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!
7036 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Helix
Very rich, full, woody sound with a litte sparkle in it. Very good note separation, combines sustain and clarity. Sounds sweet when picked with fingernails, very loud with picks. A bit of the hollow, old-banjo sound to it as well. Just gets better with playing. Perfect for the old-time up-picking that I play.
Sound Rating: 10
Perfect set-up. I went to Helix' shop, and he had me play a little for him, and set the instrument up perfectly for the up-picking (Seeger style) that I play. Very good action, very good intonation up the neck.
Setup Rating: 10
This is a rim change-out on a CC50. The new rim that Helix made is of grapefruit wood, with a beautiful and unusual grain pattern with dark iron deposits, which he brought out perfectly with his staining and finishing. The neck is standard CC50 dark finish, and combined with the grapefruit rim makes a most attractive package.
Appearance Rating: 10
The hardware is first-rate. Helix up-graded my brackets and tension hoop to 24 round brackets with heavy 24 notch tension hoop, and put on a compensated bridge as well. It looks like it will last forever. The banjo is very solid and holds tune perfectly. I anticipate no problems.
Reliability Rating: 10
Helix is a great guy to work with. He asks a lot of questions to be sure that the customer is getting exactly what they want, and stands behind his work 100%. He has sent me follow-up e-mails to be sure that everything is good, and told me to bring it back in if anything goes wrong or if I want an up-grade or set-up done.
Customer Service: 10
Helix' rim looks very strong, and his bracket hooks and tension hoop are heavy and well made. He also swapped out the co-ordinator rods for heavier ones as well. I had already put on 5-Star tuners before the rim change. All first-rate stuff - I anticipate no problems.
Components Rating: 10
I have owned many banjos over the years, and played more (including antiques) and this is the best banjo that I have ever played. I can't imagine a more perfect instrument for the way that I play, and it is quite easy on the eyes as well. The time I spent with Helix in his shop increased my banjo knowledge exponentially. He charged me $275 for the rim change-out, plus a little extra for the hardware upgrades. I learned more from Helix than I ever did anywhere else, and the price I paid to get this banjo is very small compared to all of the pleasure that it has given me. I would highly recommend Helix to anyone who wants to purchase or upgrade a banjo. He will treat you right, and you will get an excellent instrument for a most reasonable price. If this banjo was stolen, I would be over at Helix' shop the next day to get another one!
Overall Rating: 10
'Unidentified Banjo Uke' 3 hrs