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.
Where Purchased: from maker
Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 700 ($US)
The sound is wonderful. With the wood tone ring, it has a clear but "plunky" old-time sound. I've been playing it more than my full-size banjo.
Sound Rating: 10
The banjo was set up perfectly. The action is exactly as I requested it, and he even made a custom wood armrest for me that is the most comfortable armrest I've used.
Setup Rating: 10
The craftsmanship is superb. He made a minstrel-style peghead for me, which gives it a nice old style, but the blond wood gives it a modern appearance.
Appearance Rating: 10
I plan to use this banjo primarily for travel, not as my day-to-day practice and performance banjo. But I would definitely use it at a gig or a jam without a backup. I plan to put heavier strings on it so I can tune it to standar G / D for jams.
Reliability Rating: 10
Zach was very communcative and friendly. We talked on the phone to kick off the project. Then he sent me several drawings to approve before he moved forward. I picked the wood, but he was quick to recommend improvements when needed. Finally, he sent numerous photos during the building process so I could see his progress firsthand.
Customer Service: 10
The entire banjo is beautiful, but I'm particularly happy with the minstrel-style peghead, and the custom wood armrest he created for it.
Components Rating: 10
I would strongly recommend working with Zach. He is fast, flexible, and very friendly. He also makes other instruments, and later this spring my wife and I plan to travel to his workshop at some point so she can try out one of his fiddles and maybe buy it.
Overall Rating: 10
'"Smart" dependance, RANT' 21 sec
'Learning Scruggs' 1 hr