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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!

7030 reviews in the archive.

Sullivan: Festival Deluxe Custom

Submitted by bayouland on 1/4/2010

Where Purchased: FQMS

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

It definitely has THE sound. With the Old Factory Floor rim and bridge plus the new tonering this baby had the sound that I've been looking for in a maple banjo. Very pre war sounding to my ears.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup was exactly what I asked for. Thanks Eric!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very nice appearance. Not the fanciest looking banjo in the bunch, but very nice. They obviously saved the money from fancy inlays and put it into the tone of this banjo.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Great Components. Nice fit and finish. Shoud have no problems.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Eric and Jeff are making their late dad very proud! These guys are very easy to deal with and they truly give great customer service.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Great new tone ring. All metasl parts are of the highest quality. Old factory Floor rim is fantastic!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I've been looking for a maple banjo and wanted one with what I believe to be a great pre war tone. This one definitely has it. I already own an RK-80 which I love, but that's a mahogany banjo. These two banjos together will compliment each other nicely. I recommend it.

Overall Rating: 10

Recording King: RK-80

Submitted by bayouland on 12/13/2008

Where Purchased: Fitch Banjos

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Great sound all the way up the neck. Clear tone with good note separation. Awesome 4th string.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Cliff Fitch set it up exactly how I wanted it. He replaced the original bridge with a David Wadsworth Old Piano bridge. Action is perfect for me. Cliff pulled every ounce of tone out of this baby possible.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful! Greg Rich did one helluva job designing this one. Fit and finish is flawless. Inlay is perfect.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Have had it about a year now at it has not given me a single problem.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Have not had to deal with RK for customer service, but with a lifetime warranty, I'm sure it will never be a problem.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Great tuners, great sounding tonering (believe it or not), flange and all other metal are flawless.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Do yourself a favor. If you're in the market for a new banjo, don't let the low price of an RK turn you away. PLAY ONE! you won't be sorry. I love this banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Goodtime II

Submitted by bayouland on 10/27/2006

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 350.00 ($US)

Sound

Warm, rich, full tone. Added a rolled brass tonering and man did it brighten it up yet it still kept it's richness and character. Much louder now too.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Guy at the Guitar Center knew nothing about banjos. I had to show him how to set it up.

Setup Rating: 2

Appearance

Elegant simplicity are the only words to describe it. It doesn'r look like any other banjo.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Seems reliable. Open guitar style tuners stay in tune forever.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Called Deering about registering for warranty and to inquire about their videos. They answered my questions immediately.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components all seem solid. Everything was put together really tight. No truss rod kinda concerns me but I haven't heard anybody complain about the neck warping.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I love this banjo. I traded in a fender FB-300 on it and man what a difference. The fender was garbage in my opinion. I fact when I tightened the Fender's head, the rim warped. Did not have that problem with the Goodtime 2. If it were stolen, I would hunt the thief down and string him up by the b***s! When I get a pro banjo you can bet it will be another Deering. I think there is a Sierra in my future.

Overall Rating: 10

Fender: FB-300

Submitted by bayouland on 10/27/2006

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 250.00 ($US)

Sound

Terrible sound. Sounds more like a sick guitar than a banjo.

Sound Rating: 2

Setup

Guitar Center Guy knew nothing about banjo setup.

Setup Rating: 2

Appearance

Looks pretty nice. Like the satin finnish. Very pretty mohogany resonator.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Very flimsy. Rim warped when I tightened the head.

Reliability Rating: 2

Customer Service

N/A

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The parts just seem cheap and flimsy.

Components Rating: 2

Overall Comments

I would not recomend this banjo. Fender makes some of the finest guitars in the world. I have owned several of them, which is why I got a Fender banjo. Their banjos are not in the same class as their guitars. I traded it in for a Deering Goodtime 2 for only $100 more which is tons better, especially for the money.

Overall Rating: 2

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