danville Reviews

danville Premium
submitted 4/25/2010

Submitter

grogzilla0 (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Year Purchased

2009

Price Paid

400.00 ($US)

Sound


Just a beginner. I wanted a resonator to go along with my Deering Goodtime as I wanted to play Scrugg's style. But I also didn't want to pay alot for something i couldn't play. As I haven't much experience, all I can say is it sounds like a banjo. Fairly descent bass and descent note seperation. The highs are very promenent. One thing I can say is it is VERY loud.

Sound Rating

not rated

Setup


Well, just awful. The action is very high compared to the Goodtime, both at the nut, and down the neck. I initially didn't think this would be a problem, as I play guitar with medium strings, and a fairly high action, but as a beginner, it has proven to be more difficult than I had imagined. The intonation is absolutely terrible. No amount of work thus far, and I have messed with it extensively has gotten the intonation spot on...probably have to get a compensated bridge. I think a professional set up is definitely in order. Fret work is pretty good.

Setup Rating

3

Appearance


Well, I have to say, it's not a bad looking instrument. finish, binding, wood, all attractive, and well executed.

Appearance Rating

8

Reliability


I'll let you know after I have had it for a little longer, and gotten more hours on it.

Reliability Rating

not rated

Customer Service


N/A

Customer Service

not rated

Components


The tuners are absolute rubbish. I have a couple of $99.00 guitars for my kids that have better tuners. Perhaps the tuners are one of the problems with the intonation. I can barely get the 5th string to stay in tune. I have to retune after about 30 mins of play. With the exception of the tuners, the rest of the hardware seems to be okay.

Components Rating

4

Overall Comments


I wanted a cheap resonator, and I got just that. Will it be okay after a set up? Only time and several hundred dollars, I live in Switzerland and everything is really expensive here, will tell. I would not recommend this instrument as I just don't think it's particularly a good instrument.

Overall Rating

3


danville 30 Bracket
submitted 9/29/2008

Submitter

Skip2007 (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Ray Hill Audio (Ebay)

Year Purchased

2008

Price Paid

169.95 ($US)

Sound


Once properly setup, the sound volume and tone is surprisingly good. 30 bracket heads need less tension per bracket than 18 or 24, so its easy to overtighten the head. Shipped with light/medium gauge strings. Once I got this dialed in, it has only slight less bottom end and resonance than my BB-250 with a cast brass tone ring. As a banjo newbie, I can't pick worth a darn, but I can make the instrument sound good (guitar dweeb). The common cast aluminum pot used in these is popular for a reason - they work when properly setup, and are cheap.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


Out of the box, this instrument was good to go, mostly. I don't know if the dealer set it up or not (don't think so). String action is set low (my taste), neck is straight and tight. Brackets needed to be tightened/tuned. Intonation needed to be adjusted (bridge placement). Truss rod is adjustable, tailpiece basic but adjustable and functional. A word about tuners - these "guitar style" tuners work well. At 14:1 ratio, easy to find tune and they stay put. Not bluegrass "cool", but they work better than the planetaries on my other banjos. There was a problem with the armrest, which I discuss down below.

Setup Rating

7

Appearance


Fit and finish is excellent all around. Neck appears to be lauan mahogany (like most mahogany guitars and banjos), attractively stained. Foot and peghead are blended to black, all coated with a flawless clearcoat. Pot is buffed to bright metal above the cast-in flange. Fingerboard is a bound east indian rosewood set with the standard snowflake inserts, and is well made. The resonator is basic but well finished with a good looking mahogany veneer, clean binding and a flawless deep clearcoat.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


This banjo is solid as a rock. The mahogany neck and the aluminum pot keeps it light, the neck fastens tightly to the pot and all of it appears well made. The finish on the wood parts is about as durable as it gets.This banjo is well suited for active kids, to take to camp, or to enjoy at home without worrying about the investment. Doesn't have enough cool factor for gigging, but would get the job done in competent hands. I think the tuners would hold tune better than most planetaries.

Reliability Rating

9

Customer Service


Haven't had to deal with the retailer. The brand is a house brand of a fairly large east coast distributor, and its Asian made, but the parts are standard and in common use by many American companies. The instrument was very well packed, double boxed (doesn't come with either a case or gig bag) and suffered no ill effects from shipping. I rated service based on shipping - no other service has been required.

Customer Service

9

Components


Over all the banjo uses basic but solid components that should hold up well. There was one serious difficulty: The arm rest would not tighten to the brackets, no matter what. On closer inspection the cause was the mounting screw - it was too long, and would hit the pot before the clamp tightened. Trimming the screw didn't help - the length is very critical, since this banjo uses flat style brackets and there is not much room to clamp the rest. Also, the screw is metric, so finding an alternative wasn't easy. Solution (and here come the advantage of the aluminum pot) - remove the armrest clamp and screw entirely. Drill the pot where the screw needs to go between the brackets, tap and thread for a 10-32/24 allen head bolt. The pot is thick enough to allow this and it works slick.

Components Rating

8

Overall Comments


Other than the issue I had with the armrest, this is a great banjo for the price. The pot is used by many manufacturers and when properly set up, gives the instrument good banjo sound. Most of the complaints about aluminum potted banjos (at least using this pot) I believe are misplaced. The instrument is stable, playable, light and fun. Take the resonator off and its a perfectly acceptable open-back to frail with. I'd be upset if someone stole this cheapie, its an easy banjo to like.

Overall Rating

9


danville Premium
submitted 11/2/2007

Submitter

sbillvic (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

ebay

Year Purchased

2007

Price Paid

350 ($US)

Sound


just a cheap banjo. Poor sound.

Sound Rating

not rated

Setup


bad set up on arrival. I tore this banjo apart and installed a Morgan Monroe MGB-2 tone ring I had lying around. I set it up good and holly cow. It must just love the rim and tone ring together. This banjo is as loud as any I have heard. It has tons of bass and sustain taht is unreal. It has surprised everyone at the jam session. As cheap as this banjo is you could buy a tone ring and have a real good banjo that you are not afraid to scratch up and not have much in it either. I would not recommend bvuying one to play as is, if sound is what you want.

Setup Rating

2

Appearance


flat finish, not very flashy, but not bad.

Appearance Rating

5

Reliability


It looks like it would last if taken care of.

Reliability Rating

6

Customer Service


never used

Customer Service

not rated

Components


geared tuners are not best but should be ok.

Components Rating

6

Overall Comments


Overall Rating

6


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