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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!

7076 reviews in the archive.

Stelling: Super Star 1979 #1143

Submitted by Ralph Stanley legend on 4/19/2018

Where Purchased: Private purchase

Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter


The most crystal clear, sweet tone I have ever heard. It is also very powerful. You can feel the Banjo vibrate through the resonator and along the neck. June 2nd 2018 - I won the Banjo contest at a festival here in England and when presented with the trophy, was told by the Purple Hulls my Stelling sounded great. Naturally !

Sound Rating: 10


I have done some work on this Banjo. New Stelling head, a Tim Purcell old Canadian Birch bridge which works very well on this Stelling...... It is now perfect.

Setup Rating: 10


Such beautiful wood. Super Stars were famous for the wood used. I love it !

Appearance Rating: 10


Rock solid.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Geoff Stelling, what can I say ? A great man and a legend.

Customer Service: 10


The best you will ever find. Period.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I waited many years for a Super Star and I can tell you it was worth it. Without doubt, the finest sounding and playing Banjo I have ever had in my hands. The bone rattling power aside..... the Rock Maple used to build this Banjo is something to behold..... I love her.

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Tim Purcell Select Maple Bridge

Submitted by Ralph Stanley legend on 3/22/2017

Where Purchased: Tim Purcell

Overall Comments

Bridges and the tone they can bring from our Banjo's is a very subjective matter. That said, I have one of Tim Purcell's new Select Maple ( African Blackwood top ) bridges on my Maple Arch top and it is something else. Really. Tim made it light for me at 2.15 grams and it is a cracker, or a snorter as we say here in England.

Craftmanship is as you would expect, first class. But the response, Bass and fizz is exceptional. The Banjo vibrates a lot and honestly I have put Tims bridge up against a VERY good bridge from another bridge specialist. Well, after some changing out and comparison tests.... there is NO contest. Tim Purcell's bridge wins hands down.


Volume, clarity, fizz and vibration through the Banjo are much improved over what was a very good bridge. How does Tim do it ? Clearly it is several factors coming together, design- build quality and WOOD selection....

 I am very, very impressed.


David Nixon


Overall Rating: 10

Sammy Adkins: Tribute to Keith Whitley

Submitted by Ralph Stanley legend on 1/30/2017

Where Purchased: Online - Ebay

Overall Comments

I'm not sure how many CD's Sammy Adkins has made, I have only managed to acquire this one but what a great recording it is. We all know Sammy through his work with the late, great Ralph Stanley, and this recording just carries on his great vocals and love for that traditional mountain Bluegrass sound.

The recording is full of  heartfelt Bluegrass, my favourites being Ashes of love / Somewhere between / and the title track- A tribute to Keith Whitley. If you like Ralph's mountain style of Bluegrass, do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy of Sammy's CD.  It's also a great CD to play along to, a lot of the songs are in G / A and great to practice too.

Well done Sammy,


Dave Nixon



Overall Rating: 10

Homespun Video: Banjo technique of Jens Kruger

Submitted by Ralph Stanley legend on 5/29/2008

Where Purchased: Eagle music ( UK )

Overall Comments

If Banjo music moves you, I strongly urge you to obtain a copy of Jens Krugers DVD. It is absolutely fabulous. For me, Tony Trischka WAS no'1. Until I saw Jens. What a total master.
His music ( original tunes ) are quite moving. I was fairly spell bound watching this, and I have seen many great Banjo players in my time.

Do yourself a huge favour. Whatever your level, get this DVD. I promise you will love it.

Overall Rating: 10

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