Review of Ne Plus Ultra

Review Recording King ne plus ultra 036 Where Purchased Recording King Year Purchased 2008 Sound Ne Plus ultra has a white laydie style tone ring and it has a warm,yet bright tone. It is one of the nicest tones on a maple rim with a white laydie tone ring I've heard. The tone is close to that of a vintage banjo. It fits my style of clawhammer quite well. Sound Rating 10 Setup Setup included my name engraved on the truss rod cover and railroad spikes installed for the fifth string. It came slightly damaged in shipping--the tailpiece screw was bent and the tailpiece was out of place. I took it to a local luthier for the repair and set up--and it sounded awesome. Setup Rating 9 Appearance The inlay is awesome--Greg Rich designed it and it looks like a cross between tree of life and flowerpot except it is all in motion. An exquisite piece of art. I also love the appearance of the blonde maple with the ebony stripe and cap. I fell in love with this banjo the first time I saw a photo of it. Appearance Rating 10 Reliability It appears sturdy and the gears keep it nicely in tune. I've already taken it out to a couple performances and in the field and it holds up very well. Reliability Rating 10 Customer Service I love Recording King and Ali and Greg. They have been very generous with me and I've only had positive dealings with them. They offered to fix the part that was damaged in shipping, but it was easier and quicker for me to have it done here. Customer Service 10 Components I think this banjo is worth about double of what you would pay for a new one. It is a nice all around clawhammer banjo that looks as nice onstage as it does in the campground. The gears work nicely and everything about it sounds good. I may in the future, change the bridge to a moon bridge (because I like them) and the head to a real skin head--but the sound is so nice as is that I'm hesitant to change anything at the moment. The neck fits my hand well, not too thin or thick and it fingers easily and in tune all the way up the neck. Components Rating 10 Overall Comments This is about the nicest banjo I've seen in this price range. You can buy this banjo from Elderly Instruments for just under a grand and it is one of the best deals around. It sounds and plays much like a Wildwood Troubador that I owned years ago--except the Ne Plus ultra has a prettier tone, and it is actually prettier with the fancy inlay and the contrasting maple and ebony woods. Please don't steal this banjo--it has my name on it--and I love it. Overall Rating 10
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