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!
6938 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Beartown Banjos
Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: $950 ($US) (bought USED)
Beautiful block rim tone. Great clarity and sweet, balanced sound. Took a while to get used to, but now my go to banjo - and certainly far and away the best for recording.
Sound Rating: 10
Came perfect, but hooks gradually loosened up. Now tighten them every so often. Actually don't mind doing this basic maintenance - another means of tweaking the tone and sustain. Dave very generously threw in an extra bridge.
Setup Rating: 9
See it here: https://beartownbanjo.com/wp/category/banjo-gallery/
A really lovely banjo, with an emphasis on the timber's native qualities.
Appearance Rating: 10
Absolutely, just be careful to keep a nut wrench with me.
The wood, the hide head, all the metal hardware and the case are all excellent quality.
Reliability Rating: 9
Dave reset the frets and put on a new hide head for next to nothing. Pleasure to deal with.
Customer Service: 10
The sapele block rim and neck, the wenge fretboard and the brass hardware. I also really like the curved bridge.
Components Rating: 10
Purchased this at very reasonable price, because Dave had given it some use, but once Dave reset the frets and added a new hide head, the banjo may as well have been new. It plays much better than my other more reputable and more expensive banjo. Very responsive instrument and lovely sound.
Overall Rating: 10
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'Low Road to Aspen' 15 min
'Straploks' 1 hr
'Vance banjos iOTA 11"' 3 hrs