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Nechville Atlas Banjo Reviews

Nechville Atlas
submitted 1/31/2013

Submitter

wayne77 (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Nechville

Year Purchased

2012

Price Paid

Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


Love the sound, and others have stated the same.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


Perfect setup for myself.

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


Top Quality !!

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


Would appear to last many life times....

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Can't say enough about the service and the time given to me with this purchase. A real treat for me!!!

Customer Service

10

Components


The most standout component of this banjo is the Sagmoen Neck.

Best advice is try it, as my limited vocabulary prevents me from truly explaining the ease and comfort.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


May I suggest, If one is thinking about purchasing a new banjo, do yourself a big favor and hold and play a Atlas before putting your hard earned cash down!!

I get so upset when I think of the money I could have saved over the last few years, as my search for the perfect banjo has been long and expensive.

NO, surprises with this deal, a real treat for me.....

Overall Rating

10


Nechville Atlas
submitted 10/29/2011

Submitter

tubaphone (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Direct

Year Purchased

2011

Price Paid

Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


The Atlas took the least amount of tinkering to get my sound than any other banjo I own. The blend of "pop", short note duration and mellow tonality is perfect for clawhammer playing. I use a Renaissance head (I spray the back with lacquer to add mass) medium tight and a Sampson "Rivet-Busting" bridge for the desired sound. It's perfect.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


The "Flux Capacitor" neck coupling block makes setup a breeze. Loosen one Allen bolt in the neck heel and slide the neck up or down and re-tighten the bolt; that's it. This enables one to use any height bridge one desires and still set the action to suit. The mount also allows head changing with the neck in place. The truss rod adjuster is (hallelujah!) in the headstock where it belongs, so you can set the relief with the banjo strung up and tuned to pitch. Other builders take note!

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


I chose the Standard model with flat fretboard, a Saturn inlay at the fifth fret and tiny starburst inlays at the appropriate positions. The dark walnut stain is attractive, though I wish Tom would buff out the finish to a smooth matte rather than leaving it in a slightly rougher condition. Still, it feels good to the left hand. The hardware is first-rate, the plating deep and rich and the hoop-mounted tailpiece (a la Stelling) is three-point adjustable.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


The tuning stability seems rock-solid. I would use the Atlas in any playing situation with no reservation.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Tom Nechville is a banjo visionary that cares deeply about his customer's satisfaction. He even made the neck in my desired 25.5" scale length and with a slight V profile. He's always available by phone during business hours and loves to talk banjos. His products carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Customer Service

10

Components


The elegant engineering evident in Tom's Helimount designs is apparent in the Atlas as well. The all-wood pot (designed by Wayne Sagmoen) does away with bracket shoes, metal flanges and bracket bands, making for a super lightweight instrument that I know will be a delight to tote around at festivals. The dowel stick is not a part of the structure; it's there for looks and to serve as a pickup mount or to hold your choice of tone-modifying "stuffing" in place.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


Since meeting Tom Nechville many years ago at a NAMM show, I've been impressed with each successive innovation in banjo design to issue forth from his shop. His approach to banjo design is function first, and while his instruments have caused some traditionalists to scratch their heads, those pickers that admire original thought will continue to bolster Nechville's reputation and sales. My next acquisition: a Nechville Vintage bluegrass model.

Overall Rating

10


Nechville Atlas
submitted 1/27/2011

Submitter

Hoss (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

the Twelfth Fret

Year Purchased

2010

Price Paid

1450 (Cdn) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


Beautifully full, warm and woody.

Sound Rating

10

Setup


The Twelfth Fret knows how to set up banjos, but I prefer a slightly higher action for clawhammer. The adjustable neck on the Atlas made this exceptionally easy with the turn of an Allen key. However the banjo comes with a 5th string spike as opposed to a pip, which results in the 5th string action being pretty low for clawhammer. I'll probably have this changed.
UPDATE: I had the 5th string spike replaced with a pip. A $10 fix. Problem solved.

Setup Rating

8

Appearance


The 12" walnut block rim with wooden flange is a unique design by Wayne Sagmoen. It has a cocobolo tone ring and comes with a Renaissance head, The neck is walnut with a simple Saturn inlay at the 5th fret and a thumb notch in place of a full neck scoop. I love the appearance of this banjo and it gets lots of compliments wherever I take it. Some however may be put off the fact that it doesn't have that traditional openback look.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


No issues here. It all seems to be of top quality.

Reliability Rating

9

Customer Service


I'd rate this even higher if I could. Tom Nechville and/or Al Price treat you as if you're their most important customer, answering all email inquiries promptly and thoroughly.

Customer Service

10

Components


Gotoh tuners, Nechville Enterprise compensated bridge, patented adjustable neck. Nothing here which needs upgrading unless you are into radiused necks, in which case you would get the deluxe version of this banjo..

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


I waited a year before posting this review to see how I felt about this banjo once the honeymoon period was over. I'm pleased to say that I couldn't be happier with it and have never for a second regretted the purchase. It is in my eyes a beautiful instrument with a gorgeous sound and the most comfortable neck I've ever played. It is also as light as a feather thanks to the pot design. If you like the sound of a wood tone ring you should seriously consider this banjo,

Overall Rating

10


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