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Williams Grangeville Banjo Reviews

Williams Grangeville
submitted 12/21/2008

Submitter

Mitch Finley (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Williams Custom Banjos

Year Purchased

October 2008

Price Paid

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

Sound


I play Scruggs and melodic styles, and the sound is unbeatable. It's a mahogany instrument with a Cox maple rim--bright but not twangy; very full and rich sound. The best-sounding non-pre-war banjo I've ever heard...better, I think, than any of the other banjos that claim to reproduce the pre-war sound.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


Will Williams had gotten it back from the pro he had loaned it to for about a year (Gary Davis), and Will checked it all out before passing it on to me. The overall setup was perfect, except the bridge needed to be moved just slightly toward the tailpiece.

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


It's a very attractive mahogany neck-and-resonator banjo. The finger board is rosewood with hearts-and-flowers mother-of-pearl inlays. Will sprays on 30-some coats of the final finish. Gary Davis had put a few small scratches on the resonator, and a sizable 1/16" indentation in the back of the peg head, near the top. Can't imagine what caused it, but whatever the cause it must have been a really solid whack... Still, the wood wasn't broken, and neither was the finish...it's just a little round indentation....kinda odd, but it does provide a unique identifying mark.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


All the nickle plated hardware is from Prucha and is first rate. Gary Davis had evidently played it a fair amount wearing a sleeveless shirt, because the arm rest was tarnished some. I used Simichrome polishing cream on it, however, and now it looks like new. The tuners are Keith standard, which is the best. The whole instrument is rock solid and completely dependable.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Will Williams has a one-man operation, and he stands behind every instrument he puts together. I had a 2005 Grangeville, with a Hatfield ring, and when I bought it new from Greg Boyd, in Missoula, tiny hairline cracks had developed in the finish of the resonator. Will gladly provided a brand new resonator.

Customer Service

10

Components


All the components are first rate, but the Burlile tone ring is the part that makes this banjo special. Enough has been said about Burlile rings in the BH Forum that I won't go into it here. This banjo has a wonderful, wonderful sound.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


I would definitely recommend any Williams banjo to anyone wanting an above the top of the line resonator banjo. No assembly line banjo company can make a banjo as good as this one. I quickly add that my travel/alternate banjo is a Deering Goodtime Special, and when I want a to use a lighter, less expensive instrument, it fills the bill in a superior fashion. Will is no longer making the Grangeville model, by the way, but the Custom model that is quite similar is bound to be just as good.

Overall Rating

10


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