The first builder of minstrel reproduction banjos in 1991, we continue to offer the best in quality, original design, and authentic tone of any minstrel reproduction banjos on the market. We built the banjo for the Ted Turner's television mini series about the Civil War prison, "Andersonville" and taught co-star Ted Marcoux how to play it for the movie. This model is still being offered. Our minstrel banjos have been copied from original pieces being careful to detail. All minstrel banjos are made to order. The rim is available in an eleven inch or twelve inch diameter and is made of two-ply hard rock maple and sometimes oak. The rims are one quarter inch thick , as were the originals, and are two and three quarter inches deep. The metal parts are hand built and are made of brass as were originals, unless otherwise noted. The necks are made of different grades of seasoned and kiln dried straight or figured maple. They are not reinforced nor do they have fingerboards and peghead overlays. The tension on gut or nylon strings is not enough to warp a neck. These banjos are not made for steel strings. They come with an ebony wood tailpiece, real gut strings, and a calfskin head for the authentic sound. They use ebony friction violin tuners as did the original banjos of the 1840's, 50's and 60's. Premium calfskin heads are available as well as matching hardshell cases or padded gig bags at an extra cost.
The Dandy Jim is a replica of an 1850s era minstrel banjo owned by Peter Szego and was probably built in New York and used on the minstrel stage. It features a 27 inch scale maple neck with a "bulge" in it and a hook style peghead. It has one-piece brass inlays in the bulge and on the peghead. It has five vertically mounted friction violin style tuners. This banjo has a deep 13 inch oak rim with six brass hooks placed in a non-symmetrical position and a brass tension hoop. It comes with a rounded surfaced walnut tailpiece, calfskin head and gut strings. This banjo has a deep, giant "boom" in it's clear tone. This banjo comes with a curly maple neck with a dark brown stain and a hand-rubbed finish. The price is $2800. Demonstrated and owned by Chris Ownby, Old Town, San Diego, California
Bob Flesher | (352) 270-8734 - Email: FleshrBnjo@aol.com
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