Nechville announces Billy Failing model banjo

Nechville Musical Products has announced a new signature artist model for Billy Failing, banjo picker with Billy Strings.

It’s a Vintage Eclipse model, but made with a maple neck and resonator, using the Nechville Heli-Mount integrated pot system. Like the standard Eclipse, it has the Nechville 3-ply maple rim and Pro tone ring, with black/white/black binding and a modified Flying Eagle inlay pattern in the neck and double cut headstock.

Tom Nechville told us this afternoon that the endorsement deal with Billy didn’t come through the traditional route, where the builder reaches out to a player about becoming an endorsing artist.

“Billy had played one of these a couple of times, and was interested in buying one. He really liked the maple version, and the comfort of the radiused fingerboard, plus the sound of the banjo. We visited with him a couple of times in my satellite shop in Oregon, and once he bought one and was playing it, we decided we ought to enter into a formal endorsement deal.”

Nechville can install most any electronics package in the Billy Failing model, including their own Warp Drive dual pickup for banjo, which combines an EMG magnetic pickup with a piezo contact pickup in one system. That involves an uncharge from the banjo’s $6,673 retail price. One is available now from the Nechville web site for $6,200.

Failing says that this banjo is a perfect fit for his needs, performing in large venues in a very demanding live show.

“This model’s playability, sustain, and clarity inspires experimentation of new modern sounds, while its dynamic range allows the instrument to respond to a full range of musicality, from soft tones to aggressive bluegrass picking. As someone who needs an instrument that does it all – I feel this banjo fits the bill.”

When we stopped by the exhibit hall this afternoon, Kyle Tuttle, of the Molly Tuttle Band, was there trying out the banjo.

Anyone attending the World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh, or this weekend’s Bluegrass Live! festival can stop in at see the Billy Failing Vintage Eclipse in the Rusty Knuckles booth.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.