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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!

6920 reviews in the archive.

Fitch  Master's Five  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Tsquare (see all reviews from this person) on 3/20/2008

Where Purchased: directly from Cliff Fitch

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 3850 ($US)

Sound

This banjo has a Dannick tonering and a Sullivan Factory Floor rim. The banjo has both volume and tone...with nice overtones and great variation from bridge to the base of the neck.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Perfect. What else could be said? Just as I asked for.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This banjo has an "antiqued" finish- the hint of wear on the neck and resonator, a ding here or there...all on purpose. The finish is very dark red mahogany with yellowed lacquer and ivoroid binding and tuner buttons. Satin finish. It has the look and feel of an older banjo.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

First rate parts and workmanship. Quality in all aspects. Easily expect years of service and pleasure

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Cliff Fitch will stand behind anything he builds. Great to work with.

Customer Service: 10

Components

High quality materials throughout. Components selected for appearance, durability and sound production. No short cuts, nothing cheap. It was custom from the beginning.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is a very cool banjo....sounds like a prewar, looks like one. In many ways better than an original...already feels like an old friend. The best of my five banjos and this one will cut the mustard anywhere, anytime.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 8/28/2005

Where Purchased: From Cliff Fitch

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 2400 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Rich, full sound-strong bass and clear accurate highs -good intonation every part of fingerboard

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The set-up was perfect for me-action not too high or low-head tension biased toward the bass but not overly

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

See for yourself on swap shop here on Hangout 8/22 entry by Fitch 5string titled Update
First rate hardware-gold plated. Cox Resonator and rim Hatfield tone ring Curly maple wood sun burst Beautiful to look at. inlay and binding a-one.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I have no fear that the materials and finish will not hold up to normal use and treatment

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Cliff and I exchanged several Emails. He was always prompt, helpful and courteous.The banjo does have a warranty against any defect in materials or workmanship.

Customer Service: 10

Components

All first class- see the reviewers prior to me on this banjo

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have not found anything about this instrument to be disappointing.
Remenber what Charlton Heston said about not giving up his rifle to anyone? Ditto on my new banjo

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Lynne (see all reviews from this person) on 5/23/2005

Where Purchased: Banjo Hangout

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: $2000.00 ($US)

Sound

This banjo has it all sound-wise, deep bass, clear highs, lots of volume, and incredible sustain. You can hear each note clearly.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo was set up great. Although I am waiting for a shorter bridge, the banjo is easy to play. It has a comfortable fast neck that makes fretting very easy.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I can't say enough about the looks of this banjo. The gold plating looks substantial. The inlays are perfect the truss rod cover is rippled pearl. No time or expense was spared for this banjo, all hand made with all the best stuff.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The metal hardware is heavy the plating deep. There is nothing cheap about this banjo. I have no worries about this banjo staying together.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I have never needed customer service but before the sale I did email and speak to Cliff , and he was always prompt on returning the call or emailing back. It has a lifetime warrenty that I have confidence in.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The beautiful inlays and gold plating. The tuners are quality, it stays in tune. Every detail on this banjo is top quality.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would recomend any banjo made by this man. There is nothing like getting a banjo hand made by one guy. Someone who takes pride in his work.
My other banjos are Stellings. This banjo sounds more like a good Gibson. I was looking for something different sound-wise, I found it.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 5/3/2005

Where Purchased: from luthier

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This is builder Cliff Fitch's passion: to build a banjo with "the sound" based on the finest traditional components ( a 3 ply Cox rim and Arthur Hatfield tone ring), and with fabulous set up for maximum tone and playability. He succeeds. Loud, powerful, clear, ringing up the neck--etc.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It's great to buy from an independant builder: set up is perfect, or at least the luthier's personal view of perfection. And Cliff's set up is first rate. Nothing to change here.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful finish--understated sunburst on resonater, amazing "speed" finish on neck, especially wonderful curley maple neck.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Cliff's finish work is exceptional--many coats, and a mirror finish are the result. His speed neck finish will forever spoil you for anything else. The Prucha hardware is first rate.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Cliff makes these as his personal expression of the best sounding (and best looking) traditional banjos that can be made. His finish work is flawless, and he takes great pride in what he does. It is quite a special thing when you can deal directly with the luthier himself.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Cox rim, Arthur Hatfield tone ring and bridge, curley maple speed neck by Moses McKnight with Moses' hand done flying eagle inlay, nickel Prucha hardware make for top notch components throughout.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is an excellent, highest quality banjo for both sound and playability. I am very proud to play it.

Overall Rating: 10

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