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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!

7185 reviews in the archive.

Chris Cioffi

Submitted by bowfinger on 11/19/2009

Overall Comments

(kinda like coffee) anyway! Chris did a magnificent job on my parts banjo. Installed frets perfectly. Did a neck reset/recut. filled and re-set the co-rods. Buffed out the new lacquer for me. Made sure every thing fit rightl, set it up and sent it back in record time. Chris used to work for Huber and knows what he is doing. He can really do a great job. I'm sold. Chris is the man to go to. He's in middle Tenn. if that matters to you.

Overall Rating: 10

Maestrotone: maestrotone 250

Submitted by bowfinger on 9/3/2006

Where Purchased: music Yo

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 300 on sale historic exchange rates / currency converter


I think it sounds good. Better than other banjos w/o a tone ring for sure. I have tinkered with the set up a little but. I bought it to learn on. You can't beat the price. I gave it a 5 as compared to a $3000 Gibson or something. But compared to any $ 320 incl. fast shipping, I don't think you can touch it. you can't buy parts this cheap. I'd give it a 10 compared to any $ 300 banjo.

Sound Rating: 5


action is fine neck is set back so the bridge height is good. There is just the smallest amount of string buzzing somewhere may be in the bridge. It doesn't bother me though. ( I'm a good mandolinist so I've got to learn how to play this banjo before complaining too much)

Setup Rating: 6


When i took it out of the box, I said "Oooh this thing is pretty" flamed back was nice the neck really wasn't very flamey but it looks nice. someone said the inlays were plastic. I can't tell they look like pearl to me(not abalone). The resonator has a place were the sides are poorly glued to the bottom. but that's inside. Overall though it looks good. I wish mine had the "Maestotone" block inlay.

Appearance Rating: 9


I wonder about the resonator. I'm considering sending it back. the rest seems good. The tuners are a little hard to get just right because they are not geared very low, almost direct drive. on second thought I think they are the same as most imports.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

we'll see. there's no number to call that I see. but they shipped it as promised.

Customer Service: 7


it's got a tone ring and seemingly all the right parts. The wood rim on mine looks like a 3 ply. tuners could be better. tailpc.could be better. Resonator flame wood really looks nice. tone ring could fit better. Neck heel cut could be better. everything works. it's a GREAT DEAL!

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Yes I think I would recomend for a beginner banjo student. If stolen right now I would replace it. I've seen much more expensive banjos $700 that sounded, looked, played, had parts, no better. Good banjos start out at about 1500 bucks. This is the best value because you could never get your $ back from a trade on other imports. This one is so inexpensive and made so right , you can't go wrong.

Overall Rating: 9

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