Charles Waldman makes some of the best open-back banjo on the market today. He's an excellent craftsman with a great feel for simple yet elegant design.
His goal is to invent new all-wood rims yielding warm yet crisp tones. Each banjo starts with carefully selected hardwoods. These are re-sawn into plys which he steams and bends into rims. Thicker stock is book-matched to make neck blanks.
Cherry is his favorite wood for rims and necks but other options are available. Various tone woods are use for the tone chambers and tone rings. These include: bloodwood, bubinga, purpleheart, wenge and others.
The basis for the uniquely beautiful tone are the tone chambers (Wood-o-Phone) and tone holes (Chromatic) made from these woods. These are beautifully hand-crafted instruments that are designed, created and finished in Chuck's home workshop.
Chuck not only knows how to build banjos; he plays them too. Over 50 years of playing solo and in string bands informs his quest for that "just-right" sound. He builds 3 models: Wood-o-phone, Chromatic and Cello. Each of these is pictured here. Click on each one for a more detailed description.