New Instruments: Deering, Ome & Other Banjos

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Ian Pattison Salem 5 String

Luthier Ian Pattison has been building fretted instruments since the early 1980’s in his Guelph, Ontario one-man shop. Although he’s built all manner of stringed instruments, the banjo is his main pursuit, and his openback 5 strings are highly regarded amongst Southern Ontario frailers.

Pattison’s Salem 5 String (named for the town of Salem, where the luthier traces his roots) features an 11” birdseye maple rim with cherry cap and coyote tonering. The high-quality hardware is all Canadian-made and beautifully nickel-plated. The instrument’s neck features a two-piece maple lamination with a walnut center, bookmatched walnut overlay, frailing cut-away, and Gotoh tuners. The fingerboard is rosewood and inlaid with hand-cut Canadian Loons.

With renaissance head, wooden tone ring, and no knot tailpiece, the banjo has a lively old-timey voice that’s round and warm, but still defined and precise.

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