Like New! Crazy Burled Walnut resonator.
All major parts engraved. Hand-carved heel and back of peghead.
This is an very nice piece! Lovingly handmade by Bill Neaves, Sr, a noted local musician and banjo maker.
Bill made quite a few banjos and 5-str banjo necks for old Gibson pots. His workmanship was quite good, with him personally making the neck, carving the neck, engraving the metal parts, etc.
Beautiful burled Walnut on back and sides of resonator. Straight-grained Walnut neck. Dark brown finish color. Ivoroid bindings around top and back of resonator.
Double-cut peghead with Bella Voce inlay pattern. Nice truss-rod cover is engraved pearl, with name “Bill Neaves”. Back of peghead is bas relief elaborate floral carving, with engraved pearl cameo with “Built by Bill Neaves 2010”, inset into the center. Beautiful Rosewood flat fingerboard with Bella Voce inlays. Inlay block at 21st fret reads, “MASTERCLONE”.
Neck heel is elaborately carved with a beautiful floral pattern. Ebony heelcap with pearl floral inlay.
Ivoroid bindings along fingerboard and around heelcap. R.R. spikes installed at A, B, C & D.
All gold parts. Tension hoop engraved with leaf designs on top edge and on side. Tone ring sidewall echoes tension hoop engraving design. Flange has textured engraving at base of each hook. Presto tailpiece shows off elaborate engraving on top of base plate, top of cover and back of cover. Likewise, the armrest shows beautiful complex engraving, with words “Bella Voce” engraved above attaching bolt.
Gold tuners – 5-star planetary tuners at 1st & 4th, Keith D-tuners installed at 2nd & 3rd, engraved 5th tuner.
This banjo has lots of power and has strong resonance that you feel immediately with any note plucked. Currently set-up with Fiberskyn head. Comes with good original hard case.
*I know there are many banjos made by “backyard” or “shadetree” makers. This is not one of those… Bill Neaves, Sr, was an accomplished craftsman who loved banjos and played them well. He was serious about his interest in building banjos, using major components and fitting them quite well.
The engraving alone would cost $2K – $3K if ordered through a major maker. Likewise, the wood carving on neck heel and back of peghead would cost $1K – $2K and the gold plating would cost $650 – $900. Further, the other options, highly burled Walnut, Bella Voce elaborate inlay, Keith tuners, would total around $1K in upcharges.
A similarly appointed banjo from Huber, Stelling, Prucha, OME, etc, would be priced around $12,000.
So – here is one at a bargain price of $4450 including original good hard case.