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: Music Emporium
Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 2400 ($US)
Probably the finest sounding banjo I've ever played. Purchased it immediately, though I was not in the market for a new banjo. I just couldn't pass this one up!
The sound has tubaphone punch, and wood tone ring warmth. It is clear all the way up to the highest fret (15th). Very loud. It has an integral Honduran Rosewood tone ring, but you'd never guess it!
Sound Rating: 10
Setup was perfect. I recently put slightly lighter strings on it, but think that the mediums that Jason had originally put on it were better.
Setup Rating: 10
This banjo is gorgeous. Romero's joinery is top-notch: all underlay matches up perfectly. The hard-oil finish feels fast and looks great. The inlay is subtle and well done.
Appearance Rating: 10
I've only had it for a few days, so I'm going to leave this one blank. It's a rugged looking banjo, and I imagine it will be a reliable player once the skin head has had time to settle in.
Reliability Rating: not rated
I also own Romero's Torch banjo, which has had warranty work done on it twice. In both cases, Jason was a delight to work with. He was accomodating, fast and friendly. One of the reasons I'm such a fan of Romero banjos is because I've had direct experience with his warranty work. He even upgraded the Torch with a wooden dowel with no extra charge.
Kudos to Jason for standing by his instruments so well. I'd give this an 11 if I could!
Customer Service: 10
Jason's new tension hoop is a perfect design for the clawhammerer. Instead of notches or grooves, the hoop has holes in it for the bracket hooks. The leaves the top of the hoop smooth, which makes it very comfortable. The hoop also has a slightly wider cutaway for the neck, which makes frailing over the neck joint easy.
The Gotoh tuners, Kershner tailpiece and other components are top notch.
Components Rating: 10
This banjo wasn't cheap at 2400 USD, but I'll tell you the sound of this instrument is priceless. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again, and honestly think that Jason's work is still underpriced. In my opinion he is one of the top 2 or 3 openback builders in the world today, and this banjo is representative of his skill.
I would say that it is probably the best sounding banjo I've ever played. The neck profile is comfortable and fast, and the overall design is understated and subtle. Pair that with Jason's excellent customer service and you have banjo perfection!
Overall Rating: not rated
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