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!
6910 reviews in the archive.
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
'Deering or stelling?' 3 hrs
'Dave Hamill 1966' 6 hrs
'Saw this' 7 hrs
'Old Morrison Banjo' 9 hrs
'Stelling Staghorn for sale' 10 hrs