Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

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!

7193 reviews in the archive.

Chris Cioffi

Submitted by TubeandPlate-3 on 1/20/2019

Overall Comments

I had recently picked up my 1928 style 3 from Chris Cioffi's. The list of work he did is quiet lengthy. But there are three things he did that I want to talk about in detail. They go as follows... stainless steel frets, fe-fitting the heel, and repositioning the lag bolts. I had already wanted to go to stainless steel frets before I found Chris, and a big part of why I found Chris is because he is pro stainless. Many Luthier's won't do stainless frets because "they're to much work" or because i won't be able to " charge you for a fret dress later down the road". I personally feel that stainless steel frets are great, they feel great, look great, and they will virtually never wear out. The way that Chris levels, dresses, and polishes the stainless frets is superb. I have personally held other necks next to one of his and the fret work is night and day. This is just one of the many places were his perfectionism shines through. If your on the fence about stainless frets just remember, you have about four re-frets to a fret board if your lucky. After that your banjo will need a new fret board.... that's major surgery. Talk to Chris about stainless you won't regret it.

Next I want to talk about Mr.Cioffi's heel work, The way your heel fits to your banjo is paramount. Chris settles for nothing less than perfect, I have never seen a better neck fit than what he can do, and he makes them look super clean also. From the neck gap by the tension hoop, to how the heel fits are the flange... everything is tight a clean. Well except for the neck gap of course lol... Even his neck gaps are super clean looking. they're not to big or to small, and are nice and even from one side of the fret board to the other.

The third thing I will touch on is repositioning the lag bolts. Chris is big on this by repositioning the lag bolts Chris is putting your fret board level with the pot. Chris can do a much better job with explaining this than I ever could. But I can tell you that it is very visually pleasing, and I know it plays a role in how the pot and neck fit together. Banjo's are a synergy of parts, if everything doesn't fit together just perfect your banjo will not perform to its fullest potential. I'm telling you Chris will get every ounce of potential your banjo has to offer out.....Period!

When I got down to Chris' to pick up my banjo I couldn't believe how it sounded. Growly lows, sizzling highs, and nice even true tone all over the fingerboard. It's hard to describe to people what needs to be heard, in order to understand the caliper of work Chris puts out. But let me put it to you this way... I have multiple banjos and two out of the heard are Mr.Cioffi's work. They're the only two I play on a daily basis anymore. My other banjos just simply do not perform like those two do. The two banjos that are his work are the banjos this review is about. Which is a 28 tube and plate raised head, and the other is an oriole bracket shoe banjo that Chris built a neck for. The oriole still has its uncut rim and brass hoop in it. I have two flathead banjos that I never play... they sound like half the banjo that my tube and plate and the oriole are. "Gasps, screams, children crying and say it isn't so" he plays a raised head and a hoop banjo before a flathead!! lol. All joking aside my flatheads are good banjos, But they need a visit to Chris's shop for sure.

 There is one other thing that Chris does that sets him apart from others and that is pictures.. lots of detailed pictures. From the beginning of your project to the very end Chris sends you photo's. These are detailed pictures of how the progress of your banjo is coming along, and with the pictures usually follows a detailed email or a phone all explaining the pictures. You're never left in the dark or have to be nervous about your banjo being with Chris. He has no wool folks... and if he did he would never pull it over your eyes. Chris is a compassionate and honest person, that will never tell you something just because it's what you want to hear or because its monetarily lucrative for him. Chris is an amazing luthier with talent like no other, he is a great friend to many. And the only guy that I will have work on my banjos. Call Chris Cioffi today and your banjo will thank you!!

     - Marcel.

Overall Rating: 10

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories