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!
7001 reviews in the archive.
Bought my first new banjo Gold Tone OB250 from Andy Banjo's
I've been playing since October last year and wanted to treat myself to a new banjo for my birthday. I wanted to be able to try various banjo's before buying so mail order was not an option for me. I live a fair distance from Andy's but decided after weeks of searching and reading up on banjo's to go and see him for a chat. You need to make an appointment to visit them don't just turn up, they are busy people and the appointment system is to the buyers advantage as they set time aside for you to talk through your needs over a cup of tea and take the time to make sure you are getting what you want. I'd told Andy what sort of instrument I was thinking of and when I got there he had 4 out ready for me. one was the one I had my mind on and three others around that price range. On this visit I met Glen, a great guy who explained all the good and bad points of the instruments, played them for me and even let me video him for reference. I didn't buy a banjo on that visit but took away a lot of information to consider. They did not seem the least bit put out about spending an hour with me drinking tea and chatting and not getting a sale. Whilst they like to get instruments out ready for you, you are in one of their stock rooms and they will get other instruments out for you to try which is how I came to lean towards the OB. I returned after a couple of months having now made up my mind on the instrument I wanted a Gold Tone OB250. When I got there the OB was out ready for me and so were three others for comparison. Another cup of tea and a chat about each one and a demonstration on each one by Glen. I'd improved enough by now to be able to knock out a tune on each myself. Glen left me alone with the instruments to try each one. I settled on my OB but it was nice of them to give me a chance to play some others. I would like to point out that the OB was the most expensive of the banjo's they had got out for me. Glen went through a few points with me, we agreed a deal and I managed to wangle a case into the deal. I was told to come back in three months for a check up and to get the head checked and re-tensioned. Andy Banjo's is a no nonsense down to earth set up. In my opinion the best dealers I've met, helpful, very patient and extremely professional in their approach to their business. I must add that I have pestered them via Email for months now about various aspects of the instrument and I have always received a prompt comprehensive answer from them. They are more expensive than other stores who offer a mail order service but included in the price is a very professional set up of the instrument which they will explain at length to you. you also get a starter kit bundle of goodies and a very helpful professional service. I can't rate them highly enough.
Overall Rating: 10
I do not have any direct experience of Andy's Banjos but I have to say that I have had a number of my students purchase upgrade banjos from Andy Perkins and the instruments come set up beautifully (a really rare thing).
I can see a number of entries here with people unhappy with their purchases (I guess you can't please all the people all the time - I know that from personal experience) but my students have all been delighted with the service, advice and support he has given them. I have no hesitation recommending my students to purchase from him.
My last student purchased a Gold Star for £800 and I was seriously impressed with the instrument and the setup. It was top class.
Overall Rating: 10
I had some severe issues with my RK 85-sn. It was playing like a dog and no matter what I did to it I could not get it better. I contacted Andy Banjo (U.K) and sent it off for the work to be done, not knowing what I was going to expect.
Andy did a fantastic job, replaced the lugg bolts, new head, new bridge, new schub 5th string capo - the lot! The action is now as it should be, even and low. I have a fantastic sounding instrument and I really do not know how he could have done all the work with all the new parts for the price he charged me.
All I can say is that for a professional set up, and at a cost that us mere mortals can afford, you will not find any better in the UK.
Overall Rating: 10
'Hex head large nuts' 1 min