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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Washburn  B-17K Banjo Reviews

Submitted by FrLe23 (see all reviews from this person) on 1/14/2015

Where Purchased: eBay store Butler Music

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 749 ($US)


Very good sound for my liking, bright but not too much,, balanced, can be warm when needed.

Sound Rating: 9


Banjo was set up, action not too high, needed tuning out of the box.
The rim was not very well sanded on the inside, and the top was rough and not very plane. I sanded the top to make it even and ensure the tone ring had a good even regular fit.
Removing the tone ring was not very easy but I managed.
Good neck fit with pot.
5 string spikes were factory installed, the 10th fret one was too close to the board, the string could not be slipped under; I worked on it to make it good, now is all OK.

Setup Rating: 9


Very nice to look at, gold plated all over.
Very nice inlays, the ebony fret board let the inlays show very well, better than my previous (2002 Gibson Granada) rosewood fretboard.
(very happy I was able to escape from the hearts and flower or flying eagle).
The banjo was sold as having a factory blemish on the top of the resonator which is so small it really is not easily noticed; this allowed for a good price.
The neck and head carving are nice.
I don't really like the truss rod cover with the "B-17" writing on it, but the plate can be installed to show the other side which is just plain and matching the beautiful headstock inlays.

Appearance Rating: 9


Instrument looks very reliable, no part looks weak or bad quality even though maybe the tuning machines could be improved.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Did not have to deal with.

Customer Service: not rated


All components look good and strong.

Tuning machines do not look like the best, but they work good and the banjo is easy to tune, and it stays in tune.

Tail piece is good quality metal, and allows to use either loop end strings or ball end ones.

Truss rod adjustment does not seem easy to reach and use, I would have to let my luthier work with it, but I did not need to use it for the moment.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

This banjo is made in China, but quality is quite good from my pow.

It needed very little set up, and played good out of the box. I just worked a little on the rim more by curiosity than by need.

It was a bargain compared to other prices I have seen for the same item.

The good thing is that it was available on the web shop while it was not in any other sellers I have checked, and the price was better.

Comparing with my previous banjo (Gibson Granada year 2002) which was about 6 times more expensive, this Washburn has an excellent price/quality rating.

I am very happy with this banjo and will definitely deal happily again with this eBay seller.

Overall Rating: 9

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