To make this Irish banjo, OME use their 19-fret tenor neck with a 12″ open-back pot and tune it, GDAE or CGDA. The longer scale of the 19-fret tenor necks allows the banjo to have a warmer tone with clearer treble than 17-fret tenors, and the 12″ pot with a simple tone ring gives a bigger and mellower sound with dry clarity to the notes. OME set up the Irish banjo with a Renaissance head which sounds more natural and clean.
The OME Sweetone tailpiece is added for modest pressure to keep the strings taught and the notes clear and shrill-free.
John Carty, one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians who tours with the re-formed super group, Patrick Street, has acquired a “Juniper” Irish tenor banjo and here is what he says about it:
“Having played and believed whole heartedly in vintage banjos all my life it was with some trepidation that I tried these brand new OME banjos. I was given a hand crafted instrument to try. The instrument had a 12 inch pot and I took to it immediately. It has the depth of tone I constantly look for, coupled with an extra sustain which is a particularly great quality for Irish banjo players as this allows our music to breathe. I found I didn’t need to be quite so busy in order to highlight the essence of the tunes. The ability of the instrument to sustain and lengthen the notes has given me a new zest for playing the banjo. Another characteristic I enjoy about it is its immediate efficiency, there’s no wrestling with it like with older instruments, it stays in tune and every note is true even the low A, B and C on the G string which is such a plus. Basically it is ready to play as soon as you take it out of the case and I think it has definitely improved my playing. I am so looking forward to gigging with this instrument.”
Here are the Juniper 19 Fret specifications:
It is designed by a master banjo builder, with over fifty years of experience, and is built from the finest ‘banjo materials’. The beautiful mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard inlaid with natural abalone inlays, is enhanced by Ome’s build quality and attention to fine detail.
The Pot Assembly:
- Air dried 11/16” thick, ‘three ply’ sold maple 12” tone-rim
- Rolled brass tone ring
- Double Ome design 3/8” diameter coordinating rim rod set
- 26 tension hooks
- Tortoiseshell binding on outer rim
- Sweetone aged bronze plated OME tailpiece
- Ome maple/ebony bridge
- Renaissance head
- Aged bronze finish solid brass hardware
- Hand-made OME bridge
- Exotic OME wooden arm rest
- Hand-rubbed oil varnish finish
The Neck Assembly:
- Graceful hand-carved mahogany neck with 1.22″ nut width
- 19 frets with a scale of 22.125″
- Ebony fingerboard with polished nickel silver frets
- Intricate ‘Jubilee tenor’ design Mother-of-Pearl and Abalone inlays in diamond and swirl
- Bone top nut
- White side dot markers
- Ome Professional aged bronze look planet geared tuners
- Antique onyx tuner buttons
- Ome abalone inlaid ebony faced headstock with fern design
Complete with Deluxe Hard Shell Case and Ome lifetime warranty
The Maker: Charles Ogsbury
Charles Ogsbury began designing and building banjos in 1960 under the Ode name. He sold Ode to Baldwin in 1966 and started Ome Banjos in 1970. Charles emphasizes that his long-term passion has always been to craft outstanding banjos which equal or surpass the best of the vintage classics. Ome’s hand-built instruments feature exceptional tone, playability, and beauty, and are made to last a life-time.
The Ome range includes Bluegrass, Old Time Open-Backs, Tenor and Plectrum banjos. Each instrument feature is designed by Charles Ogsbury. Ome also pride themselves on using the finest banjo building materials and timbers with options such as the finest select curly maple, walnut, and ebony woods, hand-rubbed finishes, hand-engraved armrests and tailpieces, wood carving, dye-coloring. Gold-plated metal parts are also available on all Ome banjos.
For more information visit the Ome Banjos website at www.omebanjos.com