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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!

7185 reviews in the archive.

Acutab  Steve Huber: Killer Tone DVD/Video Reviews

Submitted by jswkingsfield (see all reviews from this person) on 7/16/2012

Where Purchased: BHO Member

Overall Comments

A helpful visual walkthrough on how to affect tone with proper set up of your Mastertone-style banjo. Steve explains the basics of head tightness, bridge placement, tone ring to rim fit, adjusting the height of a Presto, truss rod adjustments, and how to hunt down and fix the common sources of annoying buzzes. He also shows you how to break down a banjo, replace the head, and put the instrument back together. Pick placement technique and proper maintenance of nut slots, also are covered.

John Lawless of Acutab did his typically excellent job producing a very useful DVD, but there are some minor shortcomings. When Steve removes the Presto, it would have been nice if there had been a close up shot of how he removed the tailpiece nut and bracket. Close-ups of his removing the nuts of the coordinator rods also were absent and would have been helpful.

This video includes a video documentary of Huber Banjos. Keep in mind that since the time this DVD was produced during 2002/2003, the Huber line-up has changed significantly, and much of the DVD’s information for ordering Huber Banjos is out-of-date.

Overall, an excellent review of banjo set-up basics, especially for beginners. If you don’t mind paying for a subscription to Tony Trischka’s banjo teaching site, which is part of, Mike Munford’s video banjo set-up lessons (located under the “Special Guests” tab) goes into some of most of these topics in greater detail, although as of the date of this review, Munford’s lessons did not discuss tone ring fit or how to tap for the source of a buzz.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by dixie kiwi (see all reviews from this person) on 1/24/2009

Where Purchased: Acutab website

Overall Comments

I recently picked this up as a resource for banjo maintenance on my Mastertone. I already have the Janet Davis setup DVD but after numerous viewings of both and setups using both as guides, I find Huber's DVD far better with the following features:
- Steve spends considerable time discussing head tightness- How to thump test for head tuning, and comparisons of tight (A), recommended (G#) and loose (G) head tunings. That alone makes it worth owning this DVD.
- Excellent production. Picture-in-picture zooms for detail portions so you can easily see what Steve is doing, yet in tedious portions (like tightening hooks), it speeds up with a bit of pickin soundtrack. The camera work is very good and on par with Acutab's other well produced DVDs I have viewed.
- Steve is very good in his presentation- very clear and easy to follow.
- There are a couple cool extra features- of Steve and Sammy Shelor picking (seperately, not together).

Highly recommended

Overall Rating: 9

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