Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

298
Banjo Lovers Online


Banjo Reviews

Review Categories

Most Recent

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!

6988 reviews in the archive.

Leon Ballard Reviews

Submitted by eleshiacatherine (see all reviews from this person) on 3/22/2017

Where Purchased: Direct from Leon Ballard

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: 1515 (GBP) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The 12" walnut pot and neck deliver a warm, rich, full sound. Treble notes are bright and clear and base notes warm and deep. There is plenty of sustain and volume. This banjo sounds fantastic when used for both two-finger thumb-lead and clawhammer tunes.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo had to be shipped from the UK to Australia so the bridge had been removed and packaged separately inside the case. It was easy to install the bridge as Leon had put marker tape on the head to show the correct placement. The action was perfect and I didn't have to make any changes. It would be very easy to loosen the acorn nut on the tail-piece bracket to raise or lower the neck if needed.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

A truly beautiful banjo. The purple heart finger-board and veneer on the paddle shaped peg-head look stunning. The inlaid maple marker dots on the finger board are a nice contrast and the brass fittings, curvy scoop and moon bridge add to the beauty of the instrument. Leon has added a gold and black decorative band around the bottom of the pot and black tuning knobs which also enhance the appearance.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

All fittings appear to be excellent quality. The instrument feels strong and well made with quality finishes. I would say it will be a totally dependable banjo - it will be my #1 banjo.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

From my very first email inquiry, Leon has responded immediately and this has continued throughout the build and shipping process. All prospective build details were checked and confirmed with photos which included photos of the build as it progressed. Leon also posted a clip of the banjo in action on his website (it sounded terrific but is even better in the flesh).

Customer Service: 10

Components

Everything about this banjo is quality so it is difficult to select any standout components.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The thought  of ordering a custom build from someone on the other side of the globe was a bit daunting but Leon's excellent customer service made the whole process very easy .  He has been totally transparent, honest and reliable. I couldn't be happier with the result and would recommend his work without hesitation.

Leon also made a new neck for an old brass-bound 11" maple pot that I sent to the UK.  The new neck is a smaller twin to this one and is equally well made and well set up.  I love the little "new neck" banjo which has a beautiful tone (also featured on his website), but this 12" walnut pot Ballard  banjo, makes me smile every time I look at it.  It is a beautiful instrument  and I am happy to play it for hours at a time.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Poor Mouth (see all reviews from this person) on 6/16/2015

Where Purchased: Directly from Leon Ballard

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: £850 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sweet and nice tone.
Really powerful compared to my MM150

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup is perfect, just had to put the bridge

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

11 1/8” Black Walnut block constructed rim
Integral Cherry tonering
Nickel plated hardware
24 notched hoop, hooks, shoes, nuts
No knot tailpiece
Renaissance head
Cherry neck with carving around 5th peg
Rosewood 24 ¾” scale length
Slotted peghead
Grover Sta-tite tuners
5-Star 5th tuner with Ebony button
Bone 5th pip
Ebony nut

An instrument made to play with no needless inlay or ornaments

A real pleasure to look at this instrument

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Leon reply quickly to any of my question
A real pleasure to deal with

Customer Service: 10

Components

I change the strings for heavier, I don't like light gauge

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I was looking for a good banjo, this one sound really good and I can't stop looking at it.

Just perfect for me

 

Edit : after 2 weeks, the instrument sound really good and is really easy to play (24 ¾” neck scale ???) much more than my GoldTone MM150, it became my main instrument

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by banjooud (see all reviews from this person) on 10/9/2014

Where Purchased: Directly from Leon Ballard (UK)

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Very sweet and lovely tone .Presently with light gauge strngs

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Perfect .

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It's a beautifull and elagant banjo.
All black walnut with walnut burr peaghaed overlay
Special select goatskin from John Balch ( very beautifull)
I have the same true pleasure to look or to play this banjo

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Leon Ballard replied very quickly to all my questions before and during procces of creation and suggest me interesting improvement.
Very good customer service

Customer Service: 10

Components

Nothing to change except perhaps the light strings for medium to suit my style

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I was looking for simple but beautiful banjo , quiet and lovely tone . 

I am pleased to be the possessor​ of a such beautifull banjo .

Ballard's skill and John Balch 's hide head create a true piece of art 

Overall Rating: 10

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

7.800293E-02