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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!

6904 reviews in the archive.

Robin Smith Luthier Reviews

Submitted by HenrytheCat (see all reviews from this person) on 8/16/2017

Overall Comments

Rob built a banjo for me last year. The more I play it, the better I like it. I run out of superlatives when I describe it; it is a work of art. The fit and finish are perfect, the neck is a pleasure to play, and the sound is great. In addition to doing great work, he is a very nice guy and a pleasure to deal with.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by corcoran (see all reviews from this person) on 12/18/2016

Overall Comments

Robin Smith and Chris Cioffi divided up the labor on the project of making a new neck for my old model 6 Gibson flathead.  Rob acquired a neck blank of beautiful curly maple from Michigan (where the old maple Gibson necks came from).  Rob shaped the neck and did the perfect inlay work.  Then Chris did some further work on shaping the neck, trimming it down to an even more playable state, inserting stainless steel frets, and performing the neck set   He says the stainless steel frets will out-live me!

The upshot is that the new neck is a magnificent example of curly maple that plays like a dream.  The inlay pattern on the model 6 Gibsons is complex, and the gold-sparkle binding is a royal pain to work with I am sure.  Rob's job on this is first-rate, as good as the best I have ever seen and better than most.  You just cannot beat this kind of superb craftsmanship.

I highly recommend Rob Smith and Chris Cioffi for construction of a new neck for your banjo. 

Rating: 10

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Preacherbilly (see all reviews from this person) on 11/24/2015

Overall Comments

Mr. Rob recently repaired a banjo neck for me.  He did an outstanding job on the neck and he was very nice to work with.  I will use him for any other repair work I may have, and I intend to check out his banjos too!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by resomark54 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/30/2014

Overall Comments

Rob recently completed a set up on a 40+ year old Cox banjo I have.  Neck reset, new head, fret dressing and action addressed. Mission accomplished. Excellent workmanship and a great guy . Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by 910banjo1 (see all reviews from this person) on 4/8/2014

Overall Comments

I had Rob fit a tonering to a rim and clean up some parts.  The ring is now a perfect slip-fit.  He has worked on several banjos for me in the recent past, and each time I have been very pleased.  Rob is super nice guy, a pleasure to talk with, and a really talented luthier.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by 910banjo1 (see all reviews from this person) on 9/9/2012

Overall Comments

After my first conversation with Mr. Smith, I felt like I had known him forever. He is just a personable and likeable fellow. I sent him a banjo to touch-up some scratches and dings as well as clean the fretboard and metal parts. I got the banjo back in a relatively short period of time, and now the instument looks brand new. He did exactly what he said he would and at a fair price. He is a great guy that does excellent work on banjos. If I need a luthier in the future, I will not hesitate to call him.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by bob chappell (see all reviews from this person) on 8/18/2011

Overall Comments

I had Robin do a complete re-fret and setup on my banjo. He also replaced the neck bindings and re-glued the 5th string peg all within a week. He listens to what you want and proceeds to make it happen. I was more than pleased with his work, and am planning on taking my other banjo to Robin as well. Good guy.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by justryin2play (see all reviews from this person) on 6/22/2010

Overall Comments

Robin just completed a replica 5 neck for my 30's Gibson 11. Very nice craftsmanship and attention to the matching of the new neck to the old pot. Very gifted at reproducing these pearloid jewels. Quick turnaround and professional results.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by slthames (see all reviews from this person) on 11/2/2009

Overall Comments

I have owned a Robin Smith timeless banjo for 5 years.I have had a Stelling whitestar archtop, a 2005 Gibson rb-250,and a Recording King rk-80L with a Fitch nitro tonering.The timeless is by far the best I have ever played.It was great until I recently sent it to Robin for some needed work and a set-up..Now it is unbelievable.I will never part with it! Robin is the best,also a very nice guy to talk to. I recommended him to a friend to have a five string neck made for his vega four string and he did an awsome job on that.We picked that one up at his shop in Hendersonville and had a great visit with Robin and Ronnie Reno.I highly recommend Robin for all your banjo needs.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by banjo_robb (see all reviews from this person) on 6/10/2008

Overall Comments

Robin built my Kel Kroydon KK10 New Generation banjo. It is made of mahogany with purple highlights. All the hardware is copper flashed plain gold, & the fretboard is MOTS with the purple tinting on the edges.

From start to finish, it was a pleasure dealing with Robin Smith. He is careful to incorporate any special features the player may desire in his/her banjo. Robin's attention to every detail is clearly evident in the finished product.. The workmanship is impeccable! My KK 10, from the start, had a wonderful, deep timbre to it. That was last August 2008 when I got my banjo ("Lillee"). As I had suspected at that time, Lillee is only getting better with time. She has really begun to open up in the past 3 months & is truly a cannon when I need her to be one!

Robin is a gentleman of the first order: pleasant, patient, and just a darn nice fellow!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by rb4player (see all reviews from this person) on 2/15/2008

Overall Comments

Robin does very fine work, is personable and easy to communicate with, and will deliver outstanding results every time. Robin also offers certain customization or other services that are not available from all banjo luthiers. He French polished a prewar resonator for me in a manner that provided protection for "worn-to-wood" areas, but retained the finish and character of the well-used banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Shimdog (see all reviews from this person) on 10/22/2007

Overall Comments

Robin recently made a new 5-string conversion neck for my '33 PB-3. The workmanship is fantastic. The feel, fit and looks are great. He used a "semi-speed neck" that is stained yet has the feel of an older neck. The tone is already superb. I can only imagine how nice it will be after it has some time to settle in. Lastly, Robin's service is A+. He is such a nice person and is willing to customize to your needs.

Overall Rating: 10

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