Recording King Madison open back banjo

Recording King has introduced a new open back banjo for clawhammer players, the Madison RK-0T26 Whyte Laydie model. It has been designed to offer the features old time musicians demand at the lower price point that offshoring allows.

The RK-OT26 is made with a two-ply maple rim, the RK Whyte Ladie tone ring for the traditional sound, and a maple neck. Fret markers in the rosewood fingerboard are plain dots, with a scoop in the higher position. A brown stain finish completes the banjo with a simple star inlay in the headstock.

In a nod to modern construction techniques, Recording King puts an adjustable truss rod in the neck, attached with twin coordinator rods. But the rim is made using the tried-and-true steam bending process, and is completed with a no-knot tailpiece and a 24-bracket tension hoop holding down a high crown Remo Fiberskyn head.

Planetary tuners are installed, along with a bone nut and maple/ebony bridge. Scale length measures to 26 1/8”.

The company produced this video of J.P. Cormier playing the new Madison banjo, accompanied by Jake Lauzon on guitar, as they run through Soldiers Joy and Sail Away Ladies.

The Madison RK-0T26 Whyte Laydie will be available early in 2023, and Recording King dealers are accepting pre-orders now at $799.99.

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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.