I’m not in the banjo building business, nor am I trying to make a living selling banjos.  The idea was to build a great banjo, sold directly to the player at a fair price, eliminating the distributor/dealer price additions.

Since June 1998 the “Chief” has been used on The Grand Ole Opry, recordings, stage shows, and National TV by The Osborne Brothers, The Grascals, Bill Emerson and Sweet Dixie, Bill Evans, Marty Rabon, Del McCoury Band, The Expedition, and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Some notables playing a “Chief” are Kristin Scott Benson (4-time banjo Player of the Year), Bill Emerson, Aaron McDarris, Bill Evans, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Daniel Grindstaff, Dana Cupp, Blake Williams and about 300 others.

Interview with Sonny:

These are the Chief banjo models:

 RT  3 Wa (Medium)  map (Medium)

Maple, Mahogany, Walnut  (gold-plated)
Rocky Top Mahogany (nickel hardware, gold tone ring)
The price is $4395 plus shipping
$2000 deposit (negotiable) is required with order.  

set of 2 Osborne Chief fingerpicks by Hoffmeyer  $25


Features below are included on all models: 

  • Cedar Creek American-made case   
  • Remo Weatherking head 
  • Set of Osborne Chief fingerpicks by Hoffmeyer
  • Presto tailpiece 
  • 26 1/4″ scale (depending on where you set bridge)
  • Spikes at the 7th, 9th & 10th frets
  • Fingerboard width is 1 3/4″ at 12th fret 
  • Hard maple rim
  • new design Osborne Chief tone ring by Blaylock
  • 5/8″ ebony/maple bridge is standard. 
  • Pearl or bone nuts  (your choice)
  • Five Star tuners with Shallor geared 5th 
  • Frank Neat & Sons makes the neck, bridge, pearl nuts and inlay, installs spikes, and hand fits each banjo part. 
  • The finish is removed from the back of the neck for greater ease of playing. 
  • Weight is approximately 11 pounds.
  • Only the best, select, materials go into a “Chief” and each banjo is set up to the buyer’s specifications.    
  • This banjo will never be discounted to dealers. It is for the serious player, andhe should never pay more than the pricesquoted above.
    Click here for an explanation of Chief serial numbers