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  #61  
Old 05-12-2018, 05:21 PM
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Very nice! Let us know when you get it. My Pisgah should be ready next month if all goes well.
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  #62  
Old 06-03-2018, 01:19 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Hmmm since putting down a $400 deposit a month ago, and receiving a form reply that someone will contact me shortly about my Ozark banjo, I've not heard anything from the company. A few days after placing my order, I wrote a follow-up email regarding clarification on the features I wanted but still have not received a reply. I'm thinking of canceling my Ozark order and going with a Bart Reiter Round Peak model which will have many of the features of my custom Ozark, minus the fancier inlay and mahogany rim, but at a cheaper price. IMHO, based on my Bart Reiter Regent purchase, I'd have to say that Bart Reiter (and Rickard Banjos) offers the best value of any of the brands I've purchased so far. Bart Reiters are quality banjos constructed of top-notch components for rock-bottom prices.

P.S. The above isn't a judgement on Ozark Banjo Company but merely my current experience. I know Lukas and Eden are currently renovating their new home and shop in Maine and this may account for the lapse in responding to my queries. Their initial response to my first email indicated that the lead time was about a year from ordering until delivery of a banjo.

Bart Reiter Round Peak

Features:
Rolled brass tone ring
Ebony fingerboard and peghead veneer
Mahogany neck - stained brown
Dot position markers
Satin lacquer finish

Rim Construction:
Walnut bottom cap
Two ply laminated maple
1/2 inch wall thickness
12 inch diameter
Notched tension hoop
26 L-shoe brackets
Elite Amber head
5/8 inch ebony top bridge
No Knot tailpiece

Neck Construction:
26 1/4 inch scale length
17 nickel silver frets - scooped fingerboard
Bone nut
Steel reinforced (adjustable at heel end)
Maple dowel stick
Veneer laminated in center of neck
4 planetary tuning pegs
Geared fifth peg
Traditional peghead shape and neck contour

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OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
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Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 06-04-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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  #63  
Old 06-09-2018, 04:38 PM
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If you put down a down payment, make sure you can get it back before making a decision.

My Pisgah is ready. I just need to send Patrick a check and he'll ship it out.
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  #64  
Old 06-10-2018, 05:34 PM
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It'll probably be next week before it arrives, but here are the pics he sent.

IMG_1175.jpgIMG_1179.jpgIMG_1178.jpgIMG_1177.jpgIMG_1176.jpg
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  #65  
Old 06-11-2018, 03:33 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
It'll probably be next week before it arrives, but here are the pics he sent.

Attachment 9706Attachment 9707Attachment 9708Attachment 9709Attachment 9710
Beautifully and simply elegant and you're gonna love your new Pisgah!

I just checked the Ozark site and it says deposits are non-refundable so I'll just hold on and wait for my place in the waiting list to come around to the build stage.
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Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
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  #66  
Old 06-12-2018, 04:24 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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BoneDigger: Pisgah will likely include an additional saddle with your new banjo. When I got my Pisgah the action was high but Patrick included a lower saddle which I swapped out for the installed higher one and the banjo's action was then perfect for me.
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Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead
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  #67  
Old 06-12-2018, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
BoneDigger: Pisgah will likely include an additional saddle with your new banjo. When I got my Pisgah the action was high but Patrick included a lower saddle which I swapped out for the installed higher one and the banjo's action was then perfect for me.
I've talked to Patrick about the action. He's going to set it fairly low for me since I finger pick rather than play clawhammer. The check went out today. Hoping to get the banjo next week.
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  #68  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:48 AM
sevenpalms sevenpalms is offline
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Patrick is a good guy...makes a great banjo! I live just a couple miles from his shop. Been to his shop a couple times. It's neat to see the whole process.... Good luck and enjoy.
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  #69  
Old 06-25-2018, 11:13 PM
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My Pisgah Possum arrived today. It is now tuned up and I've had a chance to play it for an hour or so. What an absolutely great sounding banjo! It fits my needs and fills a hole in my banjo lineup quite nicely. Fit and finish are quite good. As noted earlier, I had this set up for three finger style playing, so the action is lower than normal. It could come down just a hair but is perfectly usable as-is.

I love the simple elegance of this banjo. No elaborate scroll work or peg head design. Everything just looks homemade, which is EXACTLY what I wanted! It'll go nicely with the Big Muddy mandolin I had made for me late last year and the guitar I had commissioned for me (also just received).

You may remember that I bought two Zachary Hoyt banjos a while back. It's hard to compare these since the two Hoyt banjos are 12" banjos with a tone ring. I'd say fit and finish are about the same. Tone wise, they ALL sound good to me. So, to me anyway, it's a bit of a washout. However, I did buy a third Hoyt banjo from Elderly Instruments a while back and it was NOT a great sounding banjo. It was about the most DULL banjo I have ever heard, even with tweaking the head and adding new strings. That one went back to Elderly for a refund. The third Hoyt was a wooden rim banjo, similar to the Pisgah, but it had a mahogany rim and cap. I think mahogany just simply isn't a great wood choice for a banjo rim, or at least it wasn't in that banjo.

So, what can I say about the Pisgah? Patrick is a great guy to work with and the transaction was very smooth. From ordering to completion was around 5 months if I recall correctly. I am very happy with this purchase and I don't see me buying any more banjos for a long, long time. Famous last words, right...?
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  #70  
Old 06-27-2018, 03:29 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Congratulations On Your Pisgah, Enjoy!

I'm pleased with my Pisgah and it's pretty much my overall favorite as it sounds good and plays easily. Currently, it's the only one with railroad spikes for different tunings. I'm going to add spikes to my other banjos soon.
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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
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead
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  #71  
Old 08-25-2018, 06:42 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default Another New Banjo!

Today, I purchased an Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie No. 2 from Bernunzio Uptown Music, here in Rochester, New York. I left the banjo at the shop for installation of railroad spikes at the 7th fret and the 9th fret, and will pick it up next week. The store had three of these Eastman-Bernunzio collaborative recreations of a 1903 A.C. Fairbanks Whyte Laydie No. 2 available, and I chose the nicest sounding and constructed one. The three banjos I got to choose from are listed as B-stock with cosmetic flaws, and although I could see where the varnish had run on the peghead Mythical Beast of the other two, the one I chose looked mint. These are new banjos and carry the Eastman warranty. The list-price is $1700, and the usual selling price is $1359, but because of the "cosmetic" issues, I got mine dealt for $950 just for asking about pricing ($1075 is their web-posted price), and with railroad-spike installation included. The banjo comes with a nice old-fashioned style "bump" hardshell case. It'll be interesting to compare the tone of this Eastman Whyte Laydie to my Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie. My banjo at Bernunzio's.

From the Eastman Music Company Website -
EBJ-WL1:
Neck Material: 3 Piece Maple w/ Ebony Strip
Fingerboard: Ebony
Fingerboard Radius: Flat
Nut: 1 11/32
Fretwire: Jescar FW37053
Scale Length: 26"
Rim Material: Maple
Rim Demensions: 3/8" thick x 10 3/4" width Rim 3/8"
Body Top: Coated Remo Head
Body Back/Sides: Open Back Maple Rim
Binding: Fingerboard
Binding Material: Ivoroid
Inlay: Pearl Diamond, Star, Diamond
Hardware Color: Chrome
Head Skin (Top): Remo BJ-1012-H6
Bridge: Maple/ Ebony Top
String Spacing:10mm
Nut Height: .022"
Tuners: Pingwell RM-1310C
Strings: D'adarrio EJ61NY
Action Height: Strings 1-4 (0.09"), String 5 (0.06")
Case: Hardshell Case

__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 Trance Amulet M-VT
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
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead

Last edited by SpruceTop; 08-26-2018 at 01:07 PM.
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  #72  
Old 08-25-2018, 06:48 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default Ozark Banjo Update

Finally, after about three months and a few emails to Ozark, they finally responded that they were "travelling" and just read my emails. Is this any way to run a railroad? At any rate, they assured me that I could make changes to my custom banjo specs that I initially submitted on the order form and that they'd contact me before beginning construction. It'll likely be about 8 to 9 months before I receive my banjo as they have a que of customers in line for their banjos. More to come ...
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 Trance Amulet M-VT
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
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead
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  #73  
Old 08-25-2018, 07:19 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default Eastman Whyte Laydie No. 2 Demo

Here's a video of Michelle Younger, a former employee of Bernunzio Uptown Music, here in Rochester, New York, performing with her Eastman Whyte Laydie No. 2. The Eastman Whyte Laydie No. 2 is a collaboration of John Bernunzio and Eastman Music Company, and is based on an extant A.C. Fairbanks Whyte Laydie No. 2 but comes, thankfully, with modern planetary tuners.

View a Larger Format Video Of The Following Video

__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 Trance Amulet M-VT
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
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead

Last edited by SpruceTop; 08-26-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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  #74  
Old 09-03-2018, 02:56 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default Eastman Whyte Laydie EBJ-WL1 Update

A few days ago, I bought a new Eastman Whyte Laydie No. 2 EBJ-WL1 from Bernunzio Uptown Music, here in Rochester, New York. Mine was listed as a new "B-Stock" instrument and I had a total of three new B-Stock banjos to choose from. There weren't and currently aren't any "A-Stock" instruments in stock. After playing and examining all three, I chose mine because it had the least cosmetic issues in that it only had some finish blotching on the rim cap and the rest of the instrument was really mint. The other two banjos had finish blotching on the Icilio Consalvi-design Mythical Beast peghead carving. Bernunzio included the installation of railroad spikes at the 7th and 9th frets in the purchase price of $950 which includes a decent hardshell bump case. Even with its B-Stock designation, I give my banjo a 9 overall rating.

After playing it for a few days and, so far, comparing its tone to my Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie, and my Pisgah Appalachian 12" Walnut Tubaphone, the Eastman is no slouch and is worth every dime I paid for it. The Eastman is a bit lighter and has a lower yet buzz-free action compared to the other two, which makes it a fun and easy to play banjo. Its volume is on a par with the others, too.

So how does the Eastman Whyte Laydie's tone and craftsmanship compare to the Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie's? The Bart Reiter, with its larger diameter head and thicker rim, has a bit bassier and darker tone but the Eastman's fundamental notes seem to "pop" more. The Bart Reiter's better overall craftsmanship is most evident in its Whyte Laydie tone ring in that the Bart's is cleaner at the braze joint and the nickel-plating is clean all the way around whereas the Eastman's braze joint is a bit sloppy and there are a few excessive nickel deposits on parts of the lower sleeve.

Summary, even at its regular selling price of $1359 for a new A-Stock rendition, the Eastman Whyte Laydie No. 2 EBJ-WL1 is a good value banjo but if you can get a new "B-Stock" rendition for several hundred dollars less, it makes buying one of these recreation 1903 A.C. Fairbanks Whyte Laydie No. 2 banjos a no-brainer!

Current banjos in stable:

Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah Custom 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead Resonantor
ARRIVING MONDAY! OME NorthStar Walnut Rim/Walnut Neck
ON ORDER - Ozark Custom 12" Cherry Rim with Brass Tone Ring/Cherry Neck
__________________
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Martin HD-28 Trance Amulet M-VT
Martin D-18
Martin D Jr B-Band A1.2N-1470
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
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Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead

Last edited by SpruceTop; 09-21-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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  #75  
Old 09-21-2018, 04:07 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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This old boy has banjo fever! I ordered a new OME NorthStar Walnut Rim with Vintage Brass Tone Ring/Walnut Neck from Banjo Studio and it's in transit and will be here Monday. More To Come ...
__________________
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 Trance Amulet M-VT
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
OME NorthStar Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead
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