I was lucky enough to get to deal directly with both Sean and Bill through the process of the making of my new Rickard banjo (raw brass spunover 11-inch rim, Dobson ring, maple neck), which helped me understand why the banjo itself is so good. It’s not just a business with them; they care about each one of their banjos. This attitude shines through in the product. My banjo exceeded expectations in every way: build quality, playability, aesthetics. The sound is full, authoritative and complex. It has done exactly what I had hoped for: challenged me as a player to live up to the quality of my instrument. This one is a keeper.
Richard Manning, author, journalist and banjo player
I chose my Rickard Maple Ridge literally by doing a blindfolded test of the finest banjos available at one of the finest music stores in the San Francisco Bay area. I bet if you blindfolded me again, I would still pick the Rickard.
I love my Rickard half fretless banjo. It does everything I could hope for and has never let me down. I've been playing a 1880's Dobson for the past 30 year (and I love that thing), but it hasn't been off the wall since I got the Rickard.
Hi there Rickard friends: I just received one from Elderly. Have been playing for about 35 years, and have bought a lot of banjos (too many) sight unseen, including a half dozen RBs from Gibson when Greg was there, a couple of Ramseys, two Reiters, a custom Robin Smith Mastertone ….. I didn’t know what to expect, but ….This is the best banjo I’ve ever laid my hands on. It’s so great. It was love at first tune. Thank you!
Sean, I wanted to let you and Bill know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Maple Ridge banjo!!! I am one of the organizers for the Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival, which takes place in Berthoud, CO (USA) each July - we just finished up our 9th annual festival. A couple of the artists at our festival had a chance to play my new banjo and they all had great things to say. I really like the warm/rich/balanced Dobson sound, and on top of that you've crafted an absolutely gorgeous banjo! Although I own 6 other wonderful banjos, none of them have ever really felt quite right - I've been looking for a long time now for my "lifetime banjo" and I think that I have finally found it. Thanks again so much!!!
Wow! I just got the banjo! It's amazing Sean . I absolutely love the feel of the neck and the craftmanship is just superb. Very highly defined and super attractive! The sound is exactly what I was desiring. The ring of the banjo is crystal clear with that little bit of bottom end plunk iness ;)! Thank you so so so much for the TLC put into the making of this banjo. Absolutely satisfied! Gorgeous. Just gorgeous !
Sean, I can't begin to tell you how beautiful and incredible the banjo is that you created for me. After getting the bridge set up (thank you for the pencil marks!) and a little tuning, I played it for the duration of the evening. It is an incredible instrument.
I started the search for a quality instrument. I read Bill's story and knew a Rickard Banjo would be part of my story. This is much more than just a banjo, much more than a finely crafted professional instrument. Thank you to both of you for what you do. Best Regards,
I love it! I'm so thrilled! I've been spending all my spare time today playing it! This instrument is A List (or Eh List?) I am so impressed with the vibe of it and the sound. The finish and everything is amazing as is the frailing scoop - top notch work. The playability is excellent. I love making music on it and it is staying in tune! That's huge! Thanks for making a lifelong friend for me.
I'm a very happy customer and I'm so glad that I was recommended to you folks. All the best,
Hey Bill and Sean, I wanted to let you know how absolutely pleased I am with my banjo. I own several very nice banjos and they are all fun to play and different. Yours is the best playing and most different from anything I, or any of my friends own. Sadly, my wife isn't sure she wants me playing it all the time because its also the clearest and loudest. You can't make everyone happy. I think I'll have to talk to you soon about a fretless which is the last banjo on my wish list. Thanks for making banjos,
Sean and Bill I needed to share this with you…. I adjusted the bridge and the sound is true the notes are mellow, but distinct. As no doubt you know sometimes with a mellow banjo the notes come out like jello and fuzzy to the ear, not the case with the banjo you built for me. The sustainability of the notes are outstanding, enough to make a guitarist cry. I have a friend who is a professional and he raved about the banjo and I had a hard time getting him to turn loose of it. The light weight of the banjo is also a huge plus, I don’t have to have a big strap like on my Gibson.
I have a rather simple braided rawhide cable. As for the neck width it sure makes getting a clear D a whole lot easier as my middle fingertip on my left hand is about 1/3 bigger than it should be due to a mishap as a child, I can lay it down a whole lot easier and with less concern. The case is just awesome reminds me of the old bump cases that the White Ladys came in very pretty and well padded. You need to advertise more and get Banjo Newsletter to do a story on your facility and your product. You have a real story to tell and an awesome product. Thanks guys from a very very happy customer. God Bless,
Good Morning Sean, I received my banjo, it's awesome! Thank you. I think I like looking at it hanging on my wall as much as I enjoy playing it!
I am sold on Bill Rickard's banjo parts, not only because they are of the highest quality imaginable, but because Mr. Rickard and his staff stand behind them to the nth degree. Rickard Banjos is a wonderful company, with top-flight products and the most helpful staff imaginable. Dealing with them is in concert with why I play the banjo; it's enjoyable, rewarding and results in "a good time and good music" (subject to my playing ability, of course)!
These are wonderful people, who will work tirelessly to provide you with a consistently high-quality product! And dealing with them has resulted in good, good associations - as well as professional support and quality products. Through my purchases, I have come to count them as friends, and sincerely hope they'd say the same with respect to me. I look forward to seeing them at Clifftop every year, where they always have time to chat.
I could go on and on. I could share stories that show clearly what I've said has been demonstrated time and time again. Suffice it to say: If Mr. Rickard makes the banjo part, and I need it, he's the person I'm going to purchase it from.
Hello Mr. Rickard. I just purchased your Maple Ridge 11" from Gryphon Stringed Instruments. I love it. It plays beautifully and the set-up was perfect. I'm so glad that Gryphon will be carrying your instruments. I got the last of the initial shipment of four and they (we) are anxiously awaiting the next shipment. Thank you for building banjos. The world needs more of them.
Sean, I received it yesterday in perfect shape. Great job on the packaging. I am thrilled with the materials, the look, the feel and the craftsmanship! It is all I had expected, and then some.
Thank you very much for checking this out and solving my compatibility issues Sean! You are the only one that has been able to compare new parts directly alongside the originals and provide reliable information. Now I can buy the right parts, stop wondering and start building this banjo.
You really are "one-stop shopping", not just for quality components, but for critical information. I was stuck and now I can move ahead with this project. Without your expert help, I'd still be stuck for certain. Sincerely,
Hi Bill, I purchased an 11" Maple Ridge from Music Emporium (Lexington, MA) a few weeks ago. I must admit, I am absolutely in-love with this banjo! Before going into Music Emporium, I was unfamiliar with your banjos and was planning on purchasing a Bart Reiter Buckbee or a Chanterelle Student (which are awesome in their own right), but I was immediately smitten by the sound, quality, and design of the Maple Ridge. You have done an incredible job with these banjos! Thank you! Sincerely,
Your banjo components are without exception beautifully designed and finished, I use them where-ever possible a recommend them whole heartedly. Thanks Guys.
Hey! Just wanted to thank you for the great banjo you guys made! It has such deep strong sound, really amazing. The armrest feels very good and the position is just right were you want it. The banjo is really a beautiful piece of work. So thank you for great service and support. All the best :-)
Well my new Custom Rickard 12" Dobson banjo was duly collected from the freight depot today amidst much anticipation and to say that its a banjo for life, to grow old with is a gross understatement...its an absolute masterpiece of understated beauty, both aesthetically and tonally.... I am just blown away... My decision to go with Bill and Sean amongst all the potential banjo builders in North America was so totally the right call and whenever I compared builders I kept on coming back to Rickard because they offered what I wanted in features and quality at a price that I could afford. Hats off to Bill & Sean at Rickard's you are the best. Sincerely heart felt thanks,
Hi Folks, I just received my new 12"raw brass spun over banjo from the Music Emporium last Saturday. Just wanted to let you know I love the way it is constructed and it plays and sounds like a dream. Thanks so much. Best to you all,
Sean, thanks for following up on the banjo order today. The banjo is absolutely beautiful and the care put into its build is very appreciated! I am already more attached to this instrument than any of the instruments that I have ever owned. The sound: better than I had imagined -- while I was unsure whether to have the tone ring, I really like what it has to offer. Radiused fretboard: I am very glad you had suggested that --- the feel is perfect. Nut width: I was worried that the 1 3/8"may be slightly too wide --- not at all, I wouldn't want it any other width. Neck: a work of art. Skin: The Remo rounds out the sound by having a sort of smooth brightness to compliment the warmth already present with the walnut neck and fretless fingerboard. Once again, thanks for everything and the joy that this instrument will bring. Regards,
Dear Mr Bill Rickard and all your staff, I am now the happy owner of a brand new banjo, a Cherry Little Wonder, 12”, which I ordered from Sture Svarén in Sweden. I have never played a banjo before but this will be so nice and fun. I´m looking forward to countless of hours with your wonderful musical instrument. Today I most often play on my pedal steel guitar, my dobro or guitar, sometimes also accordion but from now they have a competitor in a Rickard banjo! Thank you all for a masterpiece and eminent handicraft. I am seventy years old living on the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic sea. Sincerely,
I received the banjo yesterday lunch time but was on my way out so haven't had a chance to email you. As I said from the pics you sent, it is a work of art. The finish is perfect and you guys should be proud. :) I love the tail piece it reminds me of Gothic art, a claw. :). It was packed very well and came in perfectly. The sound is amazing and it reminds me of what I call 'swamp' sound (John Fogerty) that the open backs produce. A kind of bluesy/ minor sound and I was thinking of songs that would highlight this. It is a long weekend here so I just got it in time. :)
Hi, I delivered the Spunover Custom banjo today to a customer who was totally overwhelmed by the beauty and sound of the banjo! He had seen the banjo on your website but thought it was even more beautiful in real! I have made an inlay on this on my Facebook today, I hope more will be inspired to buy Bill Rickard banjos! All the best,