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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!

6938 reviews in the archive.

Mockingbird Banjo by Glenn Nelson  Fanned Fret Banjo Reviews

Submitted by gottasmilealot (see all reviews from this person) on 11/10/2010

Where Purchased: Private Sale

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter


A very versatile banjo capable of many sounds. I play bluegrass and whatever else moves me at the moment, and this banjo does it all well.

Sound Rating: 10


I'm the second owner of this banjo, so it was set up well by the previous owner for his style of playing. I did make some changes for my playing style. This banjo is very versatile.

Setup Rating: 10


A nice looking banjo with a unique headstock design. Tasteful inlays. Not absolutely traditional, but a very nice banjo.

Appearance Rating: 10


As dependable and durable as any banjo, with a nice finish and nice cocobolo hardwood appointments.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I contacted the shop for some string gauge information and Glenn was very nice to deal with. I have not had to contact the shop for anything problem related.

Customer Service: 10


The obvious stand out is the fanned fret design, but the other components are quality as well. As a custom builder, you can vary the components to suit your desires.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

What a fine banjo. Easy to play, can be set up for a great voice range to accommodate different playing styles. The fanned fret design evens out the string tension, increasing the easy playability factor with good intonation. Quality parts and great workmanship. The Nelsons are a shop builder who may not be well known, but who produces a banjo that's as good as any at a fair price.

Updated November 2014:  After 4 years with this banjo, I haven't found a banjo that can touch it in terms of tonal range.  I'm very pleased with it.  It's a keeper.

Updated January 2016:  My go-to banjo. 

Overall Rating: 10

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