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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!

6935 reviews in the archive.

Deering: Black Diamond

Submitted by ManyaManya on 8/10/2004

Where Purchased: folkofthewood

Year Purchased: 2000
Price Paid: 1700 ($US)

Sound

A bit cut off and difficult to get the right balance. Many better choices on the market. I've played some Deerings that sounded very good, but this wasn't one of them. I was inexperienced when I bought it and paid the price.

Sound Rating: 6

Setup

Not good. The coordinator rods had to be cranked in to get a reasonable action. KNowing what I know now, I would have sent it back. Obviously the neck was not cut correctly.

Setup Rating: 4

Appearance

A beautiful banjo - very sharp! Perfect

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I assume the parts would last, but I have since sold the banjo.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Outstanding!! Barry at Deering spent hours on the phone with me to get the banjo set up just right. Rwally a committed group at Deering, I think this was just a lemon banjo (noone is perfect)

Customer Service: 10

Components

The neck cut was off in cut - but not in playability. The neck played beautifully and the detail work was fantastic!

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

Play one before you buy it - if you're inexperienced as I was when I bought this, definately have someone check it out first. I have since sold this banjo and probably won't buy another.

Overall Rating: 5

Gibson: Granada

Submitted by ManyaManya on 8/10/2004

Where Purchased: Gibson Showcase

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Excellent, classic Granada. Check carefully before buying a Gibon (or any banjo) because I've played several new Granadas that are not up to speed. I did decide to use a Price tailpiece to remove some overtones, but the overtones did fade over time and returned to the original.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Set up at the Showcase in Nashville - very nice - great guys!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Perfect - the Flying Eagle looked great, as did the gold.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Looked good to me.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

The folks at Gibson are fantastic! Very responsive.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Very nice all around.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Excellent banjo, if you're looking for a real showpiece. I purchased a Huber and sold this banjo. I don't have any regrets. I would certainly concider another Granada at another time, great instruments.

Overall Rating: 9

Huber: Lancaster

Submitted by ManyaManya on 8/10/2004

Where Purchased: Accutab

Year Purchased: March 2004
Price Paid: 3,250 ($US)

Sound

Next to my 2002 Gibson Granada, the Lancaster has greater definition and separation of notes, with a brighter crack. In the past four months the Huber has opened up nicely.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Steve MATCHES a TORQUE WRENCH with each new banjo. Steve tells you what number on that wrench gives you the right tension!!! Very, very cool!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I LOVE the inlay pattern. It's a blend of the flying eagle and snow flake, a classic look with a new twist. The mahogony looks great and the detail work is excellent.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Seems great to me - I know if I have any problems that John Lawless will facilitate a smooth repair.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

John Lawless is a scholar and a gentleman - very helpful and made my experience a pleasure. I did wait six months for the banjo, BUT it was ready EXACTLY when he said. They know what they are doing!

Customer Service: 10

Components

The NECK - I was concerned about the neck when I ordered this banjo. Let me assure anyone who is concerned with the smaller neck. It took me all of five minutes to get use to the smaller neck. Steve knows what he's doing - many of the components he makes himself, or has made to his specification.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I actually sold my 2002 Granada, didn't seem necessary. I susspect many people will buy a Huber and slowly sell off their collections. I did get the radius neck for an extra $100. It's a very slight radius and would probably not get that again - but it certainly doesn't take away from the banjo. A joy to play and encourage you to give one a try.

Overall Rating: 10

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