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.
Where Purchased: Eagle Music (UK)
Bought this sight unseen as a travel banjo 6 months ago, just based on price and a couple of BHO reviews. Needed something in a hurry. Absolutely delighted wth the tone, much better than I thought it would be. Sweet and clear. Its on the bright end of the scale but certainly not tinny, harsh or brittle and better than some mid level banjos I have heard. I often find myself picking it up to noodle on in preference to other banjos. Sounds good in most tunings and great in double G. Good volume as well and good sustain.
Sound Rating: 9
I certainly did not have the experience that a previous reviewer had with a 2019G from Eagle. The banjo was well set up. It only needed a tuning tweak to start playing it straight out of the box. Good action, although a little lower than I am used to, but no string buzz. Just enough curve on the neck. And an excellent neck to pot fit. Head good and tight enough and evenly tensioned. Rim true - no distortion. Haven't made a single change to set up and don't intend to until its needed. All I have done is tighten the head a fraction a week or two ago and change strings to my preference.
Setup Rating: 9
Okay, this is a cheap lightweight, far eastern factory instrument, but the build and finish are pretty good for the money. Its an attracive plain blonde maple construction with a 1/2" laminated rim and a thin rolled brass tone ring. No blemishes to the woodware and the veneer work is quite well done. The neck is pretty thin and narrow but the wood grain seems straight and true so I don't think that will be a problem. The satin low lustre finish looks fine, not too thin, and actually makes for trouble free movement of the fretting hand. Rosewood fingerboard with basic fret dots. My only niggle was the fingerboard was very dry when the banjo arrived, but a few quick treatments with Fast Fret cured that. A plain and simple banjo.
Appearance Rating: 7
Too early to say about reliability of hardware. Its cheap and cheerful, that's for sure, but looks fine at a glance and so far has proved quite adequate and serviceable despite the banjo being hoiked backwards and forwards in longhaul aircraft holds over the last few months. The tuners are cheap guitar type, but have proved reliable so far and hold tunings well. The tailpiece is a cheap Waverley type but, again, seems to be quite adequate and robust eough for the job it has to do so far.
Reliability Rating: 6
I have dealt with Eagle Music on and off over the last 2 years. I have always found them to be prompt with deliveries and very approachable and helpful if you have a problem.
Customer Service: 10
I was surprised at the specs for this banjo given the price. Twin coordinator rods, adjustable truss rod, brass tone ring (albeit a little on the unsubstantial side). Plenty of scope for upgrading as with any cheap banjo but, to be honest there is little point until something goes wrong. The banjo is a good little player. The hardware parts are clearly 'economy' but look okay and have proved perfectly functional and adequate despite some rough baggage handling over the last few months! I haven't had to change a thing yet.
Components Rating: 7
I really enjoy playing this banjo. I would certainly recommend it as a travel or knockabout based on my experience with this one and would certainly replace it if it got lost or stolen. It would make a good starter instrument for someone who has set themselves a tight budget and could give the Deering Goodtime a run for its money (which tends to be overpriced in the UK, IMHO, and has lower specs).
Overall Rating: 9
' Virtual Fiddle jam.' 31 min
'Good Wednesday Morning' 5 hrs
'Building a case' 9 hrs
'Newbie Questions' 9 hrs
'Appalachian Rain' 9 hrs