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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!

7071 reviews in the archive.

Rickard: Custom 12" Dobson

Submitted by Bum Ditty Brendan on 8/18/2021

Where Purchased: Bernunzio

Year Purchased: 2021
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sound is warm, deep, and booming. The tone carries all the way up the neck - the sound often receives compliments at jams and several fellow ba jo players borrowed it for a tune or two at some jams.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I tightened the head a little because it was loosened a bit for shipping. Intonation is great uo the neck.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is a stunning banjo. This is the very banjo being played by Lukas Pool at the Music Emporium: https://youtu.be/Jqunx8fiMuY

The pot is spunover and has been aged such that it appears nearly black, all the brass has been aged. The wood on the headstock has a slight streak of lighter grain that catches the eye when you get near. Best looking banjo in my stable.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It's a rickard and uses rickard hardware.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Sean at Rickard is very responsive and picks up the phone, answers emails, and gave me a bit of the history of this banjo after I got it used.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The components are made by Rickard, they look good, they feel good.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is a semi-fretless banjo. The fretless notes ring out and have more sustain than my other fretless. This is my favorite banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Rickard: 11" Cherry Little Wonder

Submitted by Bum Ditty Brendan on 8/18/2021

Where Purchased: Carter Vintage Guitars

Year Purchased: 2021
Price Paid: 2195 ($US)

Sound

This banjo is surprisingly deep for an 11" banjo. It has more warmth than my 12" Ome. The tone carries all the way uo the neck. It sounds smooth, warm, and it is loud but maybe not as loud as my 12" Ome Wizard - but I prefer the sound of the rickard

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The head was slightly loose for shipping but that's not a problem. The neck is flawless. The notes are accurate uo the neck and I don't have to angle the bridge.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is not a showy banjo overall but it looks really great. The floral inlay on the headstock is superb, the diamond shaped inlays and the star on the 5th are well done. There is an inlay around the rim which is stunning. These details are not overwhelming.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It is rickaed hardware with the 10:1 rickaed cyclones.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Sean is accessible, answers the phone and emails.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The components are nickel plated, ebony buttons, fretwire looks high quality. Again, these are Rickard components.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is now my favorite fully fretted banjo I have ever owned. I put it above the Omes I have owned. If I were to go back in time, I would never have bought the Omes and all I would own are Rickards and the one Mike Ramsey fretless I have. 

Overall Rating: 10

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