8/08/2014

c.2005 Brooks 5-String Openback Banjo




This Brooks banjo is certainly in the style of old Buckbee instruments that I'm very familiar with but it's an updated build that's much more suitable for the modern old-time player. It's hot to trot and sounds fantastic. It was in the shop for a new head (it's my buddy Forrest's banjo) and while here I gave it a fret level/dress and new (compensated) bridge as well. I also swapped his 5th pip out at the same time so it'd stay in better tune when using the railroad spikes but we'll see if he likes that (it's an acquired taste the way it's setup).

He's heard me vouch for the Elite Amber/Renaissance heads for a long time so I'm hoping he enjoys the clarity and volume boost over the Remo Fiberskyn (ick!) head that was on here before.


Build quality is really high -- and simple -- and the 11" maple rim is loaded with a big old brass hoop tonering.


An Indian penny and misc. bone nut add to the vintage vibe as does the antiqued hardware.


Compared to an old Buckbee the (walnut) neck is a lot stouter and the ebony (slab) board is thick and generous. Forrest is really rough with his gauges, unfortunately, so the neck does have a smidge of relief. I don't know many folks who string a 5th with a 13...



This has a shorter scale length (around 25" as I recall) and the neck is gracefully heeled with the "boat" shape so often employed on old Buckbees as well.






The shoes are great! Minstrel us up, sir.



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