Ome’s new Open-Backs are finally ready to be unveiled! After much research into vintage designs and current trends, and after talking to many players, they have finally arrived at offering a new series of banjos which are “Old-Timey” in their sound and look, while retaining their trademark balanced tone, elegant feel, unique designs, lively response, high-quality craftsmanship and life-long durability. The first thing they did was to widen the neck just enough to fill the fretting hand better and to increase ease of string work. Then they shortened the neck to bring out more warmth. And they simplified the inlays while adding a flourish in the s-shaped frailing scoop. Inspired by the elegant simplicity of Ashborn Banjos, they also decided to replace the two brass rim rods in the 12″ pots with a single adjustable J.Romero-style wooden rod.
This really brings out a “woodier” tone while connecting the neck solidly to the rim. To keep the strings nice and even sounding and to cut out some overtones, their leader, Chuck Ogsbury, designed the “Sweetone” tailpiece of heavy gauge solid brass – it’s long enough to just add some pressure to the strings, but not too much. Last but not least, and after many experiments with different methods, they decided to offer these banjos with raw brass which is antiqued in their shop by Chuck himself. (His next career might be a chemist!) The final touches of these banjos include hand-rubbed stains and oil vanishes, new solid brass Ome ball shoes, wonderful fret-work and set-up done by Rich Sharples – Ome's master luthier since 1989, hand-made bridges, and our chenille-wrapped banjo strings.