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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!

6988 reviews in the archive.

Pisgah: Rambler with Dobson Tone Ring

Submitted by howdoesthatonegoagain on 10/6/2015

Where Purchased: Acoustic Corner, Black Mountain, NC

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 1295 ($US)

Sound

This banjo has a rich, deep tone, with solid bass resonation without sacrificing the brighter timbre of the higher register. To me, it gives a clear, volumous kick and warm, resounding foundation, and has a wonderful rhythmic thunky tone that accompanies fiddlers beautifully. I've also used picks with it for bluegrass and it hangs in there with a full bluegrass set-up. I used to have trouble knowing what I wanted my banjo to sound like, and I have played many banjos since buying this one, and I have yet to find a better sound. In fact, I'm working right now, and I genuinely miss it.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The folks at Acoustic Corner in Asheville (great people, highly recommended) set this banjo up wonderfully before shipping it to me. The hardware is all very sturdy, well made, and made in the US. All the wood is locally sourced in Western North Carolina, and as a musicologist with concerns of envrionmental repercussions for tone woods, I love that they use local woods. Plus, it sounds great and looks beautiful. It came with a Fiberskyn banjo, which I won't change. The scooped fret board is also great, and not too large and doesnt sacrifice too much neck.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I have a cherry neck and cherry pot, and the wood speaks for itself. No stains on it, just well sanded and finished so that I can see and feel the beauty of the wood. The stainless steel spun pot also looks great; it is sort of matte finish and isn't too shiny. My model is very spartan. No fancy peg, no inlay, just solid black, but that is my style and to my liking. I also love the feel and look of the Dobson heel at the bottom of the neck, definitely keep that.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is the sturdiest banjo I've ever had. Not having to worry about knicking the wood on the pot when I set it down is great (I play a lot of outdoor gigs). The hardware is very sturdy, fits perfectly, and I can't imagine any problems with it. The tuners are really high quality as well.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I haven't dealt with the banjo makers directly, having bought the instrument from Acoustic Corner. The folks at the Acoustic Corner were extremely helpful, and had a slew of great handmade banjos from Noel Booth, Pisgah, and Mike Ramsey. They shipped the banjo in a well-packed box, and I think threw on some new strings for me. Nice people to talk to as well. A breath of air from the a**holes at my local shop.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Very high quality tuners; all parts made in US; all parts fit perfectly, nothing rickety.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Absolute pleasure to play this instrument. I've yet to find any better, and I think for this price it is such amazing quality. I don't plan on needing another banjo for a long time, and I will never part with this guy. 

Overall Rating: 10

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