UK banjo specialist retailer Banjos Direct launches unique 'made in Britain' banjo range with Islander OB-01

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British banjo specialist retailer Banjos Direct has announced the launch of the first of a new range of banjos, exclusively made in Britain. The new model, a premium quality open-back model called the Islander OB-01, is the first in a planned range which the Norwich-based firm believes will be the UK's only range of banjos manufactured in the UK.

Islander OB-01 banjo rim on lathe

Islander OB-01 banjo rim on lathe

We think there is a real demand for British-made instruments which are premium quality but more affordable than individually commissioned instruments.

British banjo specialist retailer Banjos Direct has announced the launch of the first of a new range of banjos, exclusively made in Britain. The new banjo, a premium quality open-back model called the Islander OB-01 is the first in a planned range which the Norwich-based firm believes will be the UK's only range of banjos manufactured in the UK.

Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct, Simon Middleton said: "Up to the period of the Second World War there were numerous banjo manufacturers of various sizes in the UK. Today, to the best of our knowledge, there are none left except for individual craftsmen making banjos to commission."

"Many brands with British names are actually manufactured in the Far East. There's nothing wrong with that of course: we already sell many instruments manufactured in China and elsewhere. There are a couple of UK firms assembling instruments here from imported parts, but nobody actually manufacturing in Britain."

"By contrast our banjo rims and necks are hand made from scratch in the UK and we think there is a real demand for genuinely British-made instruments which are premium quality but more affordable than individually commissioned instruments," Middleton added.

The firm plans a range of open-back and resonator banjos, with traditional feel but with contemporary design and manufacturing elements where appropriate.

The first model to be announced is the Islander OB-01, a 24-bracket 5-string open-back banjo, with an Ash block-rim and a Maple neck with carbon fibre stiffening.

The first batch of instruments, being manufactured at a secret workshop in England, will be ready in early August and the firm is taking pre-orders now on its website http://www.banjosdirect.co.uk.

The Islander OB-01 model features all nickel-plated hardware, ebony fingerboard with S-shaped frailing scoop, and traditional wood dowel stick.

The Islander OB-01 will retail at £1,495.00 including luxury hard case and will be available exclusively from Banjos Direct. Further models will follow over a planned three year launch programme.

Every Islander OB-01 will be signed and numbered by the individual crafts-person who builds it and will come with a certificate of authenticity.

"We're delighted to be starting on a journey of creating superb-quality instruments which we can proudly say are made in Britain," said Simon Middleton. "There is a growing interest in banjo playing, and in premium quality instruments in particular."

COMPANY INFORMATION

Banjos Direct is the UK's fastest-growing specialist banjo retailer, leading the renaissance of interest in the banjo amongst players of every age and background. The Norwich-based company is the UK's leading stockist of USA banjo brands GoldTone and Nechville, and also stocks instruments by Barnes & Mullins, Pilgrim and Tanglewood and has announced its move into banjo manufacturing with the launch of the all-British made Islander OB-01.

Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct, Simon Middleton, is frontman of English-Americana band The Proposition, whose debut album King Snake Devil Shake was released in March this year. Middleton is also the author of several books on branding and marketing, including 'Build A Brand In 30 Days' and 'Brand New You'.

Find Banjos Direct at http://www.banjosdirect.co.uk.
Email: info(at)banjosdirect(dot)co(dot)uk
Phone: +44 (0) 1603 305800

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Simon Middleton

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