Looking into a Ramsey Banjo. I would like to find the model as information is sketchy. In the pot the number is 2677 and that as I understand it is it. Any ideas folks?
No idea about that number, but the model can be identified by the tone ring or lack of one and the amount of decorative detail. Maybe post a description?
Be aware that Mike's craftsmanship was all over the map, from excellent to not so good. It has less to do with model than the actual banjo. Things to watch out for are irregular neck/pot junction, cramping of the strings at the fifth fret due to a too narrow a neck at the fifth fret area, usually causing a narrowed spacing between the 4th and 5th strings, irregular string spacing at the nut, ,variable inlays with fillings around them and occasionally an off-centered tailpiece. When you find a good one, snag it because they are good banjos when they are good. banjered
I've purchased two really fine Ramsey banjos and I'm sad about the decline of this brand's reputation. On two head-to-head comparisons I chose Ramsey over Reiter because of the perceived better tonality, despite the fact that the Reiter is a more reliable quality. Few complain about Ramsey sound quality. When Mike got one right, they really sang.
My Ramsey is fantastic. A 12” rim “Electric” appointments but I believe a long skirt spun over tone ring.. I love the sound clear resonate. The neck is very thick but no issues with spacing or intonenation. I have 6 other banjos and this is my favorite.
I spent a lot of time on his website before I bought my Ramsey Maple Special #2518 online from Elderly in 2012. If you post specs and pics I may be able to help put a model name to it.
It was my first good banjo and I've been very happy with its fit, finish and sound. If I'd known then what I know now I'd never have bought it without seeing and playing it first. But I felt safe with Elderly.
Edited by - Winged Words on 07/24/2019 10:47:22
As I remember in previous years the base models were the Student, the Standard and the Special. All were made pretty much the same with small improvements in decoration (choice wood, inlay, etc) as you moved up the scale. All had simple "tone hoops" not tone rings.
I also believe Ramseys have been made in at least 3 locations, as indicated on the metal plaques on the dowel sticks; Ohio, Appamatox VA and N. Carolina. I think Ohio came first, then VA, and now NC?
I owned a 12" Amish also in later years. I still have the fretless 12" Special. Very nice banjos, that sell at very reasonable prices "used".
I understand Ramsey also made a bunch of upgraded models with old style tone rings, etc. Have never seen nor played one of those.
I say, check it out, if you like, buy it. The advice about 5th to 4th string spacing can easily be settled with 10 seconds of personal observation.
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