c.2013 Ramsey 5-String Old Time Banjo

When folks ask me about getting a nice old-time 5-string banjo I usually ask them what features they want and then I redirect them to modern makes like this customer's Vega-ish Ramsey. Old 5-strings have charm and have certain attributes that make them must-haves as well but for someone embracing old-time sounds in this era the modern player expects newer features: frailing scoops, easy 5th string capos, necks that stay stable with heavier strings and switching tunings every 5 minutes... the works... and for those seeking to do old tenor banjos in by stealing their rims to put new necks on: why bother? Modern makers build same-sounding (tone!) stuff at lower prices and with more stable builds.

This banjo sounds great! Ramseys that I've played have tended to be simple, practical, no-frills affairs and this one is as well. It's got it where it counts.

This banjo was in for a single 5th string capo and I compensated the bridge at the same time.

I love the vintage headstock shape and wide (ahhhh) nut. I could do with Waverlies over the 5-Star pegs, though!

A generous scoop in the thick ebony board makes this a practical instrument for modern tastes.

...and the Renaissance/Elite head is, of course, my favorite choice so I applaud that inclusion.

This thing is basically built like an old Vega or similar and has a maple rim with a mahogany neck.

Fit and finish are superb...