I'd pass on this one. Per his own webpage :
Originally Posted by Quickstep
Laminated poplar doesn't scream authentic to me, but lamination did exist back then. However, plastic head and plastic strings do not pass muster. Go to Tim Twiss' Minstrel Banjo (ning) forum. Several manufacturers hang there because buyers can be found there.
Our STANDARD MINSTREL BANJO comes with a laminated 12” poplar pot with your choice of Cherry or Black Walnut veneer on the outside. The neck is made of solid Cherry or Black Walnut. It comes with Remo 12” Fiberskyn head and Nylgut Minstrel strings.
Regarding poplar as a wood choice, I once spoke to a banjo manufacturer who once made a banjo entirely out of poplar because the wood was cheap and readily available. Took it to one event. He was so displeased with it, he burned it. The entirely poplar banjo was too soft and absorbed all the vibration from the strings.
- Silas Tackitt
"I take [this hobby] seriously just as any golfer, hunter, or fisherman would take their hobby seriously. You whine that "hard kewls" are what is wrong with this hobby, but I digress. In my opinion, the major defects in our little world consist primarily of the clowns and jackasses who don't take it seriously." - Mike Phineas, 2 August 2013.