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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!

6910 reviews in the archive.

Don Bryant - Thurman NC Luthier Reviews

Submitted by dmorrow (see all reviews from this person) on 1/24/2020

Overall Comments

I have a 2003 Huber Lexington and I had not played it much the past three years.  So when I decided to start picking again, I decided it needed a fret job and a good set up.  At a friend's recommendation, I sent it to Don Bryant to have the work done.  Let me say this before I get into the the work he did.  Don is just one of the most pleasant people to work with you will ever find.  He does what he says he will do when he says he will do it.  It was just a pleasure to deal with him.  

Ok, I sent the banjo to Don and after inspecting it we agreed to 12 new frets, a new head and bridge, and of course strings.  I got the banjo back, and I could not believe it was the same instrument!  The intonation was perfect and the banjo looked almost new , but best of all, its volume, tone  and ring are better than I had ever heard from it.  This is absolutely the best set up I have ever had on this instrument.  The tone all the way up the neck is excellent with not a hint of a buzz, and the playability is superb.  It is now my favorite banjo again. He obviously is a master at coaxing the best out of a banjo. I highly recommend Don for any of your banjo luthier needs , you will not be disappointed!

Next Step: I have an early 50's TB 250 that Don is going to convert for me in down the road.  I am looking  forward to seeing what he does with that!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by possumontherun (see all reviews from this person) on 5/1/2018

Overall Comments

  After recently acquiring a prewar conversion banjo Don built for me i could not be more pleased. After my initial visit and much discussion Don had a clear understand of what i was seeking in my new banjo and made many recommendations. Wow...what can i say, the neck fit-up & finish is flawless and the setup is spot on. Don recommended that we use the original rim and tone hoop (what...no tone ring?). The tone and power up & down the neck is unbelievable.

  If you are seeking a honest first class luthier that's committed to satisfying you as a customer i strongly recommend giving Don a call. A true gentleman and now a friend!   

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by UNCdad (see all reviews from this person) on 2/2/2017

Overall Comments

I ran across an early 60s Bow tie Gibson that was in very poor shape. It had been rode hard and put up wet. After speaking with Sammy Shelor and Jimmy Fraley they both recommended Mr. Don Bryant. I took their advice and asked Don if he could help. He agreed and today I picked it up. I was totally shocked at the fine job he had done! Nearly perfect work and also surpassed my every expectation. The refinished neck is now perfectly fit and the set up is.....well, just WOW! The strings are set with perfect low action with no buzz any place on the neck. I am totally amazed with Don's attention to detail and his workmanship, and a wonderful person to top everything off! I will never consider anyone else to work on my banjos and I highly suggest the same for anyone who wants a quality banjo! Thank you Don!!!!​

 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by jbgreen (see all reviews from this person) on 9/7/2015

Overall Comments

Don is a good one.  I took him a 1988 Granada to set up, and man, he made it sound good.  Don took the time to talk about the options I had and never got in a hurry.  I am certain that he got everything there is to get out of that Gibson.  I am extremely happy with his work.  So much so, that I dropped off an RB-3 for him to tinker with when I picked up my Granada.

Don is an excellent luthier and a genuinely nice man.  I would highly recommend him to anyone.  He is also a fine banjo picker. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by picknman (see all reviews from this person) on 10/25/2014

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by 5Twang (see all reviews from this person) on 2/11/2014

Overall Comments

Don Bryant recently did some beautiful touch-up work on an RB-3 mahogany resonator for me.

The resonator, and the banjo as a whole is in fine condition for it's age, but there was one outstanding blemish in the finish of the resonator.

Don did a gradual build-up of lacquer at the point of the blemish and then seamlessly blended the build-up area into the surrounding vintage finish.

The result is that the blemish is gone, but the resonator still retains the character of the rest of the banjo. There is nothing begs to be noticed in the area of the touch-up.

I am very pleased with all aspects of the work Don has done for me.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by jeter (see all reviews from this person) on 12/7/2012

Overall Comments

Don Bryant is a master luthier. I took him my 1974 RB 250 to lower the action and do a set up on it. He wound up correcting more problems than I even knew the banjo had. And all for a very low price. I love my banjo now and its all because of Don's expertise. Also a finer person I have never met. Thank you Don....Jeter Griffith

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by darrelbryant (see all reviews from this person) on 8/21/2011

Overall Comments

After Don tweaked the set up on my older Mastertone I took him my workhorse banjo that I had used on about 100 shows a year for 25 years. It was a homemade banjo that had been fitted with a 1958 arch top tone ring from Paul Stokes bow tie Mastertone. Other than the hardware Don built the banjo from scratch. It is once again my primary instrument and seems to get better each time I play it. The speed neck is in my opinion the best feeling neck I've ever played. I'm all about the sound and playability but Don's insistence on it looking good since it was going to have his name on it is not wasted as I continually get compliments on what a beautiful instrument it is. I've even moved my belt buckle to keep from scratching the beautiful resonator he built. I haven't done that in over 30 years. As my primary instrument this banjo has to be as effective in a serious bluegrass situation as it is on stage with a full drum kit. To accommodate my MANY demands on an instrument Don installed a jack in the resonator to allow the use of my Jackson pickup. I've been accustomed to plugging in at the same place for 30 years and didn't want to change. Don suggested all the places I could put the jack (lol) and then installed it where I wanted it. An excellent craftsman who hears what you want. I can't imagine needing another banjo but if I ever do Don Bryant is where I'll go.
Darrel Bryant (The Dixie Dawn Band)
by the way no relation to Don not that I would mind. I just wanted readers to know i'm not biased just really blown away with Don's work

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by ewwbanjo (see all reviews from this person) on 5/30/2011

Overall Comments

What a difference Don's work expertise has made in bringing out the true "growling" sound out of my ESS. During our phone conversation I explained the problems that I was experiencing and we agreed to meet. Upon arriving at Don's workshop, he welcomed me as a true friend. After looking over my banjo and playing a few tunes he instantly knew what was needed. After a head tightening, rod adjustment, and bridge/string replacement my banjo was projecting louder than it ever has. To say he brought it to "life" is an understatement. I'm absolutely thrilled with Don's work and would strongly recommend anyone needing banjo work to give Don a call, you will not be disappointed. Many many thanks to Don for his advice, hospitality, and great work!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/23/2011

Overall Comments

WOW !!! WOW !!! WOW !!!

I JUST received my neck from Don Bryant for my 1929 Pre-War Gibson Pyramid Banjo. I was VERY, VERY particular about what I wanted done on this neck. I MUST SAY that everything I wanted was done EXACTLY as I wanted. Don did a SUPERB job for me and was wonderful to work with. Don is definitely a gentleman and one you can trust !!! Not only was the neck superb but the set-up was expertly done. I have been playing a long time and know a GREAT job when I see one. My APOLLO "D"TUNER & BILT-RITE BANJO CAPO demo video has some of my playing. While I am certainly no pro by a long shot, I am a decent weekend picker. Don Bryant is worth contacting if you need quality banjo work done.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by eddie83 (see all reviews from this person) on 4/29/2010

Overall Comments

Don's work was is fantastic. He sprayed lacquer on a walnut neck I did up and sent it back look almost as smooth as a babies bottom (I wanted to buff it out myself) Not only is Don's work top notch, but he was more than helpful with tips on the buffing and just about any other question I had. Don helped me with much more than the lacquer job and his price was unbeatable. Anyone in the area (or the country for that matter) would be silly not to have Don do some work for them.

Overall Rating: 10

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