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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!

6920 reviews in the archive.

Washburn  B-160 Sonny Smith Banjo Reviews

Submitted by gtaunton (see all reviews from this person) on 10/8/2012

Where Purchased: eBay

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


Really nice-rounded sound. Real clear ringing highs up the neck.

Sound Rating: 8


As with a lot of new banjos, I had to do a few setups. I had to shim the neck for my 11/16 bridge. I also put a four-hump tailpiece on instead of the Presto that came with it. Surprisingly, it already had spikes at the 7th, 9th and 10th frets.

Setup Rating: 6


My modle came with the old Gibson RB-12 headstock and fretboard inlay style. The maple on the neck and resonator was very highly flamed - what you would expect to see on a pro level Gibson, Stelling, Huber, Deering, etc. I was very impressed with this feature of the banjo!

Appearance Rating: 9


I was impressed with the quality of all the hardware except for the tailpiece that came on the banjo.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Mine came directly from Sonny Smith as a eBay purchase - he was very nice.

Customer Service: 7


Again, I put a four-hump tailpiece on instead of the Presto that came with it, but the maple was outstanding! The wider fretboard makes playing easy, especially up-the-neck.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Great sound and great banjo. I personally would have never thought of buying a Washburn banjo, but when I saw this one, I was intrigued by the extra-wide fretboard, so I wanted to give it a try. The fretboard is real easy on the hand – better than I expected as I’ve always been a fan of thinner fretboards. The may very well be one of the best, most affordable banjos out there today and itsw a keeper!

Overall Rating: 9

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