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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Recording King  OSborne Scout #25 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by beegee (see all reviews from this person) on 12/19/2008

Where Purchased: Greenville(NC) Guitars

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 1300+ ($US)

Sound

Full sound. Bright maple banjo sound, good sustain

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Supposed to have a Charlie Cushman set-up, but the coordinator rods were loose, the head was slack and it had a stock 5/8" maple ebony bridge. I think Charlie must have missed this one. It still had a good enough sound for me to buy it. Since I do my own set-ups, the Cushman thing was not a big consideration to me.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

I'm not a big fan of the RK headstock and the Scout inlays are OK, but not very artistic. I wish the banjo had a lacquer or varnish finish, but I suppose the polyester finish is pretty durable. The nickel parts are flawless in fit and finish, although my armrest has a tiny "dimple" point from the backside , creating a small raised pinprick-type dent. The resonantor is beautiful golden sunburst on a reddish-brown. I wish the banjo was more brown than red. The neck would be more attractive if it had a sunburst finishto match the resonator, The neck in one color:reddish-brown.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Hardware looks well-made. 2-band tuners. The only thing I can fault is that the resonator screws have very rough machining marks on top. They look unfinished. I replaced them with a better quality screw. Tension hoop, flange tailpiece etc all look good in nickel.I'd prefer gold.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Lifetime warranty. No registration needed, just keep your receipt.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Resonator screws are cheap-looking.
I like the pearl truss-rod cover.
These should come with an upgraded bridge and installed-RR spike option.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I think this is a great banjo for the money. I'm very satisfied with the sound. I compared with an RK-80 and a Deco-King at the same time. I play a custom-made top-tension Lane and a 1928 Granada and I find this banjo very favorable in sound and playability. I bought this as a back-up banjo, but would not be reluctant to play it as my main banjo.In fact, right now it is my main banjo. I will probably get it gold-plated, just because i prefer gold.

This is the best new banjo I have played in this price range. I have played new Deerings(calico, Maple Blossom, Sierra), Morgan Monroe, Gibson, Crafters, etc and this banjo will hold its own. For those who denigrate Chinese products, get over it. This banjo is as good as....

Overall Rating: 9

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