I just received the Rickard maple ridge today, and I couldn’t be happier with it. The setup is perfect, right out of the box it plays beautifully, and as for the sound, playability, and appearance of the instrument, they’re all top-notch. Apart from it's stunning looks, this instrument has a very classy, elegant sound, full, rich and mellow, which I didn't expect would come out of a banjo. The bass response is impressive along with the 12 inch pot, yet not overpowering, and the highs chime like bells. It also has good sustain, and is quite loud (louder that my resonator banjo). I was looking for a banjo with a dynamic range that would allow me to dig into a wide variety of genres beyond the traditional American music, and i think this one just does that. It is equally suited for playing clawhammer or fingerstyle. I had to pay a quite a bit of import taxes, being French, but as I’ll probably keep it it forever, I think it was well worth the extra cost. Thank you Banjo studio for making such high quality banjos available to the european audience. I give it five stars (that is also for the excellent quality of your website/customer support).
Nicely made and now ready to be nicely played. Elegant, simple lines, well finished and comfortable to play. Need to learn to do it justice.