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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!

7125 reviews in the archive.

Bishline: Walnut Hierloom

Submitted by Laughlin Allan on 10/4/2006

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 1900 ($US)


Playing bluegrass and the walnut neck & resonator give the banjo a great sound, not too hard like maple can be and not a growling as mahogany. The sound is tight and punchy without being too harsh. I couldn't wish for more.

Sound Rating: 10


The set up is perfect for me, and Rob (Bishline) was keen to set up the instrument as I wanted, a nice easy action.

Setup Rating: 9


I bought this instrument as a pro spec without the fancy parts kind of banjo. I live in Scotland and I took a fair chance in buying unseen. I couldn't belive the quality in the banjo when it arrived, it's beautiful and has a real classy understatement to it that I like. The finish is top notch

Appearance Rating: 10


It's too early to tell but I think that the parts seem to be high quality, it's got a kulesh vintage 20 tone ring in it, so no problems with volume!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I had a couple of problems with the shipping of the the banjo to start with and Rob Bishline could not have been nicer, to be be fair the problems were not his fault and he helped as well as he could and a fast as he could. It was very frustrating waiting on the banjo (it was damaged intransit and took a while to get sorted. To be fair It wans't anyones fault and both Elderly and Bishline helped without any problems. I thing that Rob stands by his work and feel confident that if I had any problems he would get me sorted.

Customer Service: 10


I am not a great player (yet!) and so I'm not too discerning about parts. The banjo scene is not big in Scotland and there aren't the people who cosntantly upgrade parts on their banjos, so I don't know how big a difference changing bridges, tailpieces etc make. It's so good I would be scared to mess with it.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I think I got a fantastic instrument from a great maker at a good price. Even with import tax there is nothing to compare in the UK, a deering sierra in the Uk is around $600 dearer and just isn't in the same ball park. I know quite a few musicians who play and all think it is fantastic. I know that with time it will get even better. I can't imagine what banjos at twice this cost must be like. I can't belive there can be a huge difference in playability or tone, but as I don't have the range of instruments available to test against as you guys in the states I cant comment. I'm sure that I have the best instrument I could have bought for that money and was happy to be able to speak to the man who made it, it makes it much more personal. I can thouroughly recomment Bishline

Overall Rating: 10

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