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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!

6991 reviews in the archive.

Nechville: Custom Moonshine

Submitted by Hillbilly Gypsies on 11/27/2008

Where Purchased: From Tom Nechville personally

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This 'open architechture' cocobolo wood tonering banjo sounds AMAZING! It is perfectly suited for my heavy handed playing style and has yet to go out of tune during a llive performance.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

This Banjo was set up perfectly from the start. Nechville banjos are extremely easy to set up and make quick changes due to the wonderful Heli-mount design.
With the addition of the Midnight phantom style neck with tunneled fifth string and radiused fingerboard makes it play even that much sweeter. And the special Nechville contoured arm rest is very attractive and comfortable too!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very eye catching and unique design! I get questions and this banjo strikes up conversations every time I pull it out of the case!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I don't see any way to go wrong with the Heli-Mount frame. This design totally eliminates like 70 some hardware parts that are on a conventional banjo making it extremely reliable. This banjo stays in tune better than any banjo that I have ever played. It has yet to really go out of tune on stage during a live performance.. It is has a very beautiful and durable finish. I use this banjo on every gig without a back up with no worries.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I can honestly say from personal experience that Tom Nechville, Al Price and the rest of the Nechville staff are a GREAT bunch of folks! They have been more than helpful and willing to go the extra mile! Nechville stands by ALL of their products.. No worries there.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The Heli-Mount Openback Frame (Black), The new 'Open Architechture' Cocobolo wood tone ring, Tunneled fifth string, Radiused ebony fingerboard, High quality electric guitar style tuners, Nechville bridge. I guess that everything about a Nechville banjo stands out compared to the rest of the 'traditional' designed banjos.. haha..

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Best Banjo I've ever played/owned!!! I would HIGHLY recommend these Nechville banjos to anyone who is serious about their instruments. Clearly among the best and most innovative of the banjo designs out there!

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Goodtime

Submitted by Hillbilly Gypsies on 11/27/2008

Where Purchased: Lanning music

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: About $350 New historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This is a VERY good low priced, American made open back banjo.. It's an excellent starter/travel banjo. Has good tone and is very light in weight. I would have to say that I personally prefer the tone of the open back good \time banjos over the bluegrass style resonator models.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

The banjo wasn't exactly set up when I got it.. I had to adjust the intonation right off the bat. I have since done a TON of changes and have totally customized this banjo almost to the point that you would never know that it started out as a goodtime. Please check out my BHO profie for pics. This is a GREAT banjo for customizing and it is very easy to work with and alot of fun too!

Setup Rating: 5

Appearance

Very simple design. Not the prettiest banjo on earth. I'm not at all a fan of the gigantic peg head!! (This is why I totally customized mine) All in all a great banjo though.

Appearance Rating: 5

Reliability

It has held up to many camping and beach trips. It is my camp/beater banjo and I don't use this one for gigs. I just can't hold up to the abuse my heavy heavy handed clawhammer style in the live setting.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

No experience with customer service.. Never had a need for it :)

Customer Service: 5

Components

Not a very stand out instrument more of a good quality, simple, reliable, cost friendly banjo! A real bang fer yer buck! I would recommend a tailpiece upgrade right away.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Highly recommended! Excellent quality for the price. I wouldn't worry too much if stolen because of the price. I like the light weight travel friendly factor too. GREAT starter or backup instrument. A whole lot of fun to modify, customize and hot rod these little banjers!

Overall Rating: 7

Morgan Monroe: Rocky Top

Submitted by Hillbilly Gypsies on 11/27/2008

Where Purchased: Banjo Hut

Year Purchased: 2002?
Price Paid: About $800 New historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Very good quality starter bluegrass banjo for the price. Great bang for yer buck banjo! I eventually changed out the tonering and the bridge and it made a heck of a difference in the quality of the tone but it actually sounds pretty darn good from the star right out of the box.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Not set up at all when I got it.. I had to do it myself.

I swapped out the stock tone ring with an old Stew-Mac archtop conversion ring and it really made that banjo scream! Changing the original head, tailpiece and bridge really helped out too!

Setup Rating: 5

Appearance

Very nice inlay and wood work on this banjo ..and the choice of woods used are beautiful!

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Nice finish! Cheap Tailpiece though. ..and I would recommend upgrading the tone ring. As far as gigs go.. I used it for a few years for every gig I played with no back up and it held up quite well.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

No experience there.. Never had a need..

Customer Service: 5

Components

Cheap tailpiece for sure, could use a better tone ring but it's really not necessary for a beginner. This is a great overall bluegrass banjo for the price.

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

Highly recommended bluegrass starter banjo for the price! I have since sold mine to make room for my new Nechville Banjo.

This is not the highest end banjo out there but it is made very well and it can really hold it's own in a bluegrass jam! If you're looking for a descent quality and cost friendly bluegrass screamer then this is a good start!

Overall Rating: 8

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