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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)

Sound

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

Setup

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

Appearance

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

Reliability

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

Components

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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