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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!

7079 reviews in the archive.

Backyard Music  Basic (assembled) Banjo Reviews

Submitted by OlJim (see all reviews from this person) on 9/26/2018

Where Purchased: Ebay

Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: $150 ($US)

Sound

This is a wonderful little instrument that every banjo player should have sitting someplace easy to reach. Lovely mellow tone, quiet enough to play while everyone in the family is in the room watching TV! (Without finger picks on that is) :)

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I purchased it assembled and setup. Tuned it out of the box and haven’t changed a thing.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is very utilitarian and durable instrument, no frills! It is pretty wood and instantly attracts questions. “Wow... is that a banjo?”

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I just hauled this little dude in a cloth sack across the Atlantic and on trains through seven countries in Europe. It is extremely durable and lightweight travel companion. Rating 11!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Most helpful, friendly, fast, responsive! TOPS!

Customer Service: 10

Components

It’s just a very simple design. No frills and works perfectly. I have had two very high level players who picked it up, played it and immediately wrote down the the Backyard Music address.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

For the price, quality and durability of this little banjo you should have one sitting in the TV room and one stashed in the car.  Never be without a banjo... this is the perfect travel companion or faithful little chair side player. :)

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Marendelas (see all reviews from this person) on 4/9/2016

Where Purchased: backyardmusic.com

Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: 95 (Sterling) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I replaced the medium guage wire strings it came with. with fishing line on the first three strings

I thought it sounded too tinny with the metal strings

The sound is peculiarly not obnoxious - a bit reminiscent of wind chimes. My style is folk voice accompaniment

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

The banjo arrived with the bridge upstood

The strings needed tuning, otherwise no adjustment required - except for my particular requirement for fishing line strings

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

No flaws. The design is one of endearing simplicity and sturdiness. Far from ungainly

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware is sturdy

It is quiet. At a gig I would insert a microphone

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Service is friendly

As I live in the Scottish Highlands it is unlikely to be returned for repair

I did not enquire about warranty it seemed irrelevent

Customer Service: 10

Components

I cannot fault the parts

But replacing the 5th string is initially tricky - a small phillips screwdriver is a must

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This delightful instrument was sent to me by post for a little over £30. The banjo itself cost a little over £95

 

The small scale is much appreciated - pinky stretch and other fret board acrobatics are doable

 

I would recommend it as a first/practice/travel banjo because it is

cheap

good looking

sturdy

quiet

easy  to play

gentle toned

nice to hold

light in weight

 

 

 

 

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by fosterfowler (see all reviews from this person) on 2/25/2013

Where Purchased: Online from Backyard Music

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Nice tone for a short-scale/travel size banjo. This one came with a mahogany head, so that seems to mellow it out a bit, which is fine.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Took it out of the box, tuned it and started playing. The setup was just right.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Really like the look of this banjo. Nice simple appearance and the mahogany is pretty. I purchased one already assembled and was pleased with their work.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

A good set of tuners on this banjo. Overall it appears that it will give years of good service. When I read about the cardboard tube used for the the hoop, I wasn't too sure what to think. But, after some reading, realized it is a resin-impregnated fiberboard. Now that I've seen it, I like it because it is sturdy yet lightweight.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Great customer service.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Nothing to suggest. I like it the way it is.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

A very nice short-scale banjo that is suitable for a young player or use as your traveler. The price is very attractive, especially for buying a banjo made in the US.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Jane E (see all reviews from this person) on 1/26/2013

Where Purchased: www.backyardmusic.com

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 135 ($US)

Sound

After playing mando for five years, I decided to add banjo to my repertoire -- but didn't want to spend a fortune, and wanted something lightweight and manageable for a small (5-foot) adult. I purchased a Backyard Music basic banjo, assembled, due in part to the great reviews I found here. I've been delighted with my purchase. The banjo sounds really great, is sturdy and well put-together. I liked mine so much I bought one for a friend. I'm giving it a 10 rating on sound as compared to other beginner/travel banjos.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It came tuned up and ready to go.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The banjo has a simple, mountain instrument look to it -- very cool.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Despite the fact that the ring is made of very heavy gauge cardboard (from a mailing tube), it seems quite sturdy. I've had it for only a few months, but other reviewers report that it's in great shape a few years in. It's designed for practice or travel, so the gigging question doesn't apply -- it's plenty loud on its own but would be drowned out quickly by other instruments.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

The banjo I ordered for my friend had a slight buzzing in one string. Backyard Music promptly sent a new nut (at no cost) to address that problem.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I don't really know enough about banjos at this point to address this question, except to say that the tuning gears are high quality.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Perfect for a beginner! And fun for seasoned players, too, based on the couple I've shown it to. For its price and this class of banjo, I'd say this is about as good as it gets.

Overall Rating: 10

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