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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

7077 reviews in the archive.

Richard Newman: Pedersen Special

Submitted by John Pedersen on 11/11/2006

Where Purchased: From Maker

Year Purchased: 1975
Price Paid: 2500 ($US)


As a Clawhammer Frailer and old time no fingerpicks picker, this banjo has the best sound of any banjo I have ever played. It can range from bright and crystaline to low down and plunky. I have always played with full bands and the volume is completely up to that. Very clear.

Sound Rating: 10


When I first got the banjo the action was set pretty low. Kyle Creed told me I'd get more volume with it higher. I have over the years set the action higher and higher till now it is a solid 8mm where the neck meets the rim. It has a fixture at the end of the dowel stick that allows you to change the action pretty easy.

Setup Rating: 10


The Banjo is a version of the Whyte Laydie #7, all original parts including the bracket band, tone ring, stretcher band, hooks and shoes made by Newman. Original peghead shape and inlay and carving designs.Has neck carving and ornate inblays on a curly maple neck.

Appearance Rating: 10


31 Years old so far and no worries. I gig with it all the time with no backup.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Lifetime I assume. No problems so, no problems.

Customer Service: 10


All shop made parts except 5 star tuners. Grover friction 5th peg my (My choise). Viola fine tuners on the tailpiece at the 1st and the 5th string.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Newman is not making banjos right now, but if one were to be available, I would buy it myself just becasue I think that they are the best anywhere. I traded a Fairbanks Electric Imperial Electric #6 for this banjo and never have regretted it for a minute. Others owners include Mike Seeger, the Smithsonian Museum, and Warren Argo. The only banjo that I have ever played that almost made me cheat was a big pot Orpheum #3 special.

Overall Rating: 10

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