Last month I got to fool around with the OME Wizard open back and was rather delighted with that particular instrument. So, when a large, and rather heavy, box arrived this month, I was more than eager to get into it and see what was in store for me this time around. Upon opening the well-appointed case, I can simply say that I was taken aback with what I saw. The banjo gods have been looking over me this month as I now have the pleasure of taking an OME Primrose Resonator Banjo for a spin. This could only be a whole lot of fun.
Like any of the banjos from the Custom Series by OME, you know you are getting something really special in the Primrose. This is a really beautiful instrument. I didn’t even play a single note for about the first five minutes after I took it out of the case. It just kept getting turned over and over in my hands as I appreciated the craftsmanship and finish. The neck is a bold flame maple that shimmers under the rich, dark stain. The back of the resonator is also a flame maple with some subtle quilting down the grain. On the front, the mother of pearl inlays along the ebony fret-board and in the ebony capped headstock really gives this instrument some character. The maple rim is shown off just slightly within the boundaries of the binding, which is a really nice touch, and the mahogany arm rest is just the icing on the cake. Alright, so I think it is safe to assume that I really love the look of this banjo and I am sure you will too.
THE FEEL AND SOUND
This is a heavy banjo, so don’t go complaining when you pick it up and you have to actually use a small amount of muscle to complete the task. But, it is not just heavy for heavy’s sake. The tone ring makes up most of the weight and delivers so much of the sound too. Essentially, you won’t notice the weight once you have played a few notes anyway; it is very well balanced and plays so easily, the weight in the tone ring is neither here nor there. The neck is slim and fast, with a great smooth finish to the gloss coat. Of course, that wooden arm rest is a real treat to work with, they really are just so comfortable and I can’t even pick on the fret edges here, this instrument feels great. As for the sound, I can’t really see how I can do it justice with just words. You’ll have to hear one for yourself.
Hits and Misses
Beautiful timbers, especially the flame maple neck
Fifth string raised nut and railway spikes for capo
Stunning inlays on both the ebony board and the headstock
Big, bold sound that rings out for days
CONSTRUCTION: maple neck and resonator
FINISH: polished amber
PEGHEAD: double-cut style
INLAY: Exclusive Primrose pattern