Thinking hard about a Phantom vs a Classic Deluxe. Is the 5th string peg an issue that often? I like the styling of both, so it depends if the tunneled 5th is a big plus. Thanks
It’s all in what your used to.
I have a Nechville Classic Deluxe and an Aries, both have 5th string pegs. I have no issues when playing up or down the neck, or transferring from low to high positions (and back) on the fly. In fact, sometimes the the 5th string peg subtly alerts me to my hand position on the neck when doing slides, etc.
Edited by - Pick-A-Lick on 05/20/2022 06:43:58
I haven't played the Classic, but I personally love the tunneled fifth string of my mahogany Phantom. The tunneled fifth string gives the banjo neck great playability. Sometimes I add a capo on the fifth fret, and it seems a little easier without that tuning peg there. The Phantom also has 14:1 tuner ratio , as opposed to the 4:1 on the Classic.
I think they are both really nice banjo's, but I always questioned why they put guitar tuners on the Phantom and a few of the others. Maybe they have to with the tunneled 5th string, but I would think there would be a way to use planetary tuners just so it doesn't look like a guitar peghead.
If it were me though, I'm more traditional and I would go with the non-tunneled one, but that is just based on looks... nothing else. Both are beautiful instruments in their own ways.
The stock Phantom tuners are 14:1 guitar tuners. My guess is they were thinking it's different so let's make it different. I just ordered a Custom Photon(Phantom with nicer binding, wood, fretboard, and nickel plated frame) with a vintage headstock and Rickard tuners. My other banjos are patterned after the classic style, but I played a Phantom last year and absolutely loved it. It wasn't so much the peg(I don't even notice that any more), but the spacing, the radius in the fingerboard, and the looks of the neck without the peg sticking out. There will be 4 tuners on the headstock in all the normal spots, and one up top.
Of course, one can always put planetary tuners on a Phantom if that is your preference.
Also, if you're willing to wait, I'm sure they'd be happy to build you a classic with a tunneled 5th string. I have a custom Classic and one of the options I got was a tunneled 5th -- and I love it.
The fifth string on my Phantom gets hung up a bit and can be tricky to tune. They offer a fret roller, and i would recommend it with a tunneled fifth. While people have been playing around the fifth string peg for thousands of years, the Phantom is a pleasure to play without the darn thing in the way.
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