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!
6919 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Maker
This is a 12" boomer. The sound is clear and very powerful in the low range. Great old-timey sound.
Sound Rating: 10
Mike Ramsey sets his banjos up very playable. The action, the care taken in the fretwork, and the overall feel of the banjo is wonderul.
Setup Rating: 10
This is one of the finest looking open-backs of the new breed. Mike does an incredible tree inlay with acorns and leaves down the kneck. It is an eye catcher. This has an extra deep pot of beautiful wood. The neck piece is a very nicely flamed maple.
Appearance Rating: 10
This banjo should last a lifetime.
Reliability Rating: 10
The Chantarelle banjo operation is first-class. Mike stands by his incredible products. This is nearly the 1,900th banjo he has hand produced and he's got it down. He is proud of his work and makes sure it is right.
Customer Service: 10
I may change the head to a skin head, but it was nicely set up with high quality all the way around.
Components Rating: 10
I have owned 20 open back banjos, made by all the current well-known makers as well as some high dollar antique banjos. This banjo plays better and sounds better than any other wood tone ring banjo on the market. I would be heartbroken if it were stolen, but Mike personalized it for me, so it would be easy to find. I would buy another Chantarelle banjo built by Mike Ramsey in a minute if I could afford it.
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: From Maker
I ordered this banjo with an 11 inch pot. It sounds very different than a 12 inch pot Woody. This a bright, loud yet mellow banjo that is a joy to play in clawhammer style. It holds its own with other instruments and I can hear it clearly when I play.
Sound Rating: 10
The banjo was set up well. I added a price copy tailpiece and a Sampson walnut bridge. I use GHS PF 150 light gauge strings. I asked for a Fiberskin head.
Setup Rating: 9
The banjo is quite beautiful. It has a light color stain on curly maple. The inlays are Mike Ramsey's standard inlays for the Woody. I asked for no scoop and for side dots. There were a few finish rough spots.
Appearance Rating: 7
Reliability should be fine. I needed to adjust the truss rod about 3 months after purchase. I had it for music camp at Mars Hill,NC as my only banjo and it was great.
Reliability Rating: 8
Mike Ramsey is accessable by phone better than by email. He is very willing to make things right and is very responsive as well as nice to deal with.
Customer Service: 9
The components are standard and more than adequate.
Components Rating: 8
I would recommend this banjo whole heartedly. The sound is exceptional. If this banjo was stollen I would order another one ASAP. I may do that anyway.
Overall Rating: 9
'Good Thursday Morning' 4 hrs
'[FF] String Chickens' 8 hrs