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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!

6917 reviews in the archive.

Rick Olson  Clawhammer  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Unknown on 2/14/2006

Where Purchased: From Maker

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 1200.00 ($US)

Sound

I play clawhammer and 3 finger style. Banjo is well suited to both. Has great action for both styles.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Banjo came set up perfect! Action was just right for my playing styles.
Volume is very loud, compared to an original Tu-Ba-Phone.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful!!! Finish is a Danish oil hand rubbed. Wood is Curly Maple and Walnut. Custom inlays that are flawlessly done.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Hardware is Stewart Macdonald and Grover tuners. Has a frost top plastic head.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Came with a lifetime warrenty

Customer Service: 10

Components

I would upgrade nothing. Has a Tu-Ba-Phone tone ring hand made by maker. Also rim is block rim style constuction with a Walnut cap that is really beautiful.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I love this banjo! My favorite feature is the SOUND! Plays excellent and can be heard above other instruments in a jam session.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 9/3/2005

Where Purchased: Rick Olson (Builder)

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 400 ($US)

Sound

Nice, full, clawhammer sound.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

High action for my preference, but good volume.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

It has a nice old time appearance, even though it's a modern banjo. 12" pot w/ Renaissance Head, basic dot inlays, slotted guitar style headstock, ebony fretboard and headstock overlay. 7/16" thick pot is oak, neck is maple. Grover Sta-Tite 14:1 gold tuners w/Butterbean buttons.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Starting to get laminate separation in bent wood rim. Wood nut slots have deepened such that banjo is not frettable 4 months after purchase

Reliability Rating: 4

Customer Service

Builder has offered to repair instrument.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Came with Wayne Lamson Bridge, Grover open geared guitar type 14-1 tuners, Renaissance 12" head, a brass tone ring, groved tension hoop. no-knot tailpice, 12 hooks, nylon strings with wound 4th, nice decorative lugs and antiqued hardware. Wood nut should have been done in bone, as I can see deeper string slots already after a few months playing. I'm not impressed with the neck wood quality. No adjustable truss rod. Dot inlays are not aligned on neck.

Components Rating: 3

Overall Comments

I bought this banjo because it was unique, and because I was in the market for a 12" pot clawhammer banjo at a reasonable price. It has a nice sound and volume for clawhammer/frailing.

Overall Rating: 7

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