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!
6920 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Gary Schattl Hangout Member
Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 900 ($US) (bought USED)
This banjo has lots of power. Just as Gary described. It was my first resonator banjo and I prefer a darker sound so I switched to a Renaissance head and an enterprise bridge which gave me the tone and note separation I was hoping for.
Sound Rating: 8
Gary had the banjo well set up to play. I made the adjustments over time
to suit my personal taste.
Setup Rating: 8
The original pot is beautiful Walnut and Gary built a 5 string neck that matches nicely. The inlays mirror the original tenor neck and the 3 piece
laminated neck is stunning. It has a truss rod for neck adjustment which hasn't been necessary and unless I decide to change the relief,
it won't be. The neck is plenty beefy. The hardware is equally beefy and the nickel is in great shape.
Appearance Rating: 8
This model Slingerland has exceptionally heavy hardware. The design of the tension hoop allows that the hooks don't reach up to the top of the hoop making it very comfortable and attractive. Gary fit the neck to the pot really well so the banjo has been very stable. This pot was made in the mid 1920s and looks to be good for another 90 years or so. I fully expect the custom neck to require nothing but re-fretting.
Reliability Rating: 8
Gary was great to deal with. This was my first resonator banjo and his
suggesting this model as a dual purpose option, was the perfect choice. The resonator is easily removed with one thumbscrew and the
tone is super sweet. Gary was right on with this model for me.
Customer Service: 10
Again, the pot and hardware on this model are special. The tone ring
is a no-hole donut style and has alot of punch and power while really
sweet without the resonator. The custom neck from Gary is really nice as well. This banjo has way more than anything I found in any of the shops I tried in this price range.
Components Rating: 8
This instrument was the perfect step for me in my playing. I can't say enough about Gary except that I actually have bought another banjo from him since this one.
Overall Rating: 8
'Tin Lute Sound Test' 14 min
'Thunder Road' 21 min
'Cascade' 1 hr
'Is it the switch?' 1 hr