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First Impressions

Upon opening the wellappointed hard case, I was pleasantly surprised at a glance with what was on offer with the Wizard Open Back. This instrument looks stunning and feels just as good. The frets and neck felt amazing. With a slightly wider neck than most banjos I come across and a really nice, smooth finish, this made transitioning between chords feel comfortable right away. If comfort in the left hand is important to you as a player, you will also love what you get with
the right hand with your forearm resting on a beautifully handcarved wooden armrest. This was really nice. Unlike the sometimes harsh edges that you can get on steel armrests, this was a delight to lean my forearm up against. It really helps with the strum-hand action too.

Looks and Sound

A quick strum of the strings proved the banjo was out of tune when I first took it out of the case, yet it still sounded really rich and vibrant which was a sign of things to come when tuned. The big maple pot on this instrument really sings with chords and individual notes. There are plenty of resonator banjos out there that do not offer as much projection or a richness of tone that the Wizard presents. So, it sounds great and it looks the part too. An “S” shaped frailing scoop in the ebony fret-board is a really nice touch that compliments the beautiful craftsmanship of this banjo. Its design is a combination of simplicity and showboating, if that makes any sense. All the hardware has a tarnished look to it that offsets the cleanliness of the ebony fret-board and headstock. A real winner. A professional’s dream or a family heirloom.