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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!

6975 reviews in the archive.

Banjo.com

Submitted by Banjonewguy (see all reviews from this person) on 9/8/2020

Overall Comments

Well, this is my second and last order from Banjo.com. I ordered a set of Schaller D-Tuners at the beginning of August. The website said they were in stock when I ordered but I got a message from them a couple days later saying that the tuners were on backorder and would be available in a "couple weeks". I decided to keep the order since I wasn't in a huge hurry to get them. Almost a month later I still hadn't heard anything so I emailed asking about the status. After several days of no reply I went to Elderly and ordered the tuners and canceled the Banjo.com order. The tuners from Elderly were halfway to me before Banjo.com replied confirming that I had requested to cancel the order. I don't know what happened, but all of the reviews up until about 2015 were extremely positive and after that all mid-line to negative. They have good prices, but paying a bit more and actually getting customer service is worth it.

Overall Rating: 4

BanjoTeacher.Com

Submitted by SH3L8Y (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2020

Overall Comments

Ordered a Deering Blackgrass from Ross in April. He called me right away and informed me that due to the pandemic it would be backordered for a few months at least. He offered to send me another banjo in the meantime so I could start learning. I declined but it was really cool of him to offer that. I actually got my banjo a little ahead of schedule and everything is perfect! All of the beginner necessities (picks, strap, extra strings etc) were included along with lessons (book/cds/dvd/+ online) which I'm really enjoying. I definitely recommended his site/store to anyone looking to buy a banjo especially if you are just starting out. The value you get with your purchase is incredible. Thanks Ross & the BanjoTeacher.com team! 

Overall Rating: 10

Banjo.com

Submitted by banjoec (see all reviews from this person) on 12/26/2019

Overall Comments

A banjo should fit a case without room to knock around inside the case. I was very pleased with the banjo but not the fit of the case. Now I take some of the blame because I ordered the case thinking a Gaurdian case for a resonator banjo should fit a Goodtime 2. But it didn't. There was only 1 neck support, not 2 as in better fitting cases. The neck and headstock had room to move from side to side knocking the tuners against the side of the case. Every time you picked up the case you heard a clunk. 

I give only a 5 rating because of the lack of effort to correct this. It was expected I pay $30 shipping for both the return of the case and another $30 shipping on its replacement. $60 shipping on an $80 case. I just kept the case, donated it to my local music store who has banjo students and ordered another case from another dealer who offers free shipping.

 

Overall Rating: 5

Banjo.com

Submitted by Banjonewguy (see all reviews from this person) on 12/16/2019

Overall Comments

I ordered a Recording King RK-35 from Banjo.com a couple of weeks ago. The site says that they ship all banjos Priority Express, but mine was shipped UPS ground. The banjo was in a hard case and the case was well packed in the shipping box.
The site also says that they set up every banjo prior to shipping so it's ready to play right out of the box. When I got mine it had an annoying ringing/tinny sound when the 1st string was played. I've only been playing a couple of months and really don't know what to look for, but when I checked the bridge it was a bit off and I had to adjust it to get the harmonics right over the 12th fret. I also found that two of the resonator screws were loose, no big deal. The ringing was still there so I took the resonator off to check out the other hardware. One of the retaining nuts on the upper coordinator rod was loose enough to spin with a finger and the tailpiece retaining nut was so loose I could tighten it with my fingers. This doesn't scream professional set-up prior to shipping.
The ringing is a little better but it still sounds tinny so I'm going to take it and have someone look it over and make sure it's set up properly.
The Good: They had a good price on the banjo, installed railroad spikes and gave me a case and starter pack.
The Bad: The reality of shipping and set-up didn't match up with the promises on the site.

Overall Rating: 5

The Mando Shop

Submitted by terje_t (see all reviews from this person) on 11/12/2019

Overall Comments

I ordered a mandolin from The Mando Shop and had such a positive experience I wanted to let people know. Kyle followed up personally with his setup recommendations, and shipped the mandolin very quickly after ordering, when his setup was done.

Also, each instrument is listed by serial number with its own photos (and you can receive high res images) so you can pick out exactly the one you want.

All over excellent experience, and thoroughly recommended!

Overall Rating: 10

Banjo Teacher.Com

Submitted by salmoneer (see all reviews from this person) on 9/4/2019

Overall Comments

My purchase of a Rk 76 Elite

I bought a RK 76 from Ross Nickerson at Banjoteacher.com I cannot recommend Ross and Banjoteaher highly enough.  First  off Ross spent sometime with me on the phone talking about Banjos,  what kind of player I was etc,  instead of just talking my order. As a result I have the banjo I wanted, set up the way I wanted it ! My banjo arrived in Excellant condition And after tuning it was completely playable right out the case. I have had it almost 2 weeks now and as it settles it sound better and better to me everyday. The experience of buying from Banjo Teacher.com was also Excellant I was keep informed by email as to when it shipped etc. I can’t say enough good things about my Rk76 and Banjo Teacher.com If anybody reading this is thinking of purchasing a banjo give Ross a call. You won’t disappointed ! 

 

Recommended to buy: Yes

Overall Rating: 10

The Acoustic Shoppe

Submitted by Robbie McKee (see all reviews from this person) on 7/24/2019

Overall Comments

I ordered a new bridge and some strings on Sunday. The order shipped Monday and arrived Wednesday. The site was easy to use and had a good selection. There where multiple ways to pay such as with a credit card or using PayPal which I find really convenient because then you don’t have to feel out all your information several times. There where plenty of emails confirming they had received my order and then another saying my order had shipped and also included tracking information. And the most important part all there prices where fair and matched competitors selling the same items. I will definitely be using them again in the future.

Overall Rating: 10

Banjo.com

Submitted by Robbie McKee (see all reviews from this person) on 7/21/2019

Overall Comments

I won’t go into all the details. But the biggest issues here are the fact that customer service, at least communication wise isn’t there. I had to contact them for everything there was never no updates or anything close to it and when I finally got information it was not very quick and like I said I had to go out of my way to get any info. With that being said all the communication with banjo.com was polite and curtious. I just think there needs to be some work done on the business end and the customer service. The other thing that bothered me is the site wasn’t up to date so a banjo that said was in stock ended not being in stock and I understand that at that point I don’t have to place the order but I do wish the site would have been updated a little more diligently. Again very nice people but no communication that wasnt forced on my part.

Overall Rating: 4

Banjo Teacher.Com

Submitted by HodjePodje (see all reviews from this person) on 6/25/2019

Overall Comments

I highly recommend Ross Nickerson and BanjoTeacher.com! He has been super helpful! I work at Renaissaince Faires and the Gold Tone banjola uniquely fits into that world, letting me play my banjo 200 years out of time.  I have a Pat Cloud edition banjola (pickups a must) and after 9 years of playing it's getting a bit worn. A couple of weeks back I noticed on the Gold Tone website that the Pat Cloud Banjola had been discontinued so I called Ross to see if he could help. Not only did he call Gold Tone and find me a banjola tucked back in a warehouse somewhere, he also helped me get Gold Tone to customize it in several ways for me there at their shop. The best part? Three days!!! I expected to wait at least a week with the extras I had asked for. Three days later it arrived at my door. It is pristine, beautiful, and every bell and whistle I asked for is there, professionally installed. This is the third banjola that I've gotten from Ross and the service has been excellent every time. This time though, i felt he really went above and beyond to help me get exactly the instrument that I needed at a fraction of what i thought all the customizations would cost. And so fast! Thank you so much Ross! It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you!

Overall Rating: 10

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 Robbie McKee (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

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