c.2008 Deering Crossfire Electric 5-String Banjo

No soundclip on this one as I didn't have time before it got picked up, so sorry there! This is a customer's instrument and it's been heavily played. The owner is Mr. Bow Thayer and he uses this crazy gadget to do all sorts of crazy gadget stuff live. I was hesitant about the instrument at first (because of the wild body styling, mostly, and the fact that it's nearly silent "unplugged," but plugged-in this thing sounds great!

It uses a mix of active magnetic pickups -- a usual-style electric pup at the neck for those guitar-ish tones and a different type at the bridge that senses the vibration of the bridge feet (which are "treated" with thin steel pads on the feet) rather than the strings. This second pickup (the "acoustic" sounding one) operates in a similar fashion to the way many first-generation electric violins produced their sound and it's remarkably more "natural" in voice than I expected. I also know firsthand from seeing Bow use this live that the instrument handles high volume and feedback with no issue.

Work included a fret level/dress, cleaning, new bone nut, and setup.

I think the electric guitar-style body with the inset head is a neat idea. I wonder if anyone does something similar in an acoustic banjo format?

Yeah, it's quite "electric" in looks, too.

The board is ebony and the inlay is pearl (as befitting a $3k+ instrument).

The tailpiece was in dire need of a new hanger bolt -- which it got.

...plenty of wear and tear back here!

The flame on the maple neck is super-intense.