Prucha Bluegrass Instruments
Totally Hand-made Instruments and Fine Banjo Parts From the Czech Republic
One of the names you hear quite often in banjo circles is Prucha (pronounced "PROO-khah"). Jaroslav Prucha is the owner and inspirational force behind a company that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year -- Prucha Bluegrass Instruments -- located in Prague in the Czech Republic.. I had the opportunity to visit Prague in August of 2003, and was treated to a tour of the Prucha Bluegrass Instruments factory by Jaroslav, himself.
It's not a big place, but the space is well spoken for. They make wonderful banjos and mandolins there -- all by hand. In fact, just about every part for the banjo is manufactured either on site or by one of their associates, and this is part of one of the more interesting success stories in banjos and blugrass instruments. The workmanship and finish on the instruments is beyond compare, and the sound is quite fine. Jaroslav has really dedicated himself to making some fine products.
Banjo players in the US are generally very patriotic people, preferring to buy American banjos and parts, because they are "just naturally better," or, at least, that's what we like to think. Well, brace yourself for a surprise! Many of the "American" banjo parts are now manufactured in the Czech Republic by Jarsolav Prucha and his associates. When you purchase a Gibson banjo, for example, chances are that the Presto tailpiece, the resonator flange, the stretcher band and the hooks and nuts are made by Prucha. LouZee banjos, Tony Pass pot assemblies and many other well-known instruments are using Prucha resonator flanges and stretcher bands. Why is this? Well, to tell the truth, they are quite well-made and are reasonably priced. And, most important, they are consistent! In fact, they are some of the best parts being manufactured today.
The banjos are competitively priced. They sound and look good and are available in a wide range of models. The price range is from $1400 to $4850, depending on model and accessories.
Greg Boyd's House of Fine Instruments carries Prucha instruments and parts.
First Quality Musical Supplies is also a supplier of Prucha parts.
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