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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Mitchell  MBJ-200 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by MongolTide (see all reviews from this person) on 12/30/2013

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

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

Sound

The sounds pretty good for a bluegrass style. Keep in mind that you can get a lot of flexibility depending on the strings you give it. The resonator provides it with plenty of amplitude and I can get a good loud sound from playing Scruggs-style without wearing any picks (my fingers have calices on calices). You can bend the strings to get an interesting sound and if you like it works well with Keith or Schaller "D" tuners for a unique sitaresque sound. Removing the geared tuners they provide is a matter of unscrewing a few washers. The only solid criticism of the sound is that the drone-string nut is made of plastic and causes 5th string notes to sound very faint if you don't find the right sweet spot when tuning it.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Some assembly was recqired as I recall. The only part that was difficult enough to make it into my long-term memory was setting up the bridge. I had never placed the bridge on a banjo before and there is actually a complex algorithm for placement. You can google it because it didn't come with instructions for the bridge.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

It has a gorgeous design. The resonator and head are both a beautiful sunlight-tobacco design with pleasing colors. The bridge has great inlays. The Banjo is all-in-all gorgeous to look out. As good as you'll get without going into custom-quality.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I've had it for a year now. I've dropped it, bumped it, done all sorts of havoc too it; I put it in its case and went mud riding with it in an old ford ranger. There is not a scratch on it. It is incredibly durable if you make any effort to take care of it. It would get a ten if not for the cheap plastic drone-string nut they gave it which broke after a few months of use. I had to replace it with a bone nut out of pocket because customer support for guitar center claimed they didn't have one.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I payed for the warranty and when their cheap plastic (probably Chinese) nut broke they wouldn't cough up a few bucks to replace it or send me a replacement part. They gave me an option to return it so they could send me a new banjo but that was it. (Talk about wasteful)

Customer Service: 5

Components

Tuners are of fine quality. The nut sucks. The resonator is strong and durable. The neck is strong and durable. The head is just about completely waterproof. If not for the nut, ten out of ten.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Its a good banjo after that first crappy starting banjo. If your looking for something you can be proud of with a typical sound thats pretty enough to show off this is it. Its not a custom-built banjo but its good none the less.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Knuckles (see all reviews from this person) on 4/17/2013

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: $360 ($US)

Sound

It has a very Bright and loud sound. I love it' sound

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The only thing I had to do to it was put the bridge on it.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

It has beautiful inlays. The wood is beautiful. It has good wood. It is just a beautiful banjo.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The tunning heads seem plastic.

Reliability Rating: 5

Customer Service

The guy at guitar center was very nice and he didn't try to sell me a bunch of crap i didn't need.

Customer Service: 10

Components

it will probably need different tunning heads.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

its pretty great

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by chris30506 (see all reviews from this person) on 2/8/2013

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 125.00 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

I play pop music but think a banjo sounds cool. I set the Mitchell up for low neck action and put on new D'aderio medium strings. The notes are loud and clear with no buzzing. Notes at the higher frets sound good as well. It sounds like a banjo should.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo arrived yesterday and I spent a few hours setting it up. I filed the bridge to lower the strings a bit. I adjusted the truss rod as well. After I installed new strings, I had it staying in tune within 30 minutes. The intonation is good. It plays very well.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

The red mahogony wood is very pretty with no flaws. I removed the resonator and noted that the wood that composes the "drum" part appears to be solid and not plywood. The neck seems solid and the inlays are nicely made and installed well. They're the nicest inlays I've seen on an inexpensive banjo. The tuners dont feel cheap at all.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware and finish are solid. I would gig with this banjo for sure.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

NA - Havent had to call

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The tuners feel very nice and solid. I expected cheap and was pleasantly surprised. The inlays are a very nice touch. The resonator is nice, the bridge seems fine. I might upgrade but it sounds great as is. The only thing I dont like is that the white plastic piece at the 5th fret that the top string runs through looks cheap. Brass would have been nice.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I have a Fender Squire Tele that was made in Indonesia and it's just wonderful. I also have some very expensive instruments (Strats, Les Pauls, Ricks, Gretches, Martins, etc). My favorite guitar is a cheap Samick that was made in Korea. I was intrigued to find this banjo was made in Indonesia. As I waited for the Banjo to ship from California, I tried to find information about it and little was to be found. Most of the reviews I found were from people who hadn't played the Mitchell but reccomended that beginners buy Deerings or more expensive banjos. I played several banjos while searching. I played a Deering Good Time, a Fender, a Dean, and a Recording King. To me, The Mitchell plays and sounds as good as any of the ones I tried and better than most. It has the "snap" that make notes cut through. It's not too bright, just right. I care more about how an instrument is made than the name on the neck. This is a nice instrument for a beginner or most anyone else. A lot more for your money than most inexpensive and some expensive banjos. Bottom line, if someone tells you not to buy something they've never played, don't listen to them.

Overall Rating: 9

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