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!
6840 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Hatfield Banjos
This is a bluegrass banjo player's dream. It's a little brighter than some mahogany banjos, because of the Ebbe tone ring. It is a very responsive banjo, that you don't have to pick hard to get a full loud sound. I love the tone. There is a presence in this banjo that is unmistakable. I've had it a month, and I'm sure it will just keep getting better.
Sound Rating: 10
Setup, action were perfect, right out of the shipping box. What else would you expect, from Arthur? I've made no changes, except to tighten the head a little after about 3 weeks.
Setup Rating: 10
This is a beautiful banjo. The mahogany neck has a rich brown stain, and the grain is very visible. The wreath inlays are abalone, I believe, and they are beautiful. The quilted maple resonator is also very nice. All the hardware is bright, shiny, and flawless. The big surprise is the Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. The grain and color of the rosewood is astounding, and complimented wonderfully by the inlays.
Appearance Rating: 10
All top quality metal hardware. I don't expect any problems. The wood finish is excellent. There are no places where you can feel any imperfections, or high spots. The finish appears perfect, and I don't anticipate any lack of reliability.
Reliability Rating: 10
No repairs. Arthur and Beverly are wonderful people, and they were a a joy to deal with. I've known them a few years, and they are always friendly, helpful, and never try to push a sale, or expensive upgrade.
Customer Service: 10
I have seen nothing that I think needs to be upgraded. May try out different bridges, at some point. The Gotoh tuners are as smooth as butter, and I love the cream colored buttons.
Components Rating: 10
I started out, in my communication with Arthur, wanting a custom banjo. As time went on, I could not get over the Aurora. This banjo is exactly what I wanted, and I'm thrilled with it. There are no shortcomings. I could have paid more, but I don't think I could have ever gotten any more banjo. There is a presence to the tone of this banjo that I have not heard in another new banjo. I certainly haven't tried them all, but this is my banjo.
Overall Rating: 10
'Keith D-Tuners' 25 min
'Looking for an Ome Jubilee' 31 min
'Fret help' 1 hr
'"Good News" Story ' 2 hrs
'Stelling Whitestar' 2 hrs
'D-Tuners' 3 hrs