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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!

7001 reviews in the archive.

Bill Hayes Luthier Reviews

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 (see all reviews from this person) on 9/2/2011

Overall Comments

I just received a banjo project that Bill Hayes did for me. We had talked about it last summer and he offered to do it during his slow moments during this past year. I just want to ENCOURAGE any of you to use Bill if you are looking for that VERY SPECIAL LIFETIME banjo. He is pretty much a PROJECTS guy right now meaning that he is converting old Gibsons into LIFETIME BANJOS. His HANDMADE neck work is SUPERB !!! they have a SPECIAL FEEL that transcends the STOCK or PRODUCTION feel that MOST banjos actually have. I can't say enough about his attention to detail and beautiful appointments that he is able to accomplish in his luthier work. He is NOT looking to make necks but instead is putting together LIFETIME CONVERSION BANJOS using ONLY PREMIUM PRODUCTS AND VINTAGE OLD WOOD AND OLD PARTS. Bill is your GO - TO GUY when it comes to this small but special NICHE in our hobby. AGAIN , Bill's neck work AND KNOWLEDGEABLE LUTHIER SET-UP CAPIBILITIES ARE SECOND TO NONE !!

NOW - If you're JUST needing a NECK, I HIGHLY SUGGEST Don Bryant in North Carolina. I also have a neck from Don on my Pre-War Gibson PYRAMID banjo. To be honest I love BOTH these necks EQUALLY !! Don is JUST AS PICKY and does JUST THE SAME HAND WORK on his necks. He has plenty of feedback here on the hangout as well.

So > whether you need just a neck OR that PRIMO LIFETIME banjo.



10 on them both !!!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by banjo_robb (see all reviews from this person) on 5/25/2009

Overall Comments

Bill Hayes converted an early Gibson TB-100 pot assembly into a RB-4. He had Jimmy Cox re-skin the resonator with a beautiful burled walnut. Bill built the neck out of walnut using customized measurements to fit my hand easily. He did the Flying Eagle pattern on the neck by hand, using paua abalone on a gorgeous piece of Brazilian rosewood. He also did the marquetry inlay of the concentric rings on the resonator.

This Gibson, "Willie", has sounded tremendous since Day One! With its No-hole Dannick tone ring, all the great sounds which it puts forth are magnified without any extra effort on my part. The tone is clear and true along the entire neck, & Willie, being the cannon that "he" is, is a favorite among the banjo pickers at all the jams I attend.

Bill Hayes is a delightful fellow to deal with, in every respect. He is careful to be sure he builds you exactly what you want, sparing no details. His workmanship is incredible. It has indeed been an honor to have such a fine luthier build me this banjo.

Thank you Bill Hayes!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by banjoboba (see all reviews from this person) on 2/20/2009

Overall Comments

Bill just built me a 5-string neck for the 1935 TB 1 I got from Jim Mills last year when he played near here (Albany, NY). I picked it up last week at the Joe Val festival in Massachusetts.
The neck from Bill is great. It has the shape and contours I wanted, a beautifully done sunburst finish on the back showing the flame maple and a fine Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with perfectly cut inlays.
He also put in a Dannick tone ring and the banjo has a great sound- full, loud when necessary and with a lot of crack.
His work is excellent, and I would recommend him without reservation.
Plus, he's a really nice guy.

Review from Bob Altschuler

Overall Rating: 10

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

Overall Comments

Bill Hayes makes very fine conversion necks. He did a BV style for me for a style 1 based pot that turned out exceptionally well. Two standout items: (1) the finish on the neck is just fantastically smooth and slick; (2) the resonator I provided had several issues and Bill went "above and beyond" my expectations to deliver a satisfactory result. Bill provided a fine experience in every way throughout the project.

Overall Rating: 10

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