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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!

6950 reviews in the archive.

Recording King  RK-36 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Banjo Fanatic (see all reviews from this person) on 7/23/2015

Where Purchased: Woodwind Brasswind

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 781 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

It has a very nice rich sound to it right out of the box. I did change the head, so it sounds even more like I want it to now. Very nice bass response to it.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was not very good. The head tension was good, but the action was high. I changed the bridge, and got it setup, so it is fine now.

Setup Rating: 2

Appearance

This is a mahogany banjo, and it has a gloss finish. The finish is very simple, but yet, very nice. All of the inlay work on the peghead, and fretboard are real MOP so the shine when light hits them. A very understated look.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

All of the hardware seems very good, and should last. I do have problems with the Presto tailpiece, and am thinking of replacing it.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

As this was an open boix returned banjo, and I ordered it with a check, I contacted the company quite often. They were very helpful and were quick to respond to my questions.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Most of the components are high quality. The taipiece however, is not. This is my first experience with a Presto tailpiece, and I dislike it very much. There is only one screw that attaches the tailpiece to the banjo, and that attaches to the flange. This means that the tailpiece can move around causing the strings to go out of tune if not careful. Other than that, it is very nice.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This is a very nice professional grade banjo. I really like it a lot, and do not think I will be upgrading anytime soon. If you want a nice banjo at an affordable price, go with Recording King.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by 83xr2 (see all reviews from this person) on 2/27/2014

Where Purchased: Thomanns

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 450 (GNP) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Not set up at all

Setup Rating: 1

Appearance

A good looking banjo until you look close ,some of the inlay work looks like it was done by a three year old ,the nickel plating is ok but I fail to see why they nickel played dust and debris

Appearance Rating: 4

Reliability

The bridge is badly mis cut , the finish is good apart from dust /debris plated on tone ring and where binding on resonator meets the paint there is a 3 mm gap ie unpainted wood

Reliability Rating: 5

Customer Service

Thomanns were really great and offered a refund they couldn't replace it as no further stock of rk36 they offered a refund or an upgrade to rk80 for £150 which I don't have

Customer Service: 8

Components

Inlays are crap , bridge worse than useless , resonator finish where paint supposedly meets binding is terrible binding on neck has been repaired or touched up with what appears to be tip ex

Components Rating: 3

Overall Comments

I love this banjo and it appears I'm stuck with it. It sounds good and looks good (if you don't look closely ) it has certainly put me of ever buying a banjo without first seeing it ,I don't believe I'm a fussy person however bare wood cannot be good and discolouration around fret board inlays obviously isn't a good thing I don't know if it's filler or adhesive but it's certainly bad workmanship ,thomanns have been good but I don't want to spend more money on a banjo before I inspect it and they do not have the stock to replace it .this banjo was clearly not inspected before leaving the factory my cheap Chinese no name banjo is finished perfectly and cost me less than 25% of the price of this banjo

Overall Rating: 3

Submitted by tildensnow (see all reviews from this person) on 4/23/2013

Where Purchased: Sounds Cheap Music

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 799 ($US)

Sound

I'm new to the banjo, so the subtleties of a banjos tone is a bit foreign. But I've been a musician for years outside the instrument, an judging on that, the thing sounds incredible. Bright, Full, Loud, Twangy. Awesome!!!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It came set up very nice. Intonation is dead on. Action is perfect. As I said before, I'm new to the instrument, so the tightness of the head I can't tell. I'm sure I'll get a pro set up soon, but it definitely rocks as is.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It doesn't have anything elaborate on it. It's very shiny and clean. I wouldn't call it plain, but minimal.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware seems very rugged and sturdy, or stout. Definitely seems like its made of high quality components.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't had to deal with any warranty issues, but I've emailed Recording King a couple times with basic questions. I got fast and helpful responses each time.

Customer Service: 10

Components

This thing is awesome, I wouldn't change a thing.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Get one!!!

Overall Rating: 10

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