Flinthill FHB-300 Banjo Reviews

Flinthill FHB-300
submitted 8/24/2012

Submitter

Ladelnutts (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Witchita Band via Ebay

Year Purchased

2012

Price Paid

699 ($US)

Sound


Sounds good. It is amazing how much different a tone ring can make a banjo sound especially after playing one without a tone ring for months.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


After spending some money at the local music shop to get this thing properly set up I have to amend my previous rating of an 8 for the setup. The set up on this had the action WAY too high in order to compensate for the frets not being level. I also had to set the intonation on the bridge when it arrived.

Setup Rating

4

Appearance


Good looking banjo. All parts look great. The only imperfections I see are a small bit of varnish on the side of the nut and a few chips around the frets. Overall it's a good looking banjo and you have to really look for the chips.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


Seems like good stuff to me but I'm sure there is better out there hence giving it an 8. Very nice finish.

Reliability Rating

8

Customer Service


They answered emails quickly and were very pleasant to speak with on the phone with. However with the skeptical "setup" I have to give them a 6.

Customer Service

6

Components


Others have said the arm rest is thin. It is identical to the arm rest on my Recording King RK-R20 & I don't have anything else to compare it to. I'm sure there is better out there hence giving it a 9.

Components Rating

9

Overall Comments


A great banjo for the money. I'm still unsure of the real truth of the Recording King vs. Flinthill dilema. Whether the parts were overstocks or stolen from RK I have no idea. Read up on the subject and form your own opinion. Bottom line is I got a great banjo worth much more than what I paid for it. It really sounds and looks great. After having the local shop set it up I am really enjoying it.

Overall Rating

9


Flinthill FHB-300
submitted 4/28/2012

Submitter

andspence (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Amazon

Year Purchased

2011

Price Paid

699 ($US)

Sound


Excellent full sound, with a nice ring - no matter where you are on the neck.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


The banjo may have been setup when I got it, but I doubt it, and it didn't matter as I wanted to take it apart to check for defects, and to re-setup.
I scraped a bunch of lacquer off under where the ring sits. Tightened the head to ~G#. Using a presto tailpiece, and Snuffy 5/8 bridge.
I set the action as low as I could without buzzing.

Setup Rating

6

Appearance


Very nice maple resonator and neck. Standard arrowhead inlay pattern for the 300. There are minor flaws in the finish and inlays but nothing unexpected from a mass produced, asian-made banjo.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


The armrest was extremely flimsy, and rather uncomfortable (the transition from the side to the top was a sharp angle). Replaced the armrest with a First Quality version.
Tuners are nice, but the knobs are almost too big to for peghead layout. At this point, it's not a big enough concern to change out.

Reliability Rating

8

Customer Service


Customer Service

not rated

Components


Stock Armrest is NO good!!!!!

Components Rating

not rated

Overall Comments


On amazon, the banjo was listed as "used". I think what that meant was that it had hung in a music store for a while, as it still had a dealer tag on it when I received it in the mail. It was clearly not used.

Overall Rating

9


Flinthill FHB-300
submitted 2/19/2011

Submitter

lrbsammyswannabe (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

-

Year Purchased

2011

Price Paid

699 ($US)

Sound


Being a fan of Ralph Stanley and Doug Dillard I've always wanted an archtop and finally found one in my price range at a local music store which is nationally recognized for their vintage instruments . . First thing I noticed was the deep base on this thing , very punchy . Excellent tone up the neck as well , very clean and bright . Better than my Maple Blossom . Excellent sustain . Good characteristic archtop tone while playing close to the bridge . I'm anxious to here someone elso play it for me so I can hear the true sound of this thing . There were 4 workers in the store and none of them knew how to play banjo . I even asked one customer but he was shopping for guitars . It's no Stanleytone but it will do ! I'm no authority on banjos . All banjos sound good to me which is why I give this one a 9 .

Sound Rating

9

Setup


Came set up from the shop . Perfect set up for me right off the stand . Perfect action the whole length of the neck . The only things missing were a couple spikes at the 7th. and 9th. The shop installed them both for an extra $10 for me while I was cashing out .

Setup Rating

9

Appearance


Beautiful deep red mahogany color that brings out the maple grains nicely . Heavy gloss . Beautiful sunburst finish on the back of the one piece resonator . One minor crack in the binding at the 5th. fret , a minor 1/16" crack on 2 of the pegs , one minor flaw in the clear coat on the side of the resonator . Nice inlays . Love the Gibson style flange , although thin , unlike the girlish-looking one on my Deering Maple Blossom .

Appearance Rating

8

Reliability


Tuners seem tight . Been playing it for a few days now and haven't had any tuning issues . So far an excellent second banjo (actually 5th. banjo counting my cheap ones) . Haven't picked up my Deering Maple Blossom since buying this one .

Reliability Rating

9

Customer Service


Extremely friendly sales girl who was very knowledgable with the banjo inventory at the store . Quoted me the same price ($699 Including hardshell "Flinthill" case) as advertised online at their website . HOWEVER , the owner of the store was a different story . Nice guy , but , after I got an accurate quote from the nice sales girl , the owner came up while I was testing it out and asked me how I liked the banjo . Told him I loved it and gave me a price $200 more than the girl quoted me . The tag on the banjo had it listed for $2200 retail (no way) , $1100 sale price and he quoted me $900 with a hardshell case . I guess he assumed I didn't look on their website before I came in , or was just looking for a sucker . Overall , a good experience . Brought a buddy along who playes stand-up bass and jammed in the corner for a while . Very fair prices , even on accessories (straps/strings etc.) . Forgot to ask about warranty since I was too excited to get home and play some more . Due to this one minor issue with the owner , I'm leaving the "Where purchased" column blank .

Customer Service

8

Components


No standout parts as this is a middle-of-the-road banjo . Three-ply maple rim and two piece flange; nickel plated metal parts; bound, pearl inlaid rosewood fingerboard; planetary tuners with geared 5th; figured maple neck and resonator; vintage sunburst high-gloss finish; "No-hole" cast raised-head tone ring. Eventually may replace the tailpiece . Maybe experiment with some different bridges . The flange seems thin , but I like the "Gibby" style . The "Flinthill" hardshell case is beautiful and the banjo fits perfectly snug . Easily a $80 - $100 case . Not exactly sure what it means but the cast tone ring is a "no hole" style .

Components Rating

8

Overall Comments


Finally got my archtop and am very happy . I'm pleasantly surprised of the quality of this $700 banjo . I went to the store expecting a little less , since the website had only a few pictures of this banjo , none of them good close-ups . I knew within 10 minutes of playing it that I would be taking it home . Thought I would be paying extra for another hardshell case but the case came with it !!!! The controversy surrounding these Flinthill banjos intrigued me and may have played a little part in purchasing it .

Overall Rating

8


Flinthill FHB-300
submitted 6/13/2010

Submitter

gtaunton (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

eBay

Year Purchased

2010

Price Paid

950 ($US)

Sound


The sound is very loud and bright - its what you would expect from a nickel and maple banjo. Seems really responsive. Good ring up the neck as well.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


The setup was OK, but I always go back over my banjos and set them up for me as I like a 1/2 inch bridge because of poblems I have with my right hand.

Setup Rating

8

Appearance


Maple finish - very nice flaming on the neck and resonator. The resonator is one piece which is unusual on a lower-price banjo. A few small imperfections around a couple of the inlays which was my biggest gripe with the banjo.

Appearance Rating

8

Reliability


Overall the hardware was good, but I did swap out the armrest as the one that came on it was kinda thin.

Reliability Rating

8

Customer Service


I dealt directly with a dealer who called me after the sale was made. There are questions about where these banjos actuallyy came from. Some say they are built from parts taken from the Reocroding King facutory illegally, some say they are Recording King overstock parts which Recording would not take delivery of - you will need to do your own reserach and come to your own conclusion. All I know is its a really nice banjo for the price.

Customer Service

8

Components


Overall the hardware was good, but I did swap out the armrest as the one that came on it was kinda thin.

Components Rating

8

Overall Comments


Great value for a banjo thats sounds really good and you can ake anywhere!

Overall Rating

9


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