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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!

6792 reviews in the archive.

Pisgah  Rambler (12" Cherry) Banjo Reviews

Submitted by roscoesmusic (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2014

Where Purchased: Direct

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 1200 ($US)

Sound

im a basic clawhammer player and i like it a lot. its loud if you wanna be.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

you can tell these guys are players cause it plays great. had em put in a spike and its perfect.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

looks GREAT!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

A+ all the way round

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

they speak english!

Customer Service: 10

Components

the brass parts are very cool.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

these guys know what they are doing. i have owned lots of banjos and this is the best setup ever. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Patagorda (see all reviews from this person) on 5/2/2014

Where Purchased: Directly from Pisgah

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 1200 ($US)

Sound

The sound is warm and clear. The 12" pot gives a deeper sound, what I was looking for. It is loud and projects well.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was excellent, with medium action for clawhammer playing.

The head was very tight, which gave the banjo a beautiful ring and sustain. After consultation with Patrick I loosened the head slightly for a bit more bass, whilst retaining the clarity and sustain.

I replaced the bridge with a Moon bridge, which added a bit more bass and warmth, though the original bridge wasn't bad.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The Rambler's spunover rim with nickel brackets is spectacular to look at. The deep black fingerboard and paddle peg head are made of Richlite (no troubled ebony involved!) and give the banjo an austere look.

The cherry wood - Appalachian and sustainably sourced - is warm.

Normally the Rambler comes with certain brass components, but at my request Patrick replaced these with nickel plated, which I prefer the look of.

Everything about this banjo oozes quality and craftsmanship.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Everything is solid and well-made. I expect this banjo to outlast me.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Patrick Heavner has been a pleasure to deal with throughout. He knows what he's doing, but has been helpful and happy to accomodate. He is very responsive to requests and has delivered on time and as agreed.

Patrick has a background as a project manager and is very systematic in his approach. But he also has a love for the craftsmanship, the tradition, the materials and the music that is reflected in every instrument he turns out.

Customer Service: 10

Components

It has a spunover rim, a cherry pot and neck, a richlite fretboard, paddle peg head, nickel plated tuners with black buttons. Renaissance head.

The standard Rambler comes with some brass components (tension ring, brackets, tuners), for a two tone appearance. But I preferred keeping everything nickel plated, for a single tone look that fits with the austerity of the model in my opinion.

Patrick also provided me with a Dobson tone ring to be added later if so desired, but I'm very happy with the current sound.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The Rambler is Pisgah's newest model. Compared to other spunover banjos it is a bargain. It comes with the beautiful sound, quality and craftsmanship Pisgah is known for.

To me it sounds exactly how a banjo should sound. I looked long and hard for this banjo, trying out many on the way - thanks to Donald Zepp's wonderful banjo imporium among others - zooming in, finally, on an Enoch Tradesman and Ramsey Student or Amish or a Maple Ridge (Bill Rickard). This one certainly is a match with those in terms of sound and quality of craftsmanship.

New for Pisgah is the use of Richlite for fingerboard and head. This paper based product is very hard and durable, and does not have any of the problems associated with ebony in terms of sustainability. I really value the fact that everything is sustainably sourced, locally. Chopping down ancient forests in the tropics for our musical whims is no longer acceptable.

I'm still getting to know this wonderful instrument, but so far it exceeds my expectations in terms of sound and looks. It's a beauty.

Overall Rating: 10

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