Stelling Sunflower  Banjo Reviews

Stelling Sunflower
submitted 2/11/2014

Submitter

BobbyE (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Guns and Banjos

Year Purchased

2014

Price Paid

Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


A great bluegrass banjo that really reflects the noted Stelling sound. The Tony Pass 600 Thin Skirt rim really produces a great tone and balance up and down the neck. It also does not walk off when you put a capo on it at any fret. Doesn't lose anything, anywhere on the neck in any form. Good tone differnce between the X and Y position.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


The owner of the establishment lowered the action just a bit for me an dit is now perfect and is close enough to what I am used to that I can't tell the difference if there is any. No problem at all with the adjustment. Typical adjustment to co-rods.

Setup Rating

9

Appearance


This is a figured maple banjo with the sunburst look. Beautiful grain in the neck and resonator. Trimmed out in what I consider an aged trim binding that fits the color better than the pure white you see on some new banjos. Mother of pearl inlay in an ebony neck. The banjo, though used, is so new that the original strings are still on it and the extra set of Stelling strings that come with it are still in the case pouch. Perfectly finished and the nickel plating is like new. Standard Sunflower inlay as seen in the catalog.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


Just from what I know and hear about Stelling's reputation I would say there will be no problem with the hardware as long as I take good care of the banjo, which I do with all my instruments. In its case when not being played is my motto.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Clyde Barksdale, the owner of said business, could not have been more helpful with me in answering my questions. I took a day drive up to his shop to personally see the banjo before I bought it though I was pretty certain I was going to before I left home.

Customer Service

10

Components


Tony Pass Thin Skirt rim now standard on new Stellings. Wedge fit tone ring that Geoff Stelling has patented and used on his banjos since practically the beginning of his banjo making endeavors. Tuners work well and all components seem to work well together.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


A great banjo and lives up to its reputation.  I lived overseas for 25 years and pretty much played by myself so never developed as a hard picker since I didn't need to in order to hear myself.  This banjo doesn't need to be picked hard since it produces volume and tone so well with a light touch.  I believe it will help me since it more or less meets me where I am as a player rather than my having to change a lot about my right hand in order to make it sound like it should.  The neck is great as well.  Good feel and the fret work is top notch.  No high frets when I slide and really produces good tone with pull offs, etc. Seems to note true if my tuner can be depended on as well.  I still need to learn how to use my capo on it as to best position for the bar to fret the strings at but a few jam sessions will remedy that. 

If anyone would like anymore info on these banjos shoot me a PM.  Will be glad to answer any question you might have not already answered.

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 3/15/2013

Submitter

Bubba North (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Bucks County Folk Music PA

Year Purchased

2012

Price Paid

3,700 ($US)

Sound


Stellings are simply the best. Very loud bright sound.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


Strings were set a bit high, but I easily adjusted down, now its great!

Setup Rating

9

Appearance


Outstanding appearance. No flaws. You get what you pay for, this is a great banjo.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


Great quality.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Customer Service

10

Components


Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


There are lots of companies out there claiming to be to the best, but this one is it. See my next review on a 1990 used Red Fox that I recently purchased from the original owner. It plays like new!

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 1/8/2013

Submitter

tonybach (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

jdmc

Year Purchased

2013

Price Paid

3750 ($US)

Sound


Full sound. Very good bluegrass tone. Put the Emg acb in it. Sounds great amplified.

Sound Rating

not rated

Setup


The neck is the best flat neck I ever had. 3/64ths action and no buzzes. Sleek and fast.

Setup Rating

not rated

Appearance


Inlays are perfect and appealing.

Appearance Rating

not rated

Reliability


Great hardware. Tailpiece is awesome. Tony Pass rim. Nice.

Reliability Rating

not rated

Customer Service


Jdmc made sure I had it next day.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


A straight string run to the pegs would be better. The compensated nut is great. Why is not every maker doing that.

Components Rating

not rated

Overall Comments


Could not be happier. The neck, tailpiece and nut along with the Tony pass rim make this a superb piece.

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 5/14/2009

Submitter

Gold Star GF-85 (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Private Owner

Year Purchased

2009

Price Paid

Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


This 1986 Sunflower is a Great Bluegrass Banjo. Very crisp, bright and clear up and down the neck, great tones. I love this Banjo, feels great, well balanced and notes very easy.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


The Banjo was already set-up good, but I changed from light's to medium strings.

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


Very pretty Banjo, nice finish, great color, the inlay is very percise and only one mark on the back side but considering it is 23 years old that ain't bad.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


The finish and hardware are wonderful. The wood is beautiful, there is some dulling on the metal but a little elbow grease got that shined up in no time. I believe this Banjo will last me a life time.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


This is a 1986, so I have no warranty.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


The nut has a very small chip in it but it doesn't hinder anything, when it does I will have it replaced, other than that I have found nothingt wrong with tis Banjo whatsoever.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


I would recommend a Stelling Banjo to anybody, anyday, I trully love playing it, it delivers more than enough sound to put on a good show. I have a 1987 Gibson Earl Scruggs Standard also a very nice Banjo, but I find myself playing the Stelling more than the Gibson these days. And "YES", if anythin happened to the Sunflower I would replace it in a herat beat, it is a great product and Stelling should be very proud of the Banjo's they are making, they trully are a piece or art.

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 2/2/2008

Submitter

archtop (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

used private party

Year Purchased

2001

Price Paid

2100 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound


Very loud when you want it to be or soft when needed.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


I lowered the strings a little and tightened the head.

Setup Rating

8

Appearance


It is absolutley stunning! The maple is bursting with color! Havenet seen an ugly Stelling yet!

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


Every part top notch quality.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Geoff is always good to talk to. Very fine banjo maker.

Customer Service

10

Components


Mine is a 1981 model and the finish still looks like it was just done.Excellent!

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


I would highly recomend this banjo to anyone. Stellings are high priced. You get what you pay for and at Stelling you get in my opinion the best banjo money can buy! It will outlive me and be a family heirloom.

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 6/2/2007

Submitter

scooke (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

From orginal owner

Year Purchased

2000

Price Paid

1,850 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound


I have owned several banjos and this one tops them all. Full rich and bright sound.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


This instrument was a 1994 and was in prestine condition when I bought it. The only change by orginal owner was that he added a SS bridge; however, after evaluating sound I put the orignal Stelling 5/8s back on and remain pleased.

Setup Rating

9

Appearance


Standard wood and inlay for Sunflower; a beautiful instrument.

Appearance Rating

7

Reliability


All hardware is in very good condition; I have polished it once since I bought it and it still looks great.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


I have had one or two questions to Stelling over the years and found them always very responsive.

Customer Service

9

Components


All parts are top of the line. One of the outstanding things I find is that when you put the tuners to pitch they stay there!

Components Rating

9

Overall Comments


I see these going for about 20% more than I paid on eBay and I would have hesitation to let go for that. Dealer prices for used are more like $2,750 at this time as I see them. I would have to be trading up to a Staghorn or perhaps a Granada before I would turn this one loose.

Overall Rating

9


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 4/26/2004

Submitter

captain (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

mikes music supply flintstone ga

Year Purchased

04/26/04

Price Paid

$2700 ($US)

Sound


i like the sound of it very much a real loud banjo notes are clear and true all the way up the neck i play scruggs style

Sound Rating

10

Setup


set up was just right for me i ordered it with a 5/8 bridge jeff set it up perfect for me the action is perfect, head tenson perfect nothing needs to be changed

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


workmanship is flawless couldnt be any better you can tell just by looking at this banjo jeff takes great pride in his work

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


i know this banjo will last a lifetime finish couldnt be any better i know this banjo will last

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


this banjo was bought new but i have email jeff before asking questions and he has always gotten back quickly

Customer Service

10

Components


every thing very well made im very pleased with this banjo

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


i would recommend this banjo to anyone i got a very good price on this banjo mikes music supply in flintstone ga was very nice to deal with answered all my questions i would recommend to check prices with this store before buying somewhere else i checked several stelling dealers and he had the best price by $500

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 4/28/2003

Submitter

rjohn7 (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Hogeye Music

Year Purchased

2003

Price Paid

2175 ($US)

Sound


Great. I was looking at a different banjo much lower in price and wanted to see the Stelling just for kicks and giggles. Once I picked the first string, I knew it was the banjo I wanted. Very loud with a great crack.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


The setup was very good. I need to raise the action just a touch and would like to put lighter strings on it, but nothing needs to be replaced or changed to a great extent.

Setup Rating

9

Appearance


BEAUTIFUL. Nice dark maple with inlays that look very nice. No flaws of any kind.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


I have had it for a very short time now, but everything on it appears to be very solid. I was thinking about keeping a backup, but since my Stelling feels so solid, I don't think that will be necessary.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


I have not had to work with Stelling yet.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


After about 1.5 years, I had to replace the fifth string tuner due to it locking up. Other then that, everything is working as it should.

Components Rating

9

Overall Comments


I got a great price on this banjo. From the short time I have had it, I have experenced absolutely no buyers remorse. I would get the same banjo if anything were to happen to mine (given I can afford a new one). Best banjo I have played.

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 7/9/2002

Submitter

Unknown

Where Purchased

Mandolin Brothers

Year Purchased

1981

Price Paid

1750 ($US)

Sound


Sounds great. One of the best instruments I have ver played. Loud and rich and responsive.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


When I bought it it was set up perfect.. Now 20 years later I have replaced the Snuffy Smith bridge with an Emerson

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


Beautiful banjo. Curly Maple neck and resonator are stunning to the eye. Nickel is a little dull because I don't keep up with the polish.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


Everything on this banjo will last forever! Have used it numerous times without a backup.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


The people at Stelling were perfect gems to deal with when my grandaughter broke the neck by falling on the banjo 15 years ago. They fixed it like new and I can't tell the difference.

Customer Service

10

Components


The Stelling tailpiece is one of the best on the market. The neck is easy on the hands and the fretboard is smooth. The only change I have made in 20 years is trhe bridge.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


I would reccomend this banjo to anyone. I would have to buy another if it got lost or stolen. I gave up a Gibson RB250 for this one and never regretted it. I LOVE IT!

Overall Rating

10


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 5/27/2002

Submitter

Unknown

Where Purchased

Individual

Year Purchased

9-8-2000

Price Paid

1,850 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound


I play bluegrass and have owned several banjos including my last Gibson RB3 remake. I was so pleased with the Stelling's sharp crackin' sound that I sold the Gibson (I have discovered you can only play one at a time, and usually always pick up the one that satisfies my taste).

Sound Rating

9

Setup


The banjo was a 1994 model flathead and set up was as good as new. The seller was the original owner, and taken very good care of it. The ease of fretting and playability is excellent. It would take a sure nuff' better sound to make me change.

Setup Rating

9

Appearance


Neck and resonator are curly maple with Cremona style sunburst staining, rich in color. Wood is perfect, no flaws of consequence.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


Finish is great. Some tarnishing on flange as with old banjos of age. Jewelers rouge would restore its brightness, but that would reduce its character

Reliability Rating

9

Customer Service


No experience here; nothing needed this far. May someday need to find out after much fret wear.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


I know of no parts or components in need of upgrade.

Components Rating

9

Overall Comments


I would recommend this banjo for the serious player who is ready to upgrade. If mine was lost or stolen, I would likely buy a Stelling again; might swingup to a Staghorn, for appearance sake only. Would compare only with a Scruggs Gibson or greater.

Overall Rating

9


Stelling Sunflower
submitted 2/27/2002

Submitter

trapdoor2 (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Fret Shop, Huntsville, AL

Year Purchased

1986

Price Paid

1800 ($US)

Sound


Very bright sound. It is an archtop so the highs are really amazing. Lacks a little bottom end but it punches so hard up the neck that I just don't notice. Has std. overtone problems which are difficult to nail down. This is a bluegrass banjo (duh!) but I've found that the archtop really gives it excellent dynamic range, provided you can pick lightly enough. Classical stuff sounds excellent but it is difficult not to blow the db meter...

Sound Rating

8

Setup


Initial setup was just right, Geoff hit my requirements spot on. I prefer medium gauge strings but it came with

Setup Rating

8

Appearance


Although it is a great looking banjo (no extras), the plating on the tone ring was well, miserable. I ordered it with a clear head and couldn't believe the big black stain on the tonering glaring through! Geoff offered to fix it but I just mounted a std. white head and haven't looked back. Otherwise, the fit and finish is everything I dreamed of.

Appearance Rating

7

Reliability


The nickle plating took one look at my leather strap and oxidized overnight. Not the banjo's fault, mine for being stupid. Only other wear is on the armrest, which is to be expected. Totally dependable...but I don't do gigs.

Reliability Rating

9

Customer Service


2yr waranty, as I recall. Geoff was/is very friendly and willing to do what it takes to make the 'jo right.

Customer Service

9

Components


I replaced the bridge several times, but that is one of those

Components Rating

9

Overall Comments


You ain't getting one of these puppies for that price anymore! If it were stolen, I'd probably replace it with a Deering Hartford but that's probably because my tastes have changed over the years rather than because I'm dissatisfied with the Stelling. Best feature is the neck. I've never played a faster or more comfortable one. I've played a bunch of other banjos and nothing compares for that archtop sound and solid Stelling playability.

Overall Rating

8


You are not logged in.
Log In


Not a member? Create an Account (FREE!)



2215 BANJO LOVERS ONLINE

HOME | FORUMS | MEMBERS | MEDIA ARCHIVE | TABS & LESSONS | CLASSIFIEDS | REVIEWS | LINKS | CALENDAR | STORE | TERMS OF USE