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!
6919 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Banjo Hangout Classifieds
Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: 900 ($US)
I play mostly Scruggs/three finger, but I'm not a strict adherent to any particular style. I've tried this banjo with steel strings and Super Nylgut. I like it better with nylon, but either way it sounds great. It is louder than I expected it would be--it has a doughnut tone ring. It has a full sound, but not bright. It stays in tune all the way up the neck (I don't go past the 17th fret, rarely past the 15th.)
Sound Rating: 10
It was set up just fine. I replaced the bridge with a slightly lower Spillway Dam Bridge from Don New from this site. It has the original (I think) four string tailpiece, so two strings share one spot.
Setup Rating: 9
It's pretty. People comment on it. The neck is not original or vintage, but it's bound and has simple, elegant inlay, matching the banjo. The pot is beautiful to me.
Appearance Rating: 9
It's been 6 months and the hardware is fine. I have recorded with it, and will play it live this Spring outdoors. I trust it will do just fine. The tuners are good quality.
Reliability Rating: 10
Gary S. was great--he shipped it quickly and safely.
Customer Service: 10
There is a pleasure in seeing the old Washburn dowel stick, and in knowing the banjo pot and tone ring are going on 100 years old. I guess that's somewhat superficial, but it makes me want to pick up the banjo and play.
Components Rating: 10
People say this banjo sounds "sweeter" than my Deering Basic, which is loud and bright an a bit brash (metal pot.) I really enjoy playing them both. I may go back to steel strings on this banjo at some point, but the combination of fingerpicks, nylon strings and this tone ring create a cool sound. (Haven't broken a string yet.)
I'm very happy with this banjo--I would never sell it.
Overall Rating: 10
'Job Opening' 1 hr
'Good Monday Morning' 3 hrs
'Cnc cut necks' 5 hrs
'Making a Banjo Neck' 5 hrs
'Cnc banjo necks' 5 hrs