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PRE-ORDER PRICE! The Islander 2 ltd edition: coming Autumn 2014

PLEASE NOTE: THE ISLANDER 2 IS CURRENTLY AT DESIGN STAGE, TO SECURE ONE OF THESE LIMITED EDITION, HAND-MADE IN BRITAIN BANJOS, PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW OR CONTACT US TO PLACE A DEPOSIT. Limited edition, critically acclaimed, UK handmade banjo. Ownership certificate. High quality hard case. A future collectible and a beautiful banjo.
£1,850.00

Great British-made banjos, unique gifts, plus the best of the world's banjo accessories

  • Britain's only production banjo manufacturer
  • Yes, our banjos are actually made in Britain!
  • Our banjos are designed, crafted, built, set-up & packaged in the fine city of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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Handmade in Britain | Banjo Made in Britain | Islander OB Ash Leaf | Handmade Openback Banjo | Made In England Banjo

Handmade in Britain | Banjo Made in Britain | Islander OB Ash Leaf | Handmade Openback Banjo | Made In England Banjo
Handmade in Britain | Banjo Made in Britain | Islander OB Ash Leaf | Handmade Openback Banjo | Made In England Banjo
Handmade in Britain | Banjo Made in Britain | Islander OB Ash Leaf | Handmade Openback Banjo | Made In England Banjo
Handmade in Britain | Banjo Made in Britain | Islander OB Ash Leaf | Handmade Openback Banjo | Made In England Banjo
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PLEASE NOTE: THE ISLANDER 2 IS CURRENTLY AT DESIGN STAGE, TO SECURE ONE OF THESE LIMITED EDITION, HAND-MADE IN BRITAIN BANJOS, PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW OR CONTACT US TO PLACE A DEPOSIT.

The Islander Ash Leaf was a limited edition, critically acclaimed, UK handmade banjo, handcrafted exclusively for us by Malcolm McLeod, one of England's finest bespoke banjo makers.

The Islander 2 from The Great British Banjo Company will capture the spirit of the original
Islander Ash Leaf, with enhanced finish and features.

Ownership certificate. Luxury hardcase. A future collectible and a beautiful banjo.

WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT THE ISLANDER ASH LEAF...

"A stellar instrument," said top Nashville banjoist Bob Minner (Tim McGraw band).

"This banjo feels and sounds great," said clawhammer legend Dan Levenson.



Islander 2, open back 5-string banjo, handmade in England.

Please note all photographs on this page currently show the original Islander Ash Leaf. New pictures to follow.


This 5-string open-back model is beautifully crafted in England with a wonderful combination of traditional styling and superb sound, plus the use of ultra-contemporary carbon fibre reinforced neck.

Features include: all nickel-plated hardware, 24 brackets, carbon fibre neck reinforcement, traditional dowel stick and S-shaped frailing scoop.


Tonewoods to be confirmed soon!

INCLUDES HIGH QUALITY HARD CASE


Hear the original Islander Ash Leaf OB played by top US banjoist Bob Minner from the Tim McGraw band

The Islander OB Ash Leaf banjo was endorsed by the fantastic Bob Minner, superb solo player and acoustic guitar and banjo player for the Nashville country star Tim McGraw. Bob heard about "the new Brit banjo" and sought us out. Happily, when he heard the instrument for himself he was very keen to become an endorsing artist.

Bob Minner said: "Let me say that I would be hard pressed to find a finer instrument. The attention to detail is simply wonderful in every regard, and the tone is all anyone could ask for in an open back banjo. I particularly love the full thick neck profile, reminiscent of the great banjos of yesteryear. The ash block rim is also tonally exceptional. I am eager to start recording with it. A stellar instrument."
 

 

Hear the Islander Ash Leaf played by old-time master Dan Levenson

Old time banjo player par excellence Dan Levenson reviewed the
Islander Ash Leaf for Banjo Newsletter in January 2013. He gave it a glowing review. Here are some highlights..

"Well, it’s not everyday someone from England offers to send you a banjo for review. Yes, we have done more than a few banjo reviews for you over the years, but to be able to have one sent from overseas just doesn’t happen that often. Yeah, I hear ya, lots of banjos are made overseas these days. True, but the companies that represent the decent quality ones are here in the States so it was a little special to have one offered to me to see. “What did I say,” you ask? Well, “yes” of course! I mean you have to be pretty confident of your banjo to be willing to pay the freight and put it up for public criticism so you bet I wanted to see this one. And, going right in, I’ll say the confidence is well placed. This is a nice banjo!

"The Islander Ash has an 11” pot but upon playing it the first time I had to look again. I mean I almost got my measuring tape out because for an 11” banjo it sure sounded a lot like a 12”er! That impressed me right off the bat (or is that “boat”?).  Even when tuned up! Could that be the Ash wood that this pot is made from? I’m not sure but whatever it is, it’s a welcome surprise. The pot is block construction ash with is a simple brass rod tone ring. A nice added touch is that the Vega style adjustable armrest is included as a standard feature.

"The maple neck is nicely carved in a rounded V shape with a good finish and very nice feel. It features a black stained maple center splice and a carbon fiber reinforcement rod for strength and stability. BTW, it might also be that solid rod that contributes to the banjo’s full sound. They are said to conduct the sound better than an adjustable truss rod. For the more esthetically minded among you the neck does sport a dowel stick and is attached with the Vega style saddle neck brace which looks so good and some feel has better sound than the coordinator rod attachments use by many builders today. The science may be beyond me but the feel and sound are not and this banjo feels and sounds great.

"The scale length on this one is 26 3/16 " – a bit longer than the old “standard” scale of 26 ¼” and the current popular 25 ½” that is being made by many makers. The string spacing of the Islander is a bit wide at 11/32 same as the Chuck Lee (the Eastman WL and GT-OT are 5/16” spacing) and a neck width measuring 1 3/8” which is also a bit wider than the Eastman at 1 1/4”; GT OT  at 1 3/16; Chuck Lee at 1 11/32) so folks with larger hands or those preferring a bit more space on the neck should be pleased. This took me just a bit to get used to but was quite comfortable and easy to play."


Not content with just writing about the Islander, Dan recorded a video of himself playing Wooliver's Money Musk on the review instrument. We hope you'll agree that it sounds fantastic.

 

Specifications

Pot
  • Rim handmade in England (tonewood to be confirmed)
  • Twenty four brackets
  • Notched tension hoop.
  • Plain brass hoop tone ring
  • Remo Renaissance head
  • Luxury binding on inside and outer edges
Neck
  • Maple dowel stick, with traditional fixings (Vega style neck brace)
  • Dowel stick fitted with ferrule and end bolt.
  • Fingerboard: ebony, with S-shape frailing scoop
  • Peghead: ebony veneer                                                  
  • Edge of Fretboard bound to match pot
  • Mother of pearl fret dot markers and ash leaf peghead inlay
  • Carbon fibre reinforcement.
Other details
  • High quality planetary tuners
  • Patented 'No-knot' tailpiece
  • Bone top nut
  • Bone fifth-string nut
  • High quality maple bridge with ebony cap
  • Traditional 'wide' neck, 35mm at nut
  • Durable modern two part lacquer, cut back by hand for traditional feel and appearance
  • High quality hard case included
  • Numbered by individual maker and with maker's individual brass name plaque
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • Seven year manufacturer guarantee
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