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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!

6873 reviews in the archive.

Gibson: RB-250

Submitted by CherryLog_BanjoBelly on 10/28/2007

Where Purchased: Valdosta, Georgia(Private Owner)

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 1000 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

The sound of this banjo is absolutely amazing. I have always wanted a banjo with the old Gibson sound that everyone loves and now I have one. Many Gibson people look down at the 250 but I feel that it is a great banjo. It really allows me to pick it hard and fast with a clear tone and alot of volume. Mine will overpower most banjos I play with. Thats not always good, but it is good to know that I can do it if I want to.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

This banjo has never been really set up. I reciently had a guy at Blue Ridge Music in Asheville, NC set the bridge in place, but that is the only thing I have had done to it. I am pround to say that this banjo could sound better, but it is still amazing with the unprofessional set up job it has now.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

My Gibson has the classic appearance that I absolutely love. It does not have a bunch of extra stuff that is really unneeded. I love how it looks like a working banjo and not a banjo that you hang on the wall of something. Dont get me wrong, it is beautiful, but it is classic and precise at the same time. I just love the "playable" look of the 250's.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

As long as I live, I will never need another banjo to play. And I hope that is long time considering I am only 21. I can take it out of the case, tune it up and go to town for as long as I care to go. The sound is very reliable and true each time I play it. I sometimes have to travel with it and it will always sound great after a long trip in the car or something. I would not be affraid to drive for a whole day with it in the trunk and then get it out to play a show. Very reliable.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I have never had the need for any customer service from anyone. but I must say that now that I have a Gibson, I get treated alot better at most music stores.

Customer Service: 10

Components

There is not a cheap part on this banjo. All of the parts on this banjo are top quality and very professional. I someday hope to experiment with different bridges and tailpieces but it does not need either of the two right now. I would just like to see how different configurations sound with this banjo.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is a great banjo. I would probably pay ten times what I paid for it if I just knew it would have this sound that came with it. I know it is a bottom line Gibson, But I really feel that it can compete with the big boys. I have played both Scruggs Models, the JD Crowe Model, and most of the other Gibson banjos and I still feel that my 250 can handle its own. I dont think there is a banjo that I would honestly trade this one for. It has the really popping sound that I love and it sounds like an old banjo. That is something that you cannot find in newer Gibsons, and for that reason I would never trade "up" to a "better" Gibson. I would recomend this banjo to anyone and everyone but especially those banjo pickers that want a professional banjo without paying a million dollars. I could make a living playing this banjo(If I could play it that well) and so could anyone else that wanted to.

Overall Rating: 10

Fender: FB-58

Submitted by CherryLog_BanjoBelly on 4/11/2007

Where Purchased: Alpha Music in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 500 ($US)

Sound

This banjo really sounds great for the money. I did not know really what sounded good when I bought it, but since then I have gotten in professionally set up and now it sounds great. I have played some expensive banjos that don't have the pop that this one has.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The banjo was not set up well at all when I got it. The action was too low and it made the strings buzz, the head was not very tight, the bridge was not placed right, but other than that it was alright. The set up problems came from the people that set it up, not the instrument at all. It did not sound that bad, once I got the action raised, but once I got it set up by someone that knew what they were doing, It sounded like a banjo worth ten times as much. The set up and modifications that I have done did not cost about $20.00, and it only took maybe an hour. Great instrument, just needed to be properly set up.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

It is a beautiful banjo. It has the sunburst on the neck and on the back of the resonater. I have had many people, banjo players and non banjo players, compliment me on the appearence and how good it looked compared to some great souding, but plain looking banjos.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I have been very proud of the original hardware. I have not changed anything, and I dont think I would. I play it quite a bit and there is hardly any wear on it. The head is a little worn where I play it and the frets are slightly worn around the second and third, but that is any banjo that gets played alot. I have played it hard for about a year and a half now and I am proud of every part of the banjo.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Haven't done anything with the company.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Most all the parts are great like they are. I really think that the banjo could sound better if it had some expensive parts such as a more expensive tone ring or a better bridge, but I would be really surprised if the sound changed alot if I placed those on there. For the money, I would not change anything on it.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Great banjo for anyone looking for a solid banjo for not a lot of money. I know that not every banjo player can go buy a new Gibson or Deering, but I would compare my banjo, when set up right, to some of these high dollar banjos. I could not ask for anything more right now. I definatly want to upgrade in the future just to say that I have something like a Gibson, but for what I do with it, the best banjo in the world. I would recomend this banjo to any other college student that wants a good banjo but cant afford to pay a million dollars for a name.

Overall Rating: 9

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