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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!

7049 reviews in the archive.

Hickler : Hickler Std. Frailer (prototype)

Submitted by onewhisper on 6/20/2018

Where Purchased: direct from Luthier

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I play clawhammer. The banjo's best sound is warm and sustained but still plunky enough to be a banjo. I have an easy time changing the voice moving closer to the bridge or up to the neck. As Mark Hickler described the voice during design - it is balanced

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I have become a great fan of the bolt-on-neck. It makes the instrument very portable where needed and simplifies the overall mechanics of the banjo. I did struggle a bit when first setting it up. I had a little fret buzz but believe this was due to my own failure to properly align the neck. I find simple adjustments less intimidating than on other instruments. I

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The instrument is beautiful. Mark's adjustments to my own inlay design created a very personal design that is well executed. He has an excellent eye for wood and design. His finish work is careful and complete.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

hardware and materials are excellent and I fully expect they will outlast me. I see little to no wear in spite of a lot of play in a lot of environments.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Mr. Hickler was very patient with me in the design process and kept me well informed during the build process. His communication was educational and thorough.

Customer Service: 10

Components

His choices of wood show great care and contribute greatly to the sound and appearance of the instrument. Hardware is very good - I anticipate no problems and have experienced no problems in my first year of using this instrument.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This instrument has brought me more joy than any instrument I have owned in the past 5 decades.Mark Hickler worked in to produce a beautiful instrument including personal inlay and a short 24 inch scale that still produces beautiful tone and is very playable. I would not hesitate recommending a Hickler banjo to anyone.

Overall Rating: 10

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