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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!

7049 reviews in the archive.

Jeff Menzies  12" Tackhead #187 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by coreyowen (see all reviews from this person) on 12/29/2009

Where Purchased: From Jeff

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 695 ($US)


I don't have much experience with tackheads, but I absolutely love the sound of this banjo. I tend to be a little on the fussy side when it comes to the sound of an instrument, and this banjo sounds absolutely beautiful when tuned to D# or E. Also, the volume is surprisingly loud.

Sound Rating: 10


Jeff shipped it with the bridge down, but it was no big deal to position it, tune the banjo, and start playing. The neck fits my hand very comfortably, and my fingers easily find the notes, in spite of their inexperience in the realm of fretless banjos.

Setup Rating: 10


This banjo is a work of art. It has an oak rim and a walnut neck. The neck is a Boucher design--it has an ogee and a square peghead. The neck and rim are flawless.

Appearance Rating: 10


The banjo seems to be very sturdy. Also, the tuning pegs consistently hold their tuning. Before I purchased the banjo, I was a little anxious about dealing with friction pegs, but I have had absolutely no problems with them. I've currently had the banjo here in the dry Saskatchewan winter climate for two weeks, and have had no problems.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I talked with Jeff on the phone a few times before I bought the banjo. He is very enjoyable to chat with, and is particularly conscientious about customer satisfaction. I hope to be lucky enough to be able to buy more banjos from Jeff in the future!

Customer Service: 10


I am particularly impressed with the reliability of the tuners--I can go for days without tweaking the tuning! I'm also very fond of the bone tailpiece--it perfectly complements the beautiful simplicity of the instrument.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I am ecstatic about this banjo! I've spent a couple weeks' worth of quality time with it since I got it, and I enjoy it more and more each day. Interestingly, I went back to playing steel string banjo today, and noticed that my playing had improved after spending a few weeks playing nylgut. I also enjoyed purchasing this instrument from Jeff, who readily shares his passion for banjo-building.

Overall Rating: 10

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