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!
6938 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: maker
Good volume.This banjo projects well and has a distinctive voice that's very pleasant. I attribute much of that to the tubaphone tone ring. The intonation is spot-on.
Sound Rating: 9
11 inch Cox Black Walnut rim and 25 + inch scale. Brooks did a fine job of setting it up but I did a lot of experimenting with bridges and strings. Presently it has a Renaissance Head, medium weight DR strings, heavy weight Moon bridge, and Price tail piece. The action is low, and extremely comfortable to play.
Setup Rating: 10
All Black Walnut with brass hardware--except for the tuners. Nice figure in the neck, and a fine piece of burl for the peghead veneer. I don't dislike MOP, I just like it better on somebody else's banjo, so the only inlays are simple round dots in the fingerboard. The rim is capped with ebony, and the tuner buttons are ebony. This is the first black walnut banjo I've owned and I like it. It is warm both to the touch and the eye. The satin finish lets the hand slide down the neck without resistance.
Appearance Rating: 10
Reliability Rating: not rated
Can't say enough about Brooks. He was a pleasure to work with and busted his butt to get it right.
Customer Service: 10
Ren Head, Price tail piece, DR strings, Gotoh tuners with ebony buttons. It all looks and works together extremely well.
Components Rating: 10
A handsome, well-made, and great-sounding banjo at a good price. For me, the shorter scale and tubaphone tone ring were excellent choices. Without doubt, Black Walnut will be my first choice for the next purchase.
Overall Rating: 10
'Straploks' 1 hr
'Vance banjos iOTA 11"' 2 hrs