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I recently bought a Dobson spun over with 12″ head and antiqued pot and hardware. I have been enjoying it immensely these last few weeks. It gives me so much more capacity to shape the sound to fit any situation I enter into and I’ve only scratched the surface of what it will give me as I grow along with this great instrument. It was a lot of fun as well dealing with Sean while Bill was out West. Sean was patient and helpfull as I asked a ton of questions and asked for pictures and videos to help me zero in on my choice. When I finally decided it was sent within a couple days and was packed up well enough to withstand any reasonable abuse. Needless to say I was a very happy camper. Thanks again for a top notch instrument and great service from a friendly staff. All the best!
A word about the good people at Rickard Banjos: I’ve acquired two wonderful instruments from the folks at Rickard, and couldn’t be more delighted with them — the banjos are are lovely; fine workmanship, great tone, great intonation, great looks; and I am especially fond of the neck carve on these instruments — they fit my hand perfectly. Each banjo had custom elements, some fairly subtle; it was great to be able to talk over ideas and options with them, and, even better, have the banjos arrive with exactly the things I’d requested. Nice folks; a joy to work with, and each banjo has made me very happy indeed.
As a left handed musician, it's difficult to find quality instruments. I realized a while ago that in order to forgo the long search for a decent lefty instrument, I would need to order custom work. I ordered a custom lefty neck to fit to an old pot. The folks at Rickard Banjos shared their design expertise and built banjo that suits me very well. I even got to break it in at Clifftop this year, and found out for a couple of moments I was right next to Mr. Rickard without even knowing! If I had known, I would have thanked him in person.
Nice folks, helpful tips, beautiful banjo; Happy customer!
I bought the 11” Maple Ridge five months ago as a step up from my first banjo. The aesthetics and quality of construction of this banjo are magnificent. The neck is a perfect fit for me and the sound is great. Went to buy it with my instructor and he was amazed. As a beginner, will this banjo make me a better player? Sure will. I enjoy it so much that I practice until my fingers hurt. As an aside, my instructor wants it willed to him, and he plays a Stelling.
Purchasing a custom banjo through Rickard Banjo was a great experience. As you might imagine, there was extensive research that went into choosing a builder for a lifetime instrument. From the very first email I received in response to my initial inquiry, to the phone calls and emails that followed, to receiving the instrument, I was very happy with the entire process. After discussing my vision for the build, Sean worked with me to put everything together. He sent me photographs of the instrument during different stages of the build process and always returned my emails promptly. I could not be happier with both the instrument and the service.
I should start by admitting that I have owned a couple dozen banjos from some great builders. A well-built, great sounding banjo is a thing of beauty and I have more than one from Bill Rickard’s shop. Of all those banjos I have owned the one I’ll never sell and that I take to every jam, festival or gig is one of Bill’s. His spunover banjos not only look awesome and play great but they also have a clear, powerful sound that can’t be beat. I like how the Dobson or Bacon (my favorite) adds a bit more mid-range and a little bit of that warm hum/reverb. I recently bought one of his Little Wonders and it has the same great neck and playability but has a rounder, darker sound for when I feel like something a little different. One of his banjos is always out and next to my desk.
Having a banjo you love is one thing but being willing to recommend a builder without reservations is another. When somebody asks for banjo shopping advice I don’t hesitate to tell them that they can’t go wrong with one of Bill Rickard’s banjos. I’ve seen enough of his banjos to know that the fit, finish, and playability are going to be perfect. I even went so far as to convince my friends (and former employers) at Gryphon Stringed Instruments to carry his banjos. Everybody that has taken my advice is happy and it’s no surprise to me.
I talked to them about a custom banjo uke and they asked what would be on my wish list. I sent them my list hoping a few things would be possible, but thinking most were probably not. The response I got back was that everything is doable and they gave me a very reasonable quote for all the different details. I could hardly believe it. For a totally custom made instrument, it was ready to be shipped in quite a short amount of time as well. It turned out perfect! It sounds great, plays absolutely effortlessly and looks just like what I was aiming for, but with even better quality then I could imagine! Once I opened the box, I already felt a very strong sense of this being my instrument.
Bill Rickard and his fine crew are building some of the best banjos being made today. After playing John Herrmann's 12" Dobson style Rickard I was thoroughly impressed! The sound, the looks, the accurate workmanship compelled me to ask Bill to build me one along the same lines. He did and it's now the favorite open back of my small collection and it's the one I bring to gigs. Thank you Bill!
I was lucky enough to get to deal directly with both Sean and Bill through the process of the making of my new Rickard banjo (raw brass spunover 11-inch rim, Dobson ring, maple neck), which helped me understand why the banjo itself is so good. It’s not just a business with them; they care about each one of their banjos. This attitude shines through in the product. My banjo exceeded expectations in every way: build quality, playability, aesthetics. The sound is full, authoritative and complex. It has done exactly what I had hoped for: challenged me as a player to live up to the quality of my instrument. This one is a keeper.
Rickard Banjos are world class! Unique in design, each banjo is a work of art. I have been searching for over 15 years for just the right sound and their half fretless, copper pot model is not only the sound I was looking for, it is the envy of every banjo player in every jam I’m in. I could not be happier with the years of joy this banjo has already given me. I plan to play it for my lifetime and pass it on to my son.
I chose my Rickard Maple Ridge literally by doing a blindfolded test of the finest banjos available at one of the finest music stores in the San Francisco Bay area. I bet if you blindfolded me again, I would still pick the Rickard.
I love my Rickard half fretless banjo. It does everything I could hope for and has never let me down. I've been playing a 1880's Dobson for the past 30 years (and I love that thing), but it hasn't been off the wall since I got the Rickard.