Ozark 2109G Banjo Reviews

Ozark 2109G
submitted 8/6/2011

Submitter

dickie (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Eagle Music

Year Purchased

2011

Price Paid

180 () historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


After setting it up myself, it sounds pretty good, its got a fair amount of `plunkiness` which can be altered by tweaking the tailpiece a little bit. At the moment it has a good tone and a lot of volume for an open back, it is also good to play Bluegrass, or Clawhammer on.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


Action ok, but the head was nowhere near tight enough, plus the tailpiece was falling off

Setup Rating

5

Appearance


Looks a bit like a goodtime knock off, neat little inlays on fretboard. Nice maple body & neck.

Appearance Rating

8

Reliability


The banjo itself seems sturdy enough, el cheapo guitar type tuners on headstock, tho it does stay in tune, 5th string tuner is brilliant

Reliability Rating

8

Customer Service


Picked up from Eagle Music at Huddersfield,very friendly staff, the only problem was they told me the banjo was being set up, in my rush to get back home did not bother to try it out in the shop, got home and it sounded awful.

Customer Service

7

Components


Maybe at some future point the tuners and tailpiece will be upgraded, thats all. The tailpiece is a Waverley, ok I suppose, but I prefer the Kershener

Components Rating

7

Overall Comments


Basically, for 180 its a good buy, got a free hardcase with it too! Now its something like set up properly, it would be a photo finish between the ozark and the goodtime. Its easy to play and sounds good.Its nice and light and easier to lug about than my DB 45. Would I buy another? Definitely, its as good as a Deering at half the price

Overall Rating

8


Ozark 2109G
submitted 8/11/2009

Submitter

adelahunty (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Eagle Music, UK

Year Purchased

2009

Price Paid

(130) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


Very loud, even for a banjo! As standard, it has a bright, sharp sound, which seems to be pretty versatile with all kinds of banjo playing. Personally, I wanted it to be a bit mellower, so I swapped the Remo frosted head for a Fiberskyn one. Think it improved the tone a great deal, but it could just be that my ears want this noise - your mileage may vary... In summary, good volume, and a good general tone, but may need some tweaking.

Sound Rating

8

Setup


Badly set up when I bought it - I can forgive that the bridge would have moved in transit, but the head was so loose it clearly hadn't been adjusted correctly since it saw daylight. Almost sounded more like a guitar when I got it. Lots of tightening of brackets later, and it was in fine shape. Easy to make changes too - swapped out the head fairly quickly, and other changes along the way with no trouble. Neck adjustment also easy.

Setup Rating

5

Appearance


Simple finish - unstained wood, no fancy inlays. Quality of wood generally very good indeed, and far better than others in this price range. Not hand-made quality, but then you're not paying for handmade. I like simple instruments, and this does very nicely indeed.

Appearance Rating

7

Reliability


Gears terrible - changed them with the next string change for some nicer ones. Some of the hardware a bit battered after several months, but the wood itself is in excellent condition still, despite much travelling! If it weren't for the gears, this would score higher. As it is....

Reliability Rating

6

Customer Service


Eagle weren't great with the customer service - no response to emails, so I just left it at that. Never had to deal with Ozark themselves, so the mark below is solely for the experience I had with Eagle.

Customer Service

3

Components


The parts aren't brilliant, but they do the job and get you started well enough. The machine heads (tuners) for the 4 longer strings were pretty dire, and quite shoddy. These got replaced as soon as I could. The 5th string gear by comparison is quite brilliant, and requires very little adjustment. Have replaced the tailpiece for a no-fuss, no-knot for simplicity. On inspection the tailpiece which came as standard didn't seem to be that great, so I would suggest changing that as a mater of course. So if it wasn't for the tuners, it would be around a 7. As it is....

Components Rating

5

Overall Comments


Here's the bottom line, then. For the price, and if you plan to do nothing to it, you get a cheap banjo which (in my opinion) sounds better than anything else in this price range (especially in the UK). It'll do the job, and will keep you going well until you save enough for another instrument. But...

If instead you view this as a 'building block banjo,' and are prepared for a bit of swapping of components, then this is something else entirely. I've changed the head, tuners, bridge and tailpiece over the time I have had it, and it looks and sounds brilliant. Makes exactly the noise I want it to make, and I wouldn't change it for a more expensive one now. Seriously. Spend another 50 upgrading your instrument instead of spending even more on a big name model.

Would I replace it if stolen? Yes, as it is cheaper to make one to my taste from this banjo, than to buy a biggie for considerably more. With that in mind....

Overall Rating

9


Ozark 2109G
submitted 12/20/2008

Submitter

Edthebanjo (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

DJM Music

Year Purchased

Price Paid

120 (GBP) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


It has a realy great sound for that price. I actually use it as a bluegrass banjo, because it gives me a realy nice sound and a light weight instrument at the same time. It has a good amount of volume, a nice, bright tone, and lots of note seperation.

Sound Rating

8

Setup


It has a realy bad set up when it arrived. It had a loose head, a tail piece resting on the head, real high action, and a broken bridge. Once I fixed all these problems, it was good to go.

Setup Rating

4

Appearance


A nice simple and traditional look. It does have a few manky parts here and there, but nothing too bad.

Appearance Rating

7

Reliability


It is a sturdy instrument, and should stand the test of time.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


When I ordered the banjo, the man told me that it would not come with a case, so i ordered one. When it arived it had two cases.... That is bad service. Also, it had a broken bridge when it arrived, and at first the sent me the wrong bridge, but in the end they got it to me.

Customer Service

5

Components


I dislike the tuners, and the arm rest is a bit warped, but apart from that everything is great!

Components Rating

7

Overall Comments


It is my banjo that I use for travelling, and is a brilliant banjo. It is lightweight, sounds good, and is affordable. If it were stolen, I would buy another one, and it wouldn't be too much of a loss, because it is a cheap banjo.

Overall Rating

9


Ozark 2109G
submitted 9/5/2007

Submitter

cockneybanjo (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

RB Music, Aberdeen

Year Purchased

2007

Price Paid

185 () historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


nice bright clear sound, reasonably loud. Nice shape neck.

good frailing and three-finger picking banjo, good lightweight knock-about instrument.

nice sweet tone. I have been comparing it to the Grafton Popular I started with, the Grafton has a darker tone.

Sound Rating

8

Setup


set up by R&B, I collected it so no shipping issues. Not had it long enough to make any changes yet. Acquired a Gator hard case to carry it in, instead of the Ritter bag I bought with it.. sems to suit the guitar-type tuners better ie it is still more or less in tune when it comes out of the box.

Setup Rating

8

Appearance


light blonde appearance... gentlemen prefer blondes! Minimal inlay, ozark logo on peghead, simple and neat. Grain on peghead could be better matched but that's a general comment on banjos at this price point, most of them have a scarf joint through the middle of the peghead

Appearance Rating

8

Reliability


has developed a buzz up the neck, tapping the nut to reseat it has lessened this; cheap tailpiece is visibly bending. So, marks down for the hardware

3 years on and the cheap tension hooks are showing signs of deforming, but this doesn't seem a problem so far.

Reliability Rating

6

Customer Service


R&B have a good reputation. Ozark, never dealt with them

Customer Service

8

Components


no standout components but no obvious initial weak points either.

Cheap tailpiece started to bend after a few weeks, swapped this for a Nashville one which hasn't been an unqualified success. Tuners look and feel cheap but are holding up so far.

Geared 5th string peg is a nice detail.

Components Rating

7

Overall Comments


good lightweight travelling banjo, I've variously heard it described as a 'Deering Goodtime knock-off' and a Gold Tone CC100 knock-off. Better spec than the Deering, truss rod and twin co-ordinator rods plus arm-rest all as standard. Cheaper than Gold Tone for an essentially very similar instrument.

definitely better than the 'el cheapo' bottom of the range Chinese stuff. You could get a plywood resonator and a load of cheapo 'pearloid' inlay for the same money, if that's what you want, but this is a better value buy.

Would I buy another if it was stolen? Don't know. I have a Grafton Popular which costs the same, sounds as least as good and has planetary tuners, but doesn't have the blonde appearance... minor niggles mean it has tended to come and go in favour.

marked it down to a 7 after a year or so. Buzzy neck comes and goes, although some experimentation with string gauges and a compensated bridge seems to have cured it for now.

Overall Rating

7


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