Long before Earl Scruggs and bluegrass music, the banjo connected America to the musical traditions of West Africa. In the early days, the banjo was played with a more rhythmic, strumming technique that drew on that West African influence. In the old-time tradition, Clawhammer and Frailing more closely connect us to those early approaches to the banjo.
For those who play Clawhammer and more traditional styles, the typical modern banjo doesn't always produce a sound that helps those techniques shine. Open-back banjos—particularly those with a larger 12" pot—produce a deeper, more airy and resonant sound that is much more suited for traditional styles. While an 11" pot with a resonator might give you the focus and pop to drive a bluegrass band, it doesn't come close to the 12" open-back sound.
Even though Tom Nechville is known for his forward-thinking banjo innovations, Nechville still knows how to tap into the old-timey sound. The Nechville Atlantis expands on the popular Atlas open-back model by adding even more features, such as a full thumb scoop past the 17th fret, fancy binding, antiqued hardware, a compound-radius fingerboard, a custom tension hoop, and a 12" block Walnut pot. That 12" pot is key to the sound the banjo produces—it's gives the banjo stronger bass response and warmer tone overall. On many open-back banjos, the head rests directly on top of the edges of the pot, but the Atlantis actually has an Exotic Wood tone ring that interfaces with the head and pot. This helps the tone project and lends clarity to the warm, more resonant sound.
Of course, the Atlantis is still packed with next-level, modern-day innovations. Like all Nechvilles, the Atlantis employs the "Quick-Cam" neck joint, which allows for quick and easy action adjustment. With a beveled comfort armrest on the pot, you won't find many traditional open-back banjos that are as comfortable to play, and the Atlantis' Renaissance head provides the right sound and the right look. Add a compound radius fingerboard, precisely-compensated bridge for accurate intonation and an in-line tailpiece, and the result is a superior open-back banjo.
- Nut Width: 1.28"
- Bridge Spacing: J.D. Crowe 1-13/16"
- Scale Length: 26-3/8"
- Pot: Block Walnut
- Tone RIng: Exotic Wood Cap
- Head: Renaissance
- Inlay: Saturn and Stars
- Fingerboard Binding: Tortoise with black/white pinstripe
- Tuners: 4:1 Antiqued tuners
The Necvhille Atlantis captures the Old-Time sound and vibe but introduces 21st Century technology to push your playing to the next level. Deluxe hardshell case included.