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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!

6919 reviews in the archive.

Musicmakers  Cumberland Banjo Reviews

Submitted by gurulou (see all reviews from this person) on 6/20/2007

Where Purchased: Musicmakers

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

Sound

Disclaimer - I have worked for Musicmaker's for 10 years. In fact I was part of the conversation that prompted us to create this instrument. That being said - I know this banjo very well and am not posting this review to promote the banjo but to give a fair review.

This banjo only has an 8 inch head and a plastic tone ring so there isn't a lot of volume or depth to the tone. The sound is fairly thin but not awful. It won't compare to banjos in the $700 and up price range but I think holds it own against other beginner banjos.

Sound Rating: 6

Setup

Because this comes as a kit - you get to setup the banjo yourself so it will only be as good as you make it. The instructions detail how to set the action and there are at least two of us Musicmakers that can talk you through that process if you need extra help.

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

Again - as a kit instrument this is up to you. Finished off with out any decorative touches It makes a nice looking little instrument. It is well proportioned for an all-wood banjo and very light because you don't have all the hardware on the pot assembly.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

The hardware included is nothing special and could certainly be upgraded. The finish is up to you. We have seen people that just slob on a heavy coat of varnish and of course it looks terrible. But we have also had customers spend the time to do a nice job on a hand rubbed oil finish that looks fantastic.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Anything I say here would look like shameless self-promotion so I will leave this for actual customers to comment on.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

One of the neat things about this banjo is the removable section of fretboard that allows you to convert to fretless for the first five frets. Very fun. I also think the set screw that allows you to adjust the neck angle is a great idea as well (a customer gave us that idea.)

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This banjo certainly isn't for everyone. If you are looking for a banjo with that classic or great open-back sound then this isn't for you. Although I think it makes an ideal travel banjo! Great for camping, etc.

This banjo would be perfect for the old or retired woodworker that has always wanted to play banjo. You'll enjoy building from the kit and the finished banjo isn't loud enough to cuase your wife to kick you out.

Overall Rating: not rated

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