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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Wildwood  Balladeer Banjo Reviews

Submitted by jbalch (see all reviews from this person) on 8/27/2006

Where Purchased: Received in trade

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter


This banjo has a very pleasing "tubaphone" sound. It sounds really good even compared to the vintage Vegas I've owned. It has plenty of sustain. The tone is rich and balanced. It has great volume. It sounds like a tubaphone should.

Sound Rating: 9


It was well set-up as follows: Fyberskin head (fairly taught), standard unmarked bridge, stock Waverly style tailpiece, light gauge strings.

Not one to leave well-enough alone, I plan to install a calfskin head from (, Sosebee bridge, no-knot tailpiece, anf GHS PF150 strings (bronze 4th). I think these changes will thicken the tone a bit and open it up.

Setup Rating: 8


Very fancy! The figured maple wood is excellent! The block wood rim is very nice as well. The vine-of-life inlay is detailed and very well executed. Even with a very close examination, I can't see any filler around the intricate inlay. The abalone and pearl is very colorful and well-chose.

Appearance Rating: 9


All standard professional grade hardware. No problems at all...however, better tuners would be fitting on a banjo of this grade.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

NA ...Had no need for any contact. I'll give them a 9 for building a great product that requires no service.

Customer Service: 9


Being a traditionalist, I might prefer dowel-stick construction over the single co-ordinator rod.

But, with it's block rim, unique peghead shape, and vine-of-life inlay, this is not a "copy" banjo. It is a great sounding, great playing, thoroughly modern instrument. As such...I guess the coordinator rod is OK (did I say that?).

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

The neck on this banjo is a bit wider than my others. Yet it is very comfortable. This would be a good banjo for a player with large hands. It is heavy and solidly built. I think Wildwood banjo are very good values compared to other tubaphone banjos available today.

Overall Rating: 9

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