We blend old world craftsmanship and modern technologies to create banjos that have personal character and technical excellence. Though I personally resisted using these new technologies, the result is astonishing. The process encourages artistic expression while allowing for precision machining.
Necks: Necks are built from highly figured hard maple, or American black walnut. The necks are 2 piece laminated maple with an ebony black veneer down the center line. Laminated necks are inherently stronger and more stable than most 1 piece necks. Each neck is reinforced with a 2-way adjustable truss rod system. All necks feature a black ebony peg head, fingerboard, and heel cap.
Binding and wood purfling along the side of the neck is standard on all models except the Minstrel. The intensity of the figure in the wood, as well as the complexity of the inlays increase with each model. Neck options include: heel carvings, 1 piece fiddleback necks (when available). Wildwood standard necks have 22 frets and use a 26.25″ scale length. We offer necks in 19 & 22 fret tenors, standard scale plectrums, as well as the long neck “Seeger-style” frailing model.
Rims: Wildwood rims are completely different from conventional rims. Whereas conventional rims are “wrapped laminates”, our rims are machined from solid rock maple blocks. The effect is obvious as soon as you play one of our banjos. The volume, clarity, character of the sound–all due to the solid nature of these rims. You will notice the difference right away–it will be hard to put the banjo down! Each rim is machined to exacting spec’s, bound and purfled to match the neck (on open back models only), and stained to match the color of the neck.
Tone Rings: Our Traditional tone rings are featured in all models of our open back banjos. This nickel plated brass ring is our version of the Tubaphone-style tone rings of the early 1920’s. These rings are made in house and are a great compliment to our block laminate rim. With the addition of the solid nickel plated brass bracket shoe band, Wildwood banjos offer a true vintage pot assembly.
The Bluegrass tone ring is a 87% cast bronze alloy 20 hole rim in the “flat head” style. These are USA cast and machined to our specifications. This ring delivers a powerful, hard driving bluegrass sound with its own unique character.
Resonators: Wildwood resonators are 3-ply inner core of hard maple, and veneered top and sides with either fancy curly/fiddleback maple, or curly and burl figure black walnut. They are bound with cream colored ivory binding and purfled with wood marquetry to match the neck. These resonators not only add volume and drive but elegance and beauty as well. A final touch to a truly responsive instrument.
We are proud to be a part of the history of the banjo. We take our efforts very seriously–resulting in a beautiful line of banjos. You can be assured that when you purchase a Wildwood Banjo, you have reached the end of the line for quality, performance, service, and most of all fun!