Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Opinion on Open Back Banjo's

I have decided I really love the look of a open back Banjo and have decided I am going to purchase one I have narrowed my search down to two different makers and just cannot decide which one I want more,
The first one is the Reiter Grand Concert it is used but in like new condition
the second one is a Rickard Maple Whyte Laydie it is new
Both of these Banjo"s are beautiful in my opinion both are around the same cost

would like opinions and tell me if you know what the differences in the two would be other than the obvious differences

Thanks in advance all opinions appreciated


They’re both great banjos from respected builders. You’ll be happy either way


Interesting. How do you feel about the sound of them?

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@BanJoe Sorry it took me so long to answer, I have heard sound clips from someone playing the Reiter Grand Concert seemed pretty mellow The Rickard I have been UN able to find any sound clips of the particular instrument I am considering but have heard some other Rickard’s
which has a real old time sound to the ones I have heard do not know if the Reiter was just the tune I listened to or what there just is not a lot of sound clips of either and that is where my dilemma is rite now
I have come to a conclusion that I may have to through each name in a hat and which ever I pull out live with it.
to me they are both just so beautiful of instrument it makes it a hard decision

To answer your question I love the sound of both

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@Dragonslayer they are both respected builders both with their own take on what a banjo should look and sound like The Grand Concert was built in 93 and the Rickard is new but both are vary beautiful instruments similar but yet different and that is why this decision is so hard i want both LOL
The other problem I am having is the Reiter was built in 1993 and just not sure it should command a over 2 K price but that is just me and my mind wandering to much LOL
@Dragonslayer i also seen your post on another site and sent you a link

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Well, that does mean that you could easily sell it back at the same price if you ever need money urgently.

I got your msg from the other site, thx


Well I have finally made a decision and it is a crazy one I will have to admit but it is what it is
I have decided to just purchase both that way there will never be a question in my mind whether I made the rite decision I just could not make up my mind no matter how hard I tried I like the looks of both that much so there you have it I am now the owner of a Bart Reiter Grand Concert and also a Rickard Maple Whyte Laydie cant wait till I have both in my hands it is going to be fun and hard at the same time the hard part will be trying to decide which to pick up and play.


I like the way you think!


@mharrison43 I do not know if it was smart or not but and a lot of people would say I was nuts LOL believe me I am not nuts I just like nice things I have never had the opportunity to do the things I am doing until now so I am doing it, I have been looking at open back banjo’s for sometime now and just refused to ever pull the trigger on one, I just could never find any that I just had to have I was only looking to purchase one and had pretty much decided on the Rickard but I made the mistake of continuing to look, I even had the Rickard saved to a cart to purchase and then continued to look, and then I came across the Grand Concert and that is when my dilemma started i just could not decide, I do not do anything except play for my wife which makes her smile and believe me i have never done anything like this before I was always the one that would penny pinch, up until last year when my wife was stuck by a hit and run driver then I made a change and started looking at it a different way my wife and I lived and still do pretty modestly we saved our pennies and everything we could save, we looked at it this way if it was not something we absolutely needed we did not buy, we put away a lot of money that way we paid cash for everything even the car we drive,the off grid property we owned, we did not need a whole lot but then my wife got sick and for the past 8-10 years I have been taking care of her but April 1,2019 changed everything that is when my wife was hit by a hit and run driver I started looking at things differently I decided I was going to get a few things I had been wanting so I have, because you cannot take the money with you when you go and there are more important things in life then how much money you have in the bank, and I refuse to leave it to people that have not been here for me and my wife. So I purchased both dilemma solved LOL

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