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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!

6938 reviews in the archive.

Wildwood  N/A Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Unknown on 1/2/2004

Where Purchased: Turtle Hill Banjo Co.

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound is excellent, very few

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

When I received this brand new piece, I went to change the strings, and the 5th string tuner fell out!! The other tuners have way too much play and need to be replaced. Action was bad with stock 11/16 bridge, better now with 5/8.
There are e few buzzes and sharp edges on some frets. Not at all a tribute to the company or the retailer.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

Beautiful woodwork (special rosewood model). Varnish in rear of headstock is pitted. Probably due to bubbles during application (even I know better). Inlays are flawless. Metalwork very good with exceptions of some fret edges.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

This banjo is very heavy and well-made, may take a few years to get the bugs out, but probably very durable.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Disappointed in retailer, knowing what I have found out. These isuues were not mentioned.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Everything high quality except tuners which are horrible and will be upgraded.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This is a beautiful instrument but needs work. I would urge caution before purchasing one unseen and unplayed.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by clawhammer (see all reviews from this person) on 9/10/2003

Where Purchased: String Shoppe

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 1680 ($US)

Sound

Great tubaphone tone! Perfect for frailing, clawhammer styes. This is a REALLY loud openback banjo! With the setup out of the box, I would not hesitate to take it to a bluegrass jam.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Out of the box, the banjo was setup like a bluegrass banjo - head was tight and the tailpiece was cranked down low. Boy, did it bark with this setup. Would make a formidible bluegrass banjo...Eased up on the head a little and raised the tailpiece some - now it has some nice plunk, but it will still bite if I dig in and frail hard!
Action was acceptable - the nut slots were a little high, had to slot a little lower. Tweaked the truss rod (neck was dead straight) for a little relief in the neck. Fretwork is first rate. Intonates well all the way up the neck with the stock
5/8" bridge slanted a hair.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

This is a beautiful banjo. Neck is highly flamed, stained maple. The engraved pearl inlays (kind of like the old Fairbanks Vega #7 or #9) in the ebony fretboard are flawlessly done. The ebony headplate (with a thin maple purfling line) has an engraved pearl "fern" inlay, also flawlessy done. There is maple marquetry running around and inside
the pot, and continuing up the side of the neck. The heel cap is ebony
with a thin maple purfling line. Pot and neck are bound in Ivoroid.
Mark Platin is very generous!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Unknown - I've only had the banjo a few days. But it is a well built instrument - fit and finish are excellent, and I am sure it will be around long after I am gone! The block construction of this pot makes it a very rigid (and heavy) banjo indeed!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Unknown. The banjo has a five year warranty.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Wood selection is top notch! Hardware and plating seem good. Came stock with a Waverly tailpiece. I may change it out to a Kershner, or a No not...came stock with a Remo Fibreskin head. I like these heads for clawhammer...

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would highly recommend this banjo! You are getting a whole lot of banjo for the money. Before ordering the Heirloom, I A/B'd a Wildwood Minstrel, and a Wildwood Soloist against 3 other brands of tubaphone tonering instruments - the Wildwoods won hands down in both appearance, value and tone! One other brand came close, but didn't quite have as sweet a tone (or appearance) as the Wildwood, and was also about US$300.00 more!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 8/5/2003

Where Purchased: Elderly Music

Year Purchased: 03
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This is usually a frailer/claw hammer banjo. I bought it to play three finger style, and after a considerable amount of set up, it is just killer as a three finger machine. It is bright, powerful, and would hold its own with most of the resonator banjos I have owned......likely over 50 of them.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I usually tear apart every new banjo I buy, including the gibbys, stellings, and deerings. I did not do that with this one. I am a luthier....and this one was perfect with some adjustments. I added a snuffy smith II, crowe spaced and compensated....went to lighter strings, made some neck adjustments and we were off and running.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Wonderful wood work. Platin is a genious.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Have not owned it long, but it has all of the markings of what we luthiers call a

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Very nice

Customer Service: 10

Components

Again, nice.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Of the hundreds of banjos I have touched, worked on, repaired and made, this is one of the finest instruments I have seen. Out of the box, it is perfect for frailers and clawhammer guys, but with the right work, it is genious for three finger style as well.

Overall Rating: 10

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