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.
I have no complaints about the sound of the banjo. It's crisp, and bright.
Sound Rating: 8
The banjo required the frets to be dressed. It was unplayable when it arrived. The tailpiece is a very flimsy presto copy and I replaced it as well.
Setup Rating: 3
It's a pretty banjo, however the pattern on the back has an issue. The "flower" in the center is great, but the circle appears to have been stenciled with a marker. There is also evident of some marker where the resonator meets the flange as if it was scuffed in shipment.
Appearance Rating: 6
Other than the tailpiece everything else looks decent. I would have no problems using it at a gig.
Reliability Rating: 7
These are distributed by Saga, and there's probably a half dozen different stories about how these banjos came to be. Warranty? No clue... I didn't see it as an issue considering the price.
Customer Service: 6
Tailpiece, tuners and armrest could stand a slight upgrade. Pot assembly is great.
Components Rating: 7
...yeah, I know, there's a crowd of you that will think I'm a bad person. I think I can handle that.
What I bought was the one that looked like the RK-60 - or Deco King.
It's not without it's issues I guess, but the price was considerably cheaper so I figured, "What the heck!"
Now, most of the RKs I've encountered in shops were ready to play right out of the box. This one was not. It required setup... and not just minor tweaking. First and foremost the frets had to be dressed. They had never been touched beyond getting put into the fingerboard. The ends were sharp, and they were by no means level. Now, I'm not extremely picky, but the frets were bad enough that it was unplayable.
I have no idea what sort of tailpiece comes on the RK-60 but the Flinthill came with a flimsy Presto knockoff. It's functional, and had I not had a real Presto handy I'd have left it alone, but I did replace it.
How's it sound? Well, it sounds quite good. It sounds like a banjo, and compared to other banjos I have it sounds a lot like another banjo.
The only really troubling visual thing about it is the design on the back. The "flower" is fine, but the circle... it looks like an afterthought put on with a marker.
Worth what I gave? Very much so, even including the tailpiece and the fret dressing.
Do I feel guilty? Nah, not really. However, after buying this one I feel like I can heartily recommend the RK banjos. Not sure if that's enough to keep me from being cast out as an unbeliever, but that's okay too.
Overall Rating: 6
'Cnc cut necks' 18 min
'Making a Banjo Neck' 23 min
'Cnc banjo necks' 24 min
'The Pet Polka' 4 hrs
'Smith's rag' 4 hrs