Chuck Waldman is a California builder working in the Sierra foothill town of Sonora. His instruments are his own designs and he has come up with some interesting variations, such as this 5-string cello banjo with a 14-inch head. The neck and shell of this banjo are made from cherry, a domestically harvested tonewood that is light, strong and makes great instruments. Designed for low tunings and nylon strings, this cello banjo opens a whole new tonal range for the open-back banjo player. Note that while it's a 14-inch shell, the string scale is relatively short so you're not reaching deep into left field with your fretting hand.
The design is deceptively simple but with a closer look you'll notice the artistry the builder gives to functional details, such as the wood tailpiece carved from Claro Walnut. Maybe you like playing banjo but want something at the far end of the typically metallic banjo tone. Or maybe you play with other banjo pickers and want to lend some much-needed bottom end without getting stuck on guitar. Think of what the cello adds to a string quartet...spend some serious time with this cello banjo and you'll be wondering why there aren't a lot more of them in use. Includes a lightly padded gig bag.