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!
6918 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: The Romeros
She is currently fitted with steel strings over a ren head on a 12" pot which produce plenty of volume playing bare fingered. The glorious aesthetics of this instrument are only to be equalled by the extraordinary tone and voice that is released at the softest touch. Her notes ring strong, clear and balanced all the way up the scale. Fretting this neck is a joy and again responds with only the slightest effort to produce deep rich chords. I will enjoy the challenge of keeping pace with this quality instrument for many hours and years to come.
Sound Rating: 10
The bridge, nut and strings were well fitted. As I plan on enjoying this banjo for many years to come I ordered a nylgut bridge and nut as well as a pre-stretched goatskin head to rotate in as my playing interests change / evolve. Out of the extremely well packed box and case a quick tuning was all that was needed.
Setup Rating: 10
Oh Yes. She is a 12" Claro walnut bentwood pot and two piece neck, with a rosewood tone-ring. The Cocobolo fingerboard board and trim on the peghead, heel and pot rim are fitted over a thin dark laminate layer producing a subtle pinstripe that flows through the entire piece. The neck is carved to provide subtle tactile clues as to your location on the fingerboard and even more subtle small brass side dots. The woods were selected and cut to enhance their beautiful, deep and complex grain that draws your eyes further and further around the instrument. Pharis' has excelled at the lovely shell inlay work so intricate and tight that it defies you to find any gaps in her art. Gienah is adorned with black and gold Tahitian mother of pearl fashioned into a Norse raven with traditional flourish designs on the peg head and heel. The two feathers in the frailing scoop are cut from the same materials and appear to constantly flutter in the changing light. Ref SN 12322 on the Romero site.
Appearance Rating: 10
The fit and finish of this instrument appear to have many many generations of music ahead.
Reliability Rating: 10
The wait was a little over 16 months as originally discussed. Working with Jason and Pharis the final few weeks was pure joy. They were very easy to communicate with as we worked out the set up details and shared inlay designs back and forth until completion. I am glad I took the time to attend an Old Time workshop they were involved with just as my number was coming up. It was a great meeting both of them in person and the chance to hear and handle a couple of the banjos they had with them was worth the trip.
Customer Service: 10
The entire piece is outstanding aesthetically and acoustically, Tight as a drum and pretty as a new penny.
Components Rating: 10
This banjo is worth every second waiting, every brown bag lunch I ate for 16 months and every dime it cost. Heartfelt thanks to Jason and Pharis. If you are considering having a banjo built they get nothing but my best rating.
Overall Rating: 10
'Old banjo rims wanted' 17 min
'Add confusionmore ' 1 hr
'955 Sound Sample 2' 3 hrs
'New Money (TOTW)' 3 hrs