=474532

Here is my follow-up for this thread: Hi Folks, on this thread awhile back I solicited information about various brands of 5-string open-back banjos as I was thinking of getting one. After sifting through the suggestions, I settled on commissioning a banjo from Patrick Heavner at Pisgah Banjo Company in Asheville, North Carolina. I received my banjo a couple of weeks ago and love its tone, feel and build quality. I opted for my banjo to be crafted with a 12-inch Walnut rim with a Tubaphone tone ring, a Walnut neck with a Persimmon scooped fingerboard, a HawkTail tailpiece and Traditional Wire Armrest. The company photos show my banjo prior shipping at which time I requested Patrick add a railroad spike at the 10th fret, so 7th, 9th and 10th frets are spiked. I highly recommend Pisgah Banjos as an easy to deal with, high-quality banjo company with reasonable pricing.

Pisgah Banjo Company


http://www.kingstontrioplace.com/Pis...r Frontal2.jpg http://www.kingstontrioplace.com/Pis...ead Front1.jpg
http://www.kingstontrioplace.com/Pis...rter Rear1.jpg http://www.kingstontrioplace.com/Pis...mbly Rear1.jpg

http://www.kingstontrioplace.com/Pis...head Rear1.jpg

SpruceTop 08-20-2017 11:52 AM

Yesterday, I played a used, mint-condition Eastman EBJ-WL-1 Whyte Laydie which is a reproduction by Eastman of a 1903 A. C. Fairbanks Number 2 with research input from Bob Bernunzio of Bernunzio Uptown Music, here in Rochester, New York. The banjo is quite fancy with engraved Griffin on the headstock and nice inlays on the fingerboard. It's craftsmanship was good, and with its Whyte Laydie tone ring I found the banjo very nice sounding. Has anyone else auditioned one of these Eastman WL1 open-back banjos and what is your opinion of this model? Thanks.

https://www.12fret.com/wp-content/ga...full-front.jpg

https://www.12fret.com/wp-content/ga...-full-rear.jpg

roylor4 08-20-2017 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpruceTop (Post 5450556)
Yesterday, I played a used, mint-condition Eastman EBJ-WL-1 Whyte Laydie which is a reproduction by Eastman of a 1903 A. C. Fairbanks Number 2 with research input from Bob Bernunzio of Bernunzio Uptown Music, here in Rochester, New York. The banjo is quite fancy with engraved Griffin on the headstock and nice inlays on the fingerboard. It's craftsmanship was good, and with its Whyte Laydie tone ring I found the banjo to very nice sounding. Has anyone else auditioned one of these Eastman WL1 open-back banjos and what is your opinion of this model? Thanks.

My wife had one for about 1 & 1/2 years. She never bonded with it (don't know why, by far the most expensive banjo she has ever owned) and while it seemed to be a high quality build, I was never a big fan of the tone. She took a beating on it when she sold it.

If she had to do it all over again she say she would have gone with a Reiter or Enoch.

Just my .02

Swamp Yankee 08-20-2017 02:45 PM

It's a nice looking reproduction - the neck looks just like the originals - and I especially like that it has the bracket band like that on the originals. That, and the 28 hooks would likely add a lot of sustain. It might suffer in resale because a lot of banjo players these days are looking for a darker plunkier tone. ...hairy goatskin heads...stuff like that

Another thing going against its resale might be the plate on the dowel that reads 'Made in Beijing, China' Old Time banjo players often tend to be pretty traditional types, in my experience ...and that might turn off a lot of clawhammer players who tend to dislike anything that smacks of "modern" including banjos with coordinator rods instead of dowel sticks.

SpruceTop 08-20-2017 04:51 PM

Definitely, Beijing, China on the label ain't a touchdown in the traditional banjo camp! The nice thing is that being a used, mint-condition instrument means the price of the used axe is less than 2/3 the general street-price of this instrument, which includes a nice hardshell bump case. Being that a new American-made Deering Goodtime Special with optional gig bag will set y'all back a goodly $675 street-price or so, the used Eastman doesn't look like too bad a deal for a general kick-around banjo.

Swamp Yankee 08-20-2017 05:20 PM

ouch..
I'm too long out of the banjo world.. my Goodtime was $350 or so, new.

Rudy4 08-20-2017 07:25 PM

Since Bernunzio often has "blemish" WL necks from the Eastman line available as seconds I'd wonder about what's "under the hood" for the rest of the banjo if they produce so many second quality necks to a retailer.
A reputable manufacturer wouldn't sell their low quality seconds to the public IMHO.

SpruceTop 08-26-2017 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rudy4 (Post 5450918)
Since Bernunzio often has "blemish" WL necks from the Eastman line available as seconds I'd wonder about what's "under the hood" for the rest of the banjo if they produce so many second quality necks to a retailer.
A reputable manufacturer wouldn't sell their low quality seconds to the public IMHO.

I noticed that the peghead of the used Eastman EBJ-WL1 had some varnish runs off the headstock's top points and down the rear of the headstock a slight distance. This wasn't very nice to see and I wondered what it would have taken the person who did the varnishing at Eastman to have done a better job: Perhaps an extra five seconds of time to get the spray or brush volume adjusted to leave a smoother finish?

SpruceTop 08-26-2017 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roylor4 (Post 5450665)
My wife had one for about 1 & 1/2 years. She never bonded with it (don't know why, by far the most expensive banjo she has ever owned) and while it seemed to be a high quality build, I was never a big fan of the tone. She took a beating on it when she sold it.

If she had to do it all over again she say she would have gone with a Reiter or Enoch.

Just my .02

I agree! I'd definitely go with a new Bart Reiter Regent (Whyte Laydie Tone Ring) over a new Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie. Typical street-pricing is $1495 Bart Reiter Regent plus $130 HSC = $1625 vs. $1395 Eastman EBJ-WL1 which includes HSC.

SpruceTop 11-22-2017 10:04 AM

New Bart Reiter Regent arrives this Friday. I had the Bart Reiter Galax but returned it in exchange for the Regent.

SpruceTop 11-24-2017 06:00 PM

The Bart Reiter Regent arrived and with a much better setup than the Galax I returned in exchange for the Regent. Bart, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! ;)

Swamp Yankee 11-26-2017 11:46 AM

Congrats! (pics or it didn't happen) ;)

SpruceTop 12-10-2017 04:27 PM

This old boy is losing it! I just ordered a Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson to go with my other recently-acquired banjos. Frankly, with carpel-tunnel in both hands, banjos are a God-send, and I recommend that any guitarist with similar afflictions give the 5-stringers a whirl. It'll only help your guitar playing and it'll open up a whole new sonic and tactile experience--as well as esoterica--that will likely be as exciting as your love of guitar! Trust Me On This! ;)

SpruceTop 12-10-2017 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee (Post 5548729)
Congrats! (pics or it didn't happen) ;)

Swamper, coming up soon, Bro!


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