Has anyone tried the Eastman EBJ-WL for the classic-banjo repertoire? All the videos I've seen are by clawhammer players, yet it is clearly based on a Fairbanks White Lady #2. 

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Rob, there is an Abbott 'Mirabile' for £500. on Ebay if you are looking for a banjo. It's got a resonator but you can light the fire with that as a bonus.

Haha. I'm not currently able to buy a banjo, having bought four in the last month! Just curious. Thanks anyway, Richard.

Hi Rob - Joel Hooks and Dave Caron both have posted videos playing these banjos. Joel posted a review on Banjo Hangout - hopefully he will spot your post.  

Thanks, Carrie. 

Hi Rob -The Eastman WL2 is a close copy of the original. In fact, a friend and fellow collector loaned his c.1905 WL2 to John Bernunzio, who sent it on to Eastman in China for use as a template during development.

I have found they play well, deliver characteristic WL tone and represent very good value for the money.  A colleague of long-standing at the ABF parted ways with his 12 x 28 1/2" Van Eps, bought an Eastman WL, (26 x 10 3/4), and hasn't been disappointed. I have no need for another WL, otherwise would own one as well.

Thanks, Shawn. Is it right that the Eastman's string length is almost two inches shorter at 26"? That would make some things easier to play, but surely it would affect the tone? Of course, that effect might not be wholly negative. 

Carrie is right to acknowledge that i have used an Eastman to play classic banjo, although you'd probably be better off consulting Joel Hooks for specific information. To put it bluntly, I suck! Haha.

Ah, but do you suck on a great banjo?! :-)

I bet you are better than you think...

Hi Rob- Yes, the string (and scale) length is 2" shorter. With advancing years, my colleague found the long-scaled Van Eps had become a bear to play. He finds the shorter scale WL is more accommodating to his left hand.

The WL's combination of Electric tone ring, bracket band and rim free of bolt holes dramatically improved tone and projection over other banjos of the period. A WL rim goes a long way. While the 10 3/4 WL rim does not have the projection and tonal depth of a professional sized 11 13/16" WL, it still does very well. 

An Eastman 10 15/16 x 27 would likely have better served the CB community, but it is not available. Bernunzio and Eastman targeted the much larger American traditional/old time market, which favours an easier playing 10 3/4 x 26.

That's what I was wondering, Shawn. Thanks for the clarification. 

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