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!
7036 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Instrument Alley
Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: 839.99 ($US)
Terrific sound! It's as loud as the Chinese made banjo I had previously, with a much sweeeter tone overall.
Sound Rating: 10
The setup as I received it was fine; all I had to do was adjust the action height a bit.
Setup Rating: 10
This is a gorgeous instrument. It's a clean, unfussy design, set off beautifully by the new engraved headstock and midnight maple fingerboard with inlays. There were no finish flaws whatsoever.
Appearance Rating: 10
I've been playing it for about a year now and have no complaints. It has more than enough volume to hold its own in the banjo camp and beginning jam classes I participated in. It may not be suitable for a professional gig, but for amateur playing it's extremely reliable.
Reliability Rating: 10
Good service from Instrument Alley. They can be a little difficult to communicate with, but their prices are hard to beat. There was an initial problem with my order (not their fault), but they were very good about resolving it to my satisfaction.
Customer Service: 10
My only concern with components is that there seems to be more fret wear than I would have expected after playing it for less than a year. Everything else is absolutely first rate. The tuners in particular are very smooth and keep it in tune perfectly.
Components Rating: 9
The new Artisan Goodtime Special is proof that a bluegrass banjo doesn't need to weigh a ton to sound great. I'm a retiree with occasional back pain, and this suits me perfectly. It's a simple design but still gorgeous to look at, and the tone is terrific up and down the neck, playing at any distance from the bridge. I expect to be a happy Deering Goodtime fan for many years to come.
Overall Rating: 10
'Head replacement' 8 min
'General Pharbeigh Banjo' 29 min
'Rim laminating' 5 hrs