Recording King RK-OT25-BR

5-String Open Back Banjo

  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • 14 Frets
  • 2-Ply "steam bent" maple
  • 24 brackets
  • REMO Fiberskyn head (high crown)
  • Nickel Hardware
  • Presto tailpiece
  • Bridge: maple / ebony
  • Colour: Satin brown

Further information

Number Of Srings 5
Body Maple
Neck Maple
Frets 14
incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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9 customer ratings:
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4.7 / 5.0
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9 written ratings Read all reviews
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features
sound
quality

wonderfull banjo

Conor D., 24.01.2014
i have been playing banjo for several years, and needed to purchase a decent instrument for live performance.

This banjo had lots of great reviews, and completely lived up to everything i have heard.

The Banjo does not come set up, as the bridge would probably break in transit, as it is not fixed, but this is fine as a) most luthiers can do this very easily, and b) the pickup i bought for the banjo was a bridge pickup anyway, so i would have to replace it.

The strings that come on the banjo are not too bad either, though i did choose to replace them after a few weeks with a high quality pack, i gigged with the original strings on at first, and they sounded fine in small venues.

The best feature for me, is that the banjo holds tuning quite well.
Although all banjos are sensitive to heat and cold, which affects the tuning, as the bridge floats on the drum head, once you leave the banjo open (i.e out of its case) in room temperature, an hour or two before performing, the tuners are great quality and it holds a great tune, though i find as the venue flll's up, and gets warmer, you would want to tune up every two to three songs.

Aesthetically it looks great too!
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Total
features
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A full hit in my first banjo for clawhammer

Raul, 10.07.2014
The brand knew her from a fellow musician, who has a dobro of this brand and it seemed a very worthy instrument for the price. My banjo teacher, an internationally renowned artist who I will not name here, also recommends this brand for tight budgets.

The fact is that I started studying the clawhammer technique and my bluegrass type banjo did not give me the right sound - too sharp. For a while I've been looking at different websites and different models of banjo until, by chance, I found this banjo on the Thomann website, with a price very suitable to my possibilities. I also considered the fact that I had the "scoop" on the mast, which helps me in clawhammer technique to avoid patting or rubbing with the patch. Few (I would say none) banjos with scoop go for the price of this one. What decided me were a couple of videos on YouTube where a couple of interpreters use it and the sound was perfect for what I was looking for.
The fact is that I asked for it and it has arrived today. This is my evaluation at this time:

After removing it from the box, the appearance of the finish is impeccable. The wood is treated in such a way that it has a satin touch and a "vintage" appearance, as if it had traveled in time. The hardware is made of nickel according to specifications - not steel like other higher-priced banjos (I tend to think it's nickel-plated steel) - but it looks durable. The latter, as is natural, will be verified over time.

The mast is three pieces, as is usually the case with instruments of this category: one main, one for the heel and one for the shovel. The union between the main piece and the shovel is very well concealed, but the piece of the heel has a darker color than the main piece and is very evident. This has no influence on the sound and it's not something that the audience sees, so it's not something that worries me at all

The fiberskin patch is very apparent in its simulation of a skin patch, and the manufacturer's seal is placed towards the tailpiece so that it is not visible. A detail of care not to break the old-time aesthetic of the instrument. It comes taut properly so it's ready to play.

The bridge comes disassembled, but it is not a problem to put it in its place. It's a good bridge, better than the one that my factory bluegrass banjo brought, but the grooves for the strings were shallow, so I had to enlarge the two re strings a little bit to keep them from getting out of the groove. Once the furrow was enlarged and the ropes were placed, I proceeded to the tuning.

The headstock is very good and precise and also comes correctly adjusted. The ivory color of the head of the pegs again is an aesthetic detail very achieved. Speaking of "bones", the nut has an appearance similar to bone, although perhaps it is tusk or synthetic bone. It is well carved and the strings slide to perfection when tuning - they do not stay "stuck" causing challenges.

After the relevant adjustments I started playing. The sound is the same as you can hear in youtube videos, sweet and percussive, just what it takes to get a proper tone in the clawhammer technique. The volume is high, considering that it does not have a tone ring. I miss the "tinkle" that I hear with my bluegrass banjo when I play clawhammer, but that's precisely something that does not have to be. I have also tried bluegrass style fingerpicks. Here you can see the lack of the tone ring and it sounds a bit nasal, but obviously this is not a banjo for that sound.
The action is simply perfect as it has come out of the box, I have not had to touch up the coordinator rods or the soul of the mast: perfect. The strings are a bit thin for my taste (possibly 0.09), so as soon as they show signs of fatigue I will change them for the caliber that I normally use. Surely it will sound even louder and you may miss the "nasal" sound when playing with spikes.

In short: a great banjo of initiation to the clawhammer, with almost professional services.
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