I ordered the assembled 5 string mountain banjo. I had been considering the purchase for over a year. I had hesitated because I was afraid the string spacing at the nut would be too narrow for my fingers. I'm used to wider nut widths: 1 3/8. I reached out to MusicMakers and talked with Matt. OMG. He's so good. He quickly assured me that he could increase the string spacing for my preferences because there was room. That worked out perfectly for my fingers. Thank you a ton, Matt.
I have to say, the packaging was the most careful an precise I've ever see for a banjo. I have 8, so I know what crappy packaging can be. And the sound of this thing. I'm not sure what magic they do, but it rings with incredible sustain for a banjo with no metal tone ring. I took it apart and put it back together to get a feel for how that goes. Easy peasy. Nice that the mountain banjo has a truss rod. And adjusting the action was easy-just tighten or loosen on screw at the base of the neck.
Thank you guys, especially Matt.
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Beautiful wood and craftsmanship. It came perfectly adjusted with nice plunky, staccato nylon strings... the loudness and tone easily tailored by strategically placing pieces of light foam padding behind the skin, for muted playing in the parlor. I find that the Fred Kelly Freedom picks work well and bring out a balanced frailing style sound, for me. I would prefer playing it without a strap and am searching for a way to keep the beautifully finished but slippery round framework from sliding down out of position. I will experiment with foam padding and a elastic strap.
I am very pleased with this Mountain Bsnjo, and I look forward to the many hours of practicing the great variety of clawhammer stye tunes, that interest me. Thank you for the care and pride you put into this instrument. It also looks fantastic displayed on my wall.