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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!

6627 reviews in the archive.

Ozark  2109G Banjo Reviews

Submitted by dickie (see all reviews from this person) on 8/6/2011

Where Purchased: Eagle Music

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 180 () historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

After setting it up myself, it sounds pretty good, its got a fair amount of `plunkiness` which can be altered by tweaking the tailpiece a little bit. At the moment it has a good tone and a lot of volume for an open back, it is also good to play Bluegrass, or Clawhammer on.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Action ok, but the head was nowhere near tight enough, plus the tailpiece was falling off

Setup Rating: 5

Appearance

Looks a bit like a goodtime knock off, neat little inlays on fretboard. Nice maple body & neck.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

The banjo itself seems sturdy enough, el cheapo guitar type tuners on headstock, tho it does stay in tune, 5th string tuner is brilliant

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Picked up from Eagle Music at Huddersfield,very friendly staff, the only problem was they told me the banjo was being set up, in my rush to get back home did not bother to try it out in the shop, got home and it sounded awful.

Customer Service: 7

Components

Maybe at some future point the tuners and tailpiece will be upgraded, thats all. The tailpiece is a Waverley, ok I suppose, but I prefer the Kershener

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Basically, for 180 its a good buy, got a free hardcase with it too! Now its something like set up properly, it would be a photo finish between the ozark and the goodtime. Its easy to play and sounds good.Its nice and light and easier to lug about than my DB 45. Would I buy another? Definitely, its as good as a Deering at half the price

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by adelahunty (see all reviews from this person) on 8/11/2009

Where Purchased: Eagle Music, UK

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: (130) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Very loud, even for a banjo! As standard, it has a bright, sharp sound, which seems to be pretty versatile with all kinds of banjo playing. Personally, I wanted it to be a bit mellower, so I swapped the Remo frosted head for a Fiberskyn one. Think it improved the tone a great deal, but it could just be that my ears want this noise - your mileage may vary... In summary, good volume, and a good general tone, but may need some tweaking.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Badly set up when I bought it - I can forgive that the bridge would have moved in transit, but the head was so loose it clearly hadn't been adjusted correctly since it saw daylight. Almost sounded more like a guitar when I got it. Lots of tightening of brackets later, and it was in fine shape. Easy to make changes too - swapped out the head fairly quickly, and other changes along the way with no trouble. Neck adjustment also easy.

Setup Rating: 5

Appearance

Simple finish - unstained wood, no fancy inlays. Quality of wood generally very good indeed, and far better than others in this price range. Not hand-made quality, but then you're not paying for handmade. I like simple instruments, and this does very nicely indeed.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Gears terrible - changed them with the next string change for some nicer ones. Some of the hardware a bit battered after several months, but the wood itself is in excellent condition still, despite much travelling! If it weren't for the gears, this would score higher. As it is....

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Eagle weren't great with the customer service - no response to emails, so I just left it at that. Never had to deal with Ozark themselves, so the mark below is solely for the experience I had with Eagle.

Customer Service: 3

Components

The parts aren't brilliant, but they do the job and get you started well enough. The machine heads (tuners) for the 4 longer strings were pretty dire, and quite shoddy. These got replaced as soon as I could. The 5th string gear by comparison is quite brilliant, and requires very little adjustment. Have replaced the tailpiece for a no-fuss, no-knot for simplicity. On inspection the tailpiece which came as standard didn't seem to be that great, so I would suggest changing that as a mater of course. So if it wasn't for the tuners, it would be around a 7. As it is....

Components Rating: 5

Overall Comments

Here's the bottom line, then. For the price, and if you plan to do nothing to it, you get a cheap banjo which (in my opinion) sounds better than anything else in this price range (especially in the UK). It'll do the job, and will keep you going well until you save enough for another instrument. But...

If instead you view this as a 'building block banjo,' and are prepared for a bit of swapping of components, then this is something else entirely. I've changed the head, tuners, bridge and tailpiece over the time I have had it, and it looks and sounds brilliant. Makes exactly the noise I want it to make, and I wouldn't change it for a more expensive one now. Seriously. Spend another 50 upgrading your instrument instead of spending even more on a big name model.

Would I replace it if stolen? Yes, as it is cheaper to make one to my taste from this banjo, than to buy a biggie for considerably more. With that in mind....

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Edthebanjo (see all reviews from this person) on 12/20/2008

Where Purchased: DJM Music

Year Purchased:
Price Paid: 120 (GBP) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

It has a realy great sound for that price. I actually use it as a bluegrass banjo, because it gives me a realy nice sound and a light weight instrument at the same time. It has a good amount of volume, a nice, bright tone, and lots of note seperation.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

It has a realy bad set up when it arrived. It had a loose head, a tail piece resting on the head, real high action, and a broken bridge. Once I fixed all these problems, it was good to go.

Setup Rating: 4

Appearance

A nice simple and traditional look. It does have a few manky parts here and there, but nothing too bad.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

It is a sturdy instrument, and should stand the test of time.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

When I ordered the banjo, the man told me that it would not come with a case, so i ordered one. When it arived it had two cases.... That is bad service. Also, it had a broken bridge when it arrived, and at first the sent me the wrong bridge, but in the end they got it to me.

Customer Service: 5

Components

I dislike the tuners, and the arm rest is a bit warped, but apart from that everything is great!

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

It is my banjo that I use for travelling, and is a brilliant banjo. It is lightweight, sounds good, and is affordable. If it were stolen, I would buy another one, and it wouldn't be too much of a loss, because it is a cheap banjo.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by cockneybanjo (see all reviews from this person) on 9/5/2007

Where Purchased: RB Music, Aberdeen

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 185 () historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

nice bright clear sound, reasonably loud. Nice shape neck.

good frailing and three-finger picking banjo, good lightweight knock-about instrument.

nice sweet tone. I have been comparing it to the Grafton Popular I started with, the Grafton has a darker tone.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

set up by R&B, I collected it so no shipping issues. Not had it long enough to make any changes yet. Acquired a Gator hard case to carry it in, instead of the Ritter bag I bought with it.. sems to suit the guitar-type tuners better ie it is still more or less in tune when it comes out of the box.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

light blonde appearance... gentlemen prefer blondes! Minimal inlay, ozark logo on peghead, simple and neat. Grain on peghead could be better matched but that's a general comment on banjos at this price point, most of them have a scarf joint through the middle of the peghead

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

has developed a buzz up the neck, tapping the nut to reseat it has lessened this; cheap tailpiece is visibly bending. So, marks down for the hardware

3 years on and the cheap tension hooks are showing signs of deforming, but this doesn't seem a problem so far.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

R&B have a good reputation. Ozark, never dealt with them

Customer Service: 8

Components

no standout components but no obvious initial weak points either.

Cheap tailpiece started to bend after a few weeks, swapped this for a Nashville one which hasn't been an unqualified success. Tuners look and feel cheap but are holding up so far.

Geared 5th string peg is a nice detail.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

good lightweight travelling banjo, I've variously heard it described as a 'Deering Goodtime knock-off' and a Gold Tone CC100 knock-off. Better spec than the Deering, truss rod and twin co-ordinator rods plus arm-rest all as standard. Cheaper than Gold Tone for an essentially very similar instrument.

definitely better than the 'el cheapo' bottom of the range Chinese stuff. You could get a plywood resonator and a load of cheapo 'pearloid' inlay for the same money, if that's what you want, but this is a better value buy.

Would I buy another if it was stolen? Don't know. I have a Grafton Popular which costs the same, sounds as least as good and has planetary tuners, but doesn't have the blonde appearance... minor niggles mean it has tended to come and go in favour.

marked it down to a 7 after a year or so. Buzzy neck comes and goes, although some experimentation with string gauges and a compensated bridge seems to have cured it for now.

Overall Rating: 7

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