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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6840 reviews in the archive.

Purchase from Geoff Hohwald's BanjoWarehouse

Submitted by mazerk (see all reviews from this person) on 5/5/2019

Overall Comments

A week ago, I had the opportunity to visit Geoff Hohwald’s Banjo Warehouse, to say I was in awe would be a major understatement.  I’ve only really been picking since August of 2018, I did take lessons in 2004 but that didn’t go so well therefore I consider myself a beginner.  Fast-forward to April 28th when I visited Andy & Geoff at the banjo warehouse.  I was treated as if I was a professional musician when I’m just a newbie wanting to upgrade to a little something different.  I had two banjos on my list of what I wanted check out, Andy had them ready for me shortly after I arrived.  All tuned up and ready to go.  Geoff stopped in and we talked and played for an hour or longer, with plenty of teaching taking place as well.  I left with a beautiful banjo that sounds awesome and that I’ll cherish for years to come. I can’t say how impressed I was with the whole experience.  If you’re looking for a banjo and you see something you like on the warehouse site call Geoff & Andy and make arrangements to go visit.  You won’t be disappointed.

Overall Rating: 10

Geoff Hohwald's BanjoWarehouse

Submitted by uvonarx (see all reviews from this person) on 4/1/2019

Overall Comments

I echo what DrBillM wrote a bit earlier. I recently traveled to ATL a second time after almost two years, because some of the banjos I had seen on the Hohwald Banjo Warehouse site on facebook had caught my eye. I spent a full day with Geoff and Andy and 10 banjos, playing, comparing, having fun. There was a particular one that I liked but it had a few issues. Andy set to work on it for about two hours, and what he came back with by lunch time was a different banjo than what I'd picked in the morning - it was impressive. In the meantime, I was picking away to my heart's delight, comparing the different sounds and feels, ordering the instruments in a "priority rack", and just having a great time. Along the way, I learned a lot more banjo lore, we traded licks and discussed all things banjo that came into our heads. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. I have been to many music stores in my life but Hohwald Banjo Warehouse is a pretty special experience for a banjo player. Not many places where you get to compare-play instruments from 1929, 1934, 1988, 1994, 2004, etc., and all of them Gibsons (they've got other brands but that's what I was interested in). Small wonder I left for the airport with my favorite in the afternoon. Been playing it ever since, a great banjo at a great price, sold by wonderful people. A very enjoyable day with a wonderful legacy...

Overall Rating: 10

elderly Instruments

Submitted by embrizzle (see all reviews from this person) on 2/10/2019

Overall Comments

Elderly Instruments was buzzing when I went in, but I was helped quickly and efficiently. The guy behind the counter was very helpful, had a good knowledge of what would be a good product (pickup for my open-backed banjo) for me despite not being a banjo-player himself. He gave me several options with the pros and cons of each, and gave me plenty of time to think over my purchase. I made the trip to Lansing from Ann Arbor specifically to go Elderly Instruments, and it was well worth it!

Overall Rating: 10

Fretted Instrument Workshop

Submitted by embrizzle (see all reviews from this person) on 2/10/2019

Overall Comments

I bought my Deering Goodtime from Fretted Instrument Workshop in Amherst, MA a couple of years ago. The shop is beautiful and the staff was very knowledgeable. They let my try the banjo out for as long as I wanted, although since it was my first banjo I didn't have much material to try. They also had a few different cases for me to choose from. Buying your first instrument can be intimidating, but this store gave me a great experience. 

Overall Rating: 10

Deering Service

Submitted by DrBillM (see all reviews from this person) on 10/4/2018

Overall Comments

Not sure what category this should fit under. I purchased a 1997 Deering GDL from Banjo Warehouse (Geoff Hohwald) in Atlanta in the Spring of 2018. Great place by the way.  Check them out. Played it awhile and it developed a little buzz. Just couldn't solve it. Eventually the magicians at Bernunzio's here in Rochester said something was off. They contacted Deering who said send them a  few pictures. Mike at Deering didn't like what he saw and said send the banjo to them. They determined that the co-rod holes had been drilled off center and  thus didn't line up quite right with the tail piece. The previous owner was a well known recording artist so the banjo clearly worked just fine for a long time. They didn't care because it wasn't right. They took the GDL apart, plugged and then re-drilled it, and fixed the problem on  my 21 year old, at least two owner banjo. Then they cleaned  and polished it, set it up and sent it back to me no charge. That is customer service!

Overall Rating: 10

Geoff Hohwald's BanjoWarehouse

Submitted by DrBillM (see all reviews from this person) on 5/6/2018

Overall Comments

I was planning to head down to Atlanta for some family business and contacted Geoff Hohwald at Banjo Warehouse (geoff@cvls.com  404-218-8580 2947 East Point Street East Point Georgia 30344) to see what the fuss was all about. I asked if he was interested in a trade as I had a Deering Maple Blossom with some extra features. He said "Sure bring it down". He said to just call when I got into town and I did so. He then met me at the mothership of all vintage banjos. I was looking for a walnut banjo and sadly the one I had come to see had sold a day or 2 before. He then spent about an hour or more digging through his astonishing inventory of banjos and kept finding another one for me to try. I eventually chose a 1997  Deering GDL. It was a great banjo and with the trade, and after he had "sharpened his pencil a bit", we found a number that we could both live with. Then, Geoff proceeded to give me some of his great teaching materials and a quick lesson on backup skills that was elegant in its simplicity and truly useful. He demonstrated how you could play a pretty straight backup, then add a little augmentation and then some really cool stuff with very minor left-hand work. Whoa-how cool is that? I then got the banjo home and was starting the cleanup process which was really unnecessary and found that the banjo I had purchased had previously belonged to professional player and ground breaker Barry Waldrep. Anyway-I would highly recommend Geoff and Banjo Warehouse in Atlanta and will return there for any future banjo purchase.

Overall Rating: 10

elderly Instruments

Submitted by john houston (see all reviews from this person) on 4/24/2018

Overall Comments

Elderly Instruments offers an amazing selection of banjos ... check them out!

 

Overall Rating: 10

Gryphon Stringed Instruments, Palo Alto, CA

Submitted by CrackerJo (see all reviews from this person) on 4/23/2018

Overall Comments

I purchased a RK-OT25 BR Banjo a couple of weeks ago from Gryphon. My intension are to use this Banjo as my travel Axe to and from our vacation cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains of north Ga.

I didn't buy it with a hard case because i already have an extra one. The Banjo was package very well, better than what I expected. It arrived in pristine condition.

The set up was spot on as received. All I had to do was install the bridge. Bridge placement was marked with blue painters tape. I was very happy to see that it was not done in pencil. I really don't like pencil marks on the head of my Banjos'. I can't say enough about their great customer service.Thank you very much Gryphon.

Overall Rating: 10

BanjoTeacher.Com

Submitted by BigBen (see all reviews from this person) on 1/28/2018

Overall Comments

I've been wanting to learn how to play banjo for decades (I'm almost 59).
After doing research and ready to buy one, I narrowed my search down to a few choices.
I called Ross@BanjoTeacher.com and he discussed each and every option of mine, PLUS offered a few of his own recommendations.
I had MANY questions before I made my purchase as well as after my purchase, so I have had many lengthy conversations with Ross, and he has always been courteous and honest when answering my many questions.
I opted for the Recording King R-36 with the Mahogany & Maple wood construction, and Ross worked-out a very fair price for my order!
Ross and his team set-up my Banjo before it shipped, as I made a few upgrades to my order.
My banjo arrived in a securely packaged box, along with it's accessories package, straps, a well constructed solid banjo case, an instructional DVD and 2 audio CDs.
When I opened the box I was amazed to find that this banjo is a work of art!

I'm havin' a BLAST learning!

Thanks Again Ross!
Ben

 

Overall Rating: 10

BanjoTeacher.Com

Submitted by rb4 (see all reviews from this person) on 12/31/2017

Overall Comments

I bought a recording king banjo from Ross at banjoteacher.com, he was very helpful. I had a couple different banjos in mind he had me call him and he discussed them all with me and gave me his honest opinion. It was very helpful since he plays these banjos all the time and has many years of experience in both playing and selling banjos. He cut me a great deal and had the banjo set up and shipped out promptly.

Overall Rating: 10

Bedford Banjo Shop

Submitted by violinoldbanjonew (see all reviews from this person) on 11/24/2017

Overall Comments

Mike was amazing.  I showed up saying I have a bad neck and that I needed a tiny banjo because I'm tiny.  So, he put together a lady's banjo that was waiting for repair, and then slowly and systematically encouraged me to play on all of his banjos, least expensive to most.  I ended up with an Aria Pro 2, a big ole thing that rings to kingdom come.  Half the price, makes me smile every time I play it.  I made a 3 1/2 hour pilgrimage to go play his banjos and would encourage anyone to do the same and more if you have any idea that you want to buy a banjo.  Thank you Mike!

Overall Rating: 10

BanjoTeacher.Com

Submitted by TonyB_1958 (see all reviews from this person) on 10/13/2017

Overall Comments

As a student in his first year of banjo instruction, and looking for a banjo that would be a good upgrade to my first banjo, I settled on a Recording King RK-35.

After much research and consideration, I chose Banjoteacher.com as the store to purchase my RK from for a few reasons:

  1. BanjoTeacher's price was a good as any, and better than most
  2. Instead of receiving an instrument off the rack, I would be getting one setup and customized (if that was what a I needed, and I did want the zero-glide nut and and Snuffy Smith bridge) as upgrades.
  3. And finally, I wanted to be able to contact someone for support, especially in the first days and weeks after receiving the instrument, if I had questions or concerns.

Banjoteacher.com's Ross Nickerson was able and happy to provide all of the above. I couldn't be happier with the RK banjo, and its setup and modification by Ross. I had a couple of questions for him after receiving my banjo which he helped me with right away.

It was a pleasure dealing with Ross at banjoteacher.com. I'm a lifelong customer now, and am so thankful to have come across banjoteacher.com

Thanks Ross! Keep on pluckin'

Tony

Overall Rating: 10

Bedford Banjo Shop

Submitted by Bluegrouse (see all reviews from this person) on 5/19/2017

Overall Comments

I had decided that my Vega (Martin) 1972 banjo needed to be sold.  Sound and action were just dull and sluggish.  I took it to Mike at Bedford Banjo Shop and he worked magic.  It looks great and I didn't know it was capable of such great sound.  He is a patient craftsman who provides the best service you will ever find.  While he worked on my instrument he recommended a great NY style pizza shop around the corner.  Banjos and pizza!  what a great day!  thanks Mike.  

 

Overall Rating: 10

BanjoTeacher.Com

Submitted by chkland724 (see all reviews from this person) on 4/8/2017

Overall Comments

I ordered a Gold Tone BG150F from Ross over the phone on Monday. The banjo came Friday which is good service. Ross is one of the good guys. Very easy to deal with and as mentioned the service is great. I cannot imagine anything a banjo player could need or want that Ross does not have. Ten  BIG stars.

Overall Rating: 10

elderly Instruments

Submitted by WiscRick (see all reviews from this person) on 3/27/2017

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 9

First Quality Music Supply

Submitted by Bigger Al (see all reviews from this person) on 2/24/2017

Overall Comments

Well, I almost feel guilty writing this review after looking at all the others here, but, I purchased a roasted maple bridge from them on 2/16.  After not hearing from them in a couple of days after placing the order I sent an email requesting to know when they expected to ship.  No response for two days so sent another.  No response again.  Called, and whoever answered the phone got nasty after I said that no one responds to emails and said "I've got them right here, you only sent two, I'm busy."  I would expect that woman to respond after the first email, not collect them and not reply to them.  That was on 2/22.  After being told it would ship that day (which at this point was only because I was interrupting her busy work schedule), I hung up after thanking her and telling her "that's all I wanted to know in the first place."  Well, it's now 2/24 and the item has finally found its' way to the PO in Louisville.  Well, I guess next time around, I'll just have to be too "busy" to waste my time with FQMS.

Overall Rating: 3

Bucks County Folk Music Shop

Submitted by GruberHuber (see all reviews from this person) on 9/2/2016

Overall Comments

As a shop they are certainly well equipped and authentic, with reasonable prices and quality banjos. When it comes to repairs steer clear! I went in with my precious Huber in pristine condition and sounding marvelous. I was preemptively having some frets replaced and decided while it was going to be in the shop I would move up to a taller bridge. Seemed like routine work for a store with 50 years of experience specializing in banjos, I thought my banjo was in good hands, but to my dismay my banjo will never be the same. The craftsmanship was careless to say the least: frets were poorly set, my fretboard was chipped, frets were filed atrociously and the neck binding was chipped and horribly marred resulting in an uneven, unsightly line which once was straight and precise. The bridge setup seemed okay except I realized when I got home that the bridge was setup nearly 1/2 an inch out of place. For the first time in my banjo's existence many of the frets are buzzing and up the neck several frets are completely muted, which is hard to explain considering I now have a taller bridge and higher action! Overall the tone is dramatically disappointing. To make matters worse instead of an apology/refund I was met with uncooperative arrogance and a total lack of ownership for the shoddy work and for devaluing my most prized possession. The pure bliss that was once associated with opening my case, has now been replaced by sadness, and frustration as it pains me to look and hear what has become of my banjo. I'm now $250 dollars in the hole, looking to find a way to repair the "repairs" and an instrument that is scarred for life. 

Overall Rating: 5

Gear4music.com

Submitted by FrLe23 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/25/2016

Overall Comments

http://www.gear4music.com/ are an excellent internet shop based in the UK

good points of being in the EU : shipping and VAT included in price, no import taxes

excellent contact both via email and phone;

they have a dedicated phone number for french customers, the person speaks fluently french

and answers quickly and efficiently

I would have given 12 if it had been possible

Overall Rating: 10

Bedford Banjo Shop

Submitted by SJMcVaugh (see all reviews from this person) on 5/20/2016

Overall Comments

The owner of Bedford Banjo Shop is knowledgeable and honest. While talking on the phone with him, he was courteous and helpful answering my many questions. The instruments I purchased were as described and packed with great care. I highly recommend this shop and look forward to visiting it when I travel to western Pennsylvania!

Overall Rating: 10

Banjo Bob's

Submitted by drdecanto (see all reviews from this person) on 5/7/2016

Overall Comments

Great Experience at Banjo Bob's in Cedar Crest, NM

Spent several Saturday mornings playing through a stellar lineup of Banjos before choosing a used Deering Calico. But there were easily half a dozen in my price range that I'd have been happy with. And Bob's a gem. If you're in this part of the world looking for a banjo at this price point or even above or below, he's your guy.

Overall Rating: 10

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