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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!

6919 reviews in the archive.

Schattl Conversion  Pre-War Washburn Style A  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Twangle (see all reviews from this person) on 2/19/2017

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

Customer Service

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

Overall Comments

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

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