Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

188
Banjo Lovers Online


Banjo Reviews

Review Categories

Most Recent

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!

6792 reviews in the archive.

Pisgah  Custom Dobson Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Caad (see all reviews from this person) on 4/15/2018

Where Purchased: Custom order directly from Pisgah Banjo Co

Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: 1775 ($US)

Sound

I play mainly clawhammer, and this banjo is well-suited for that style. It has a very clear and pleasing sound. I opted for a 12" because that is the sound I prefer and I already had an 11" from a different maker. It is plenty loud enough to be heard with a fiddle and guitar.

I am very pleased with the sound. Notes ring true all the way up the fret board and the intonation is perfect. The Dobson tone ring gives this banjo great resonance and clarity without sounding harsh. The high end is clear and there is no muddiness in the low to mid range. It is a very rich sound.


Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I picked the banjo up from the Pisgah Banjo Co shop in Asheville. Patrick (the owner) looked the banjo over to double check everything and tighten the head.

The action was to my liking and I don't see any reason to change it.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This banjo is beautiful. I wanted it to look like the Pisgah Wonder model, and it looks even better than I anticipated.

The curly maple is beautifully finished, the aged brass hardware pairs perfectly with the finish, and details such as the S-style frailing scoop appear flawless to my eyes.

All of the inlay work looks great (the star on the headstock and the metallic face dots on the fretboard).

This is exactly what I wanted.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware is well built and feels sturdy. The Gotoh tuners are smooth and hold tune well. This does not feel like something made on a cheap assembly line; it is well-built. I believe that it will last me a very long time and will be something I can pass down the family tree.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Their customer service is top-notch.

I used the banjo design tool on the Pisgah website and it worked great. It was really easy to pick all of my features and then pay the deposit up front.

Even after I had submitted my order through the site, I was able to email Patrick and ask for something extra because I had changed my mind. Whenever I emailed Patrick, he was quick to respond.

When my banjo was finished, Patrick sent me pictures and let me know it was ready to go. He was even kind enough to open the shop up on a Saturday for me to pick the banjo up since I live a couple of hours away.

Overall, I had a great experience with the whole process of ordering and picking up my banjo from Pisgah.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The components are all top-notch. I'm very pleased.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I highly recommend Pisgah Banjo Co.

I got exactly what I wanted and couldn't be happier. Patrick was great to work with. I can see myself making another custom order in the future. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by dobrodoc (see all reviews from this person) on 7/1/2017

Where Purchased: Factory Direct

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: 1520 ($US)

Sound

This is a custom order that Patrick put together with me, giving me advice and input but allowing me to order any combination of features.
Has 11" rim with a whyte lady tone ring , and walnut pot, walnut neck with vintage Dobson heel. Richlite fingerboard. Vintage style headstock. Aged brass hardware, renaissance head.. sounds great, bright tone, but nice growl on the wound string. Intonation is great all the way up the neck. Loud but not overwhelming! The neck is slightly shorter with a 251/4 scale length. It sounds great with aggressive clawhammer but also is sweet and responsive when picked fingerstyle.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Action was great, arrived still in tune! 900 mile trip through the mail!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very pretty to look at. I love the walnut pot and aged brass hardware. In an effort to get an ebony look to fingerboard, I opted for the black richlite fingerboard. I can't tell it's not ebony or rosewood by the feel. The headstock has a matching piece and looks very nice. There is a stripe of persimmon or maple going up the back of the walnut neck which is a nice touch.
The finish appears hand rubbed, not glossy and there are no significant tool marks and rasp marks ( as seen on another N. Carolina builder) the neck to pot junction is airtight with no gaps.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I just got it but I suspect this banjo will be around long after I'm gone. I'm 58. Hopefully my son can inherit a sweet banjo.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Dealing with Patrick Heavner was like a little miracle after having just had a brutallly painful defrauding experience from another NC luthier. Patrick allayed my fears, was not pushy, got back to me immediately with every email. He layer out the whole process, the expectations, the timeline, the deposit process. He is a consummate gentleman businessman. i suspect if the neck fell off tomorrow, he would fix it no question.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Great banjo, no drama trauma service. Fair price. Built very substantially. I bought a Pisgah because I had the opportunity to play one a friend just purchased and he had a similar positive experience. After having just been ripped off, it was a tremendous relief to get a set of pics that they took at the completion of the build and I knew that Yes, I would actually be frailing in no time flat on a traditional handmade American banjar.

 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by old clawhammer (see all reviews from this person) on 5/25/2017

Where Purchased: From Maker

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I've just returned to old time music after years away from the banjo and needed something not too loud for around the house practice. I ordered this banjo accordingly with a John Baich goatskin head. As requested, I received it with nylon strings but they just didn't suit me. Patrick had included a set of Pisgah wire strings for me and I changed them after a few days and now a happy picker. Just gently. The sound is a bit muted and that is what I had in mind when I ordered. I used cherry with a persimmon fingerboard and the wood is beautiful.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Construction and setup are high quality with no changes needed. There may come a time when I make some changes for a brighter tone but, for now it's precisely what I requested. The action is very comfortable for me.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The cherry and persimmon are good to look at and the wood is flawless. I opted for no fancy workmanship, just a vintage heel and pdghead and both are expertly done. There are no flaws in the wood or the hardware.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware is all brass with black pegs and I'm really pleased with the look. It's all the same high quality with properly placed spikes. The finish is uniformly clean and I only expect the appearance to improve over the years. It's a solidly constructed instrument.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Patrick was pleasant and easy to deal with. Wish there were more like him. He offered a free maintenance check after a year. I can either ship it or, since I'm within a reasonable distance of Asheville, I can bring it to the shop and take a tour at the same time.

Customer Service: 10

Components

If this were a guitar, it would be a high grade Martin or a Henderson. Nothing about it is cheap.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The cost of this banjo is what I would consider completely reasonable.  It's not a cheapie but, as with most things we get what we pay for.  Dealing with Patrick was a combination of friendly and completely professional; he did what he said he would do, when he said he would, the way I requested and kept me up to date. I'd do business with him again without question.  The instrument is as solid as a rock and I think the wood will mellow nicely with time. I'm comfortable that if I want either repair or modification, he will be a reliable guy to go to.

Overall Rating: 10

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.0625