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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  12” Fretless Possum Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Jzgmclt12 (see all reviews from this person) on 11/30/2015

Where Purchased: Pisgah

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 1,095.00 ($US)

Sound

I was looking for a fretless banjo that wouldn't break the bank and what I recieved was a banjo that has incredible tone with a rich clear sound.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

When the banjo arrived, all I had to do was set the bridge where they marked it in pencil on the head and set the desired tuning.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I purchased a 12" Walnut banjo with brass hardware, a folk heal and side dot brass inlay. The banjo itself is flawless and more than met my expectatations. The paddle head has a nice inlay on it.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The brass hardware is very sturdy and the finish I believe will last for the life of the banjo.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I was very pleased with how helpful they were and I was pleased with how quickly they responded to my questions.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I would have to say that I am completely satisfied by their overall craftsmanship and impressed by the wood they use and overall setup.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

If you are someone looking for a reasonable priced banjo that is all hand made, I would really suggest you email Pisgah and discuss the various option they have to offer. They also have a great wedsite that is worth checking out and they have posted several videos on youtube.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Burghauser (see all reviews from this person) on 6/21/2014

Where Purchased: Direct from Builder

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sound manages to be simultaneously crystalline and resonant. It’s got plenty of plunk, but never at the expense of those glittering highs. The sound is earthy, organic.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

At my request, Patrick set the neck so that the banjo might accommodate an 11/16 bridge. Overall, the banjo has that curious, warm solidity I associate with very good heirloom furniture.

My only critical observation regards the nut: it doesn’t seem perfectly snug between the fretboard and peghead overlay. This doesn’t effect the tone, but a good clean fit always inspires confidence.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

It's downright lovely.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Although it’s too early to say, I expect only good things.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Proprietor Patrick Heavner was almost eerily quick in responding to emails—and was, of course, friendly and helpful.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The components are superior. Smooth tuners, attractive no-knot tailpiece, etc.

Although it seems a little crabby to mention it, I can’t help but observe that: (a) the banjo lacks an armrest, and (b) an armrest would come in handy. It’s a pity, since I’d be curious to see what Pisgah (with its aesthetic and environmental commitments) would come with in the armrest department. Until then, I’ve ordered a cherry Thin-Line armrest which should match the instrument nicely.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The Pisgah Possum has that simplicity, that purity, both of tone and design that reminds me of why I fell in love with old time music in the first place. Ironically enough, it’s pretty audacious to build so simple an instrument. Without any bling, bells or whistles to distract you, any defect, however slight, would become embarrassingly conspicuous. It’s a testament to Patrick’s skill and focus that the Possum withstands even the most careful scrutiny. 

Overall Rating: 10

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