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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!

7121 reviews in the archive.

Pisgah  12" Appalachian Fretless Banjo Reviews

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

Where Purchased: Directly from the builder

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 1100 ($US)


I love the sound of this banjo what can I say. I chose the cherry rim 12" so the banjo has a tone that leans towards the "plunky" side but the rolled brass tone ring balances it out. The tone is a rich/full sound with a woody tubby sounding low...a bit weak on the highs but I wanted a tubbier sounding banjo. To set this banjo up I used my Tim Purcell piano maple banjo bridge 5/8s size and the clarity and punch of the banjo improved even more. One other thing....the regular scoop on this banjo is a bit short for me...I might have benefited from having Patrick make an "S" scoop since I have such large hands...but its a minor oversight for me and has little affect if any on playing or comfort.

Sound Rating: 9


Patrick had laid the banjo bridge down on the head under the strings with a bit of tension but I have since set the banjo up myself
I am using my 5/8s size bridge and the action is very nice, the scoop is not to deep and the neck and Persimmon fingerboard nice and smooth. It was easy as pie to set up.

Setup Rating: 8


This banjo is VERY easy on the eyes! As I said in my video interview, the videos and pictures Patrick and Topher have are great but they pale in comparison with holding the banjo and seeing/feeling it in your hands. The neck is thicker and a tad wider at the nut than some banjo necks and the neck is "v" shaped but I really like it, its very comfortable. I havent found any appearance flaws yet to be honest. The peghead is beautiful and ornate, Pisgah uses local western North Carolina wood selections so if you love natural wood and just a finish that enhances the natural wood and look of the banjo, look no further than a Pisgah!

Appearance Rating: 9


The hardware no doubt will last. The tension hoop is grooved, nickel plated and so are the shoes and brackets. It has a nice No-Knot tailpiece and end-pin. The Gotoh tuners are very high quality and nice and tight...not even a hint of slipping.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Patrick answered alot of my questions about different kinds of wood and was patient as I needed some time to put the money together as I live in Argentina....they were friendly, hospitable and super easy to do business with

Customer Service: 10


I think the overall craftsmanship...I like the way they use walnut for rim-caps and different woods for the fingerboards like Persimmon and Locust. I didnt care much for the stock bridge that came with the banjo but who cares!! I use custom bridges from Tim Purcell anyways..

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

This banjo is a highly crafted banjo built in a true appalachian western North Carolina tradition...perfect for the amateur, professional, collector alike. No doubt we will be hearing and seeing more from Patrick and Topher in the future.

Overall Rating: 9

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