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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!

7001 reviews in the archive.

Nechville Luthier Reviews

Submitted by kamal (see all reviews from this person) on 6/16/2020

Overall Comments

I am happy to share my very positive experience buying a banjo from Nechville Musical Products!

I had been ogling Nechville's banjos for years, but never got a chance to actually play one.  I called Nechville to ask about a custom openback that they had in stock, and ended up having a couple of lengthy conversations with Brett Mularkey.  Brett was sincerely interested in learning about me and my particular banjo interests, and his honest and friendly advice was extremely valuable.

Brett's answers to my questions left me confident about buying from Nechville:

What if I just don't like it at all?  "Send it back, with no charge."

Would Nechville be willing to change out the neck for a different model?  "Yes.  And we could send you this banjo to play now while we build the new neck, and then exchange it later."

Change the armrest?  "Yes, of course."

I decided to go for it, and Brett and the folks at Nechville got my banjo packed up and shipped out the same day.  Once it arrived five days later, I was surprised to get a message from Brett, who had been tracking the package -- from his home, on the weekend -- just checking that it had arrived safely.

The banjo sounded and played great right off the bat -- truly a fine instrument.  I adjusted the truss rod to lower the string action to my liking, and mentioned so to Brett.  He suggested that I might like to try a shorter bridge to lower the action further, but he also asked "Do you like the tone now?"  Seemed a simple question -- yes, I did like the tone very much!  But after a good couple days of mulling on it, I responded that I might prefer a bit more bass and a bit less high-frequency response.

So Brett had the Nechville shop build me a slightly shorter yet heavier bridge.  What a difference!  Now, the tone is softer -- warm and mellow -- and balanced just right for my playing style.

Kudos and my thanks to Brett Mularkey and Nechville Musical Products!  I thought I was entirely happy with my very fine banjo when it arrived.  But they were not satisfied to just sell me a banjo that was very fine.  They were only satisfied once they'd provided me with a banjo that was perfect... for me.

 - Kamal Mostafa

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by MTBanjo (see all reviews from this person) on 12/15/2014

Overall Comments

I'm in the Twin Cities area for the winter and have a banjo I wanted looked over, so I contacted Tom Nechville through the Hangout to ask him about doing the work. He told me to bring it by when I got into town, and I finally got around to it today. 

The shop is nice and small and pretty intimate. Just a couple front offices, and couple back offices for luthiers, a showroom and the production area. I don't know what exactly I had expected, but it was a smaller operation than I thought it would be. Which is cool. No assembly line here.

Anyway, Tom was on the phone so I was led back to Jeremia to look over my banjo. They already had good knowledge of my banjo (an old Goldstar) and how they tend to sound. He asked what I didn't like, and what I was going for, and gave me all sorts of options including a new head, different tone ring etc., but didn't push any of them. He just mentioned them, then went about setting the banjo up based on what sound I like. While he was working on it, Tom stopped in to check on us, and decided to go make a bridge for me. 

I'm very interested to get playing my banjo and listen to the sound really close. Their bridges are made from much less dense grain, so they're cut extra thick to get up to the weight they want them. So it's definitely different to look at. I'm excited to see how it plays. 

Basically, an overall really cool experience, an explanation of everything they were doing and why, and a good result. I need to play the banjo for awhile before I come back & update this review, but I just wanted to get it posted while it was fresh in my head. 

Nechville banjos are pretty darn cool, too, if you haven't been around them (I hadn't). Some day when I have more time I'm going to check them out a lot closer. Very innovative design, and I'm not a guy who's stuck on tradition. 

I only give a 9 instead of 10 because they didn't take me out to lunch and drinks and send me home with a free blemished banjo. 


Overall Rating: 9

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