I've been lucky enough to have the best banjo customers around. Here are a few of the kind words they've shared about the instruments I've made for them. I'd love to add you to this group!
"I just bought one of Malcs banjos from Banjosdirect.co.uk, it is the “Islander OB Ash Leaf” and I was amazed at the craftmanship and attention to detail. Personally I think it’s a very subtle work of art. The sound is very balanced and sweet. I’m very happy that I spent my money on this beautiful banjo.
Malc is a great banjo maker!
After a quick discussion Malc seemed to know intuitively what I was after, and his suggestions about how to achieve the sound I wanted were spot on. His technical knowledge is second to none and his focus is always on quality components,attention to detail and good taste in design and execution.Above all though, Malc thinks carefully about great sound production and how to achieve it.
I can’t praise too highly the personal, patient and friendly attention, and communication I received throughout the building process; (Malc insisted that it should be “my” banjo). Nothing was too much trouble-even the delicate dragonfly design,which was a challenge, but came out beautifully. The quality of craftsmanship is really outstanding, and Malc offers great after sales service.
Malc is gaining a reputation as a number one banjo maker, (see his website reviews), and deservedly so. It’s great to see how excited he still gets about all of his instruments!
Thanks Malc for a lovely banjo and a great experience getting there.
I’ve just had to stop playing and put down the banjo that Malcolm made a walnut 5 string neck for to write a testimonial… I’m over the moon with it, tone wise it’s bright and responsive to play, it has that old time “pop” that brings a smile to your face as you play and learn new tunes and aesthetically it’s exactly what I envisaged, Malcolm even did some fancy carving by the 5th string peg which is a really neat feature. As you’d expect from someone as talented as Malcolm the quality of the workmanship and the finish and fit of the neck is flawless. I’d thoroughly recommend anyone wanting a bespoke banjo, with a wish list of great sound ,great quality and locally made to get in touch with Malcolm!
I’m immensely happy with the banjo Malc made for me. It’s fairly daunting going to a workshop to meet someone you know only by reputation and then putting your trust (and your hard-earned cash) in their care. Malc made that process considerably less fraught while his regular updates and checking on my wishes made me feel part of the construction process. What emerged at the end was a lovely instrument with exactly the old-time sound I wanted. Malc’s craftsmanship has made it a pleasure to the eye and to the ear, though its sound deserves a better player than me. I feel privileged to own it
Just recently managed to aquire an Islander Ash Leaf , delighted with the instrument, it has far exceeded my expectations ,A beautiful piece of workmanship and the sound is amazing , Malcolm clearly loves what he does and it shows in the end product.
Keep up the good work Malc, and thank you .
I had previously seen and played a couple of Malc’s banjos at the Lewes Old Time session. So, on a Friday evening in early 2014 I went to Brighton to meet Malc and over the next 2 hours and a few cups of tea I decided to have him make a Lurcher open backed banjo for me. I collected the instrument in time to take it to North Carolina in June. Despite being less than a week old and having a calf skin head it withstood the changes of humidy and temperature with relative ease. Many people, including some American banjo makers and players saw and heard the Lurcher and were generally impressed with the level of workmanship, tone, volume and the nice little touches that Malc puts into his instruments. When I returned from America I took the Lurcher back to Malc to have some inlay completed that he didn’t have time to do before the trip and to have a few very minor issues sorted.
I love my Lurcher! It is a great looking instrument but more importantly, it is an absolute joy to play and sounds just as I think an old time banjo should. If that isn’t enough in itself, I think Malc’s work is equal to other, more well known makers with the added bonus of not having to pay import duties.
And as for Malc? He makes a mean cuppa and likes chocolate Digestives and Tunnocks Wafer biscuits. ‘Nuff said!
I picked up my bespoke instrument at the weekend (special treat, Malc doesn’t work weekends usually) and I could go on about the attention to detail … Or maybe the fantastic noises it makes even in my hands….. Or maybe the finish …. But that would all be noise. I can sum-up the instrument in one simple word:
Malc is a fine craftsman and barely hides a wicked sense of humour – thanks for the Stella MOP at the 5th fret…… Said Thomas!
Picked up my Lurcher at the weekend and I’m in love with it already. Such a sweet, mellow tone but still with that ‘pop’ you want off an open-back when playing clawhammer, and plenty of volume too. Beautiful materials, fine workmanship, a neck made to my specification and a personalised headstock inlay to boot. Where else this side of the pond can you get a unique, handmade instrument like this – and now he is trying to undercharge me! (I’m not having any of it, do the maths Malc!). This one will never leave me-it was worth the wait.