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!
7080 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Jones, OK
Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 3000 ($US)
This is a walnut banjo with ebony fretboard, and has that bright, crisp sound those woods give. It lacks nothing in high, medium or low tones, but is unequalled and bell like in the highs. The tone ring is the first of Gary Price's 3rd version, and he has produced an absolute powerhouse.
Sound Rating: 10
Gary set it up with a Sylvio Ferretti Scorpion bridge and medium strings. The head is tuned to about 1/3 the way between G and G#.
Setup Rating: 10
Dick Brown of Sawmill Road and formerly of Lost Highway and Dick Smith, former Country Gentleman both saw this banjo recently and were very impressed by the burled walnut figuring of the resonator. Jimmy Cox made the resonator and came up with a beaut. The neck inlay is a fleur-de-lis motif that morphs as it comes up the neck into a sort of Celtic figure. It is a tribute to Gary's precision craftsmanship.
Appearance Rating: 10
Finish is outstanding. Hardware is Schaller pegs and I'm not sure about the source of the other hardware, but it's obviously top quality. Of course, the Price tailpiece is included and it's value is well recognized. I would rely on this instrument in any situation.
Reliability Rating: 10
Anybody who has dealt with Gary knows he is a super guy and the most helpful and friendly supplier you could ask for. He has been very informative and honest with me and I recommend him to anybody (for banjos and the other fine instruments he crafts).
Customer Service: 10
The tone ring is awesome. The pot includes a Texas Belle 3 ply maple rim. Together, and with the walnut neck and ebony fretboard they produce a great tone. There are no shortcomings on any of the workmanship or materials. The reverse double-cut peghead with its MOP inlay, and the burled walnut resonator real show-stoppers.
Components Rating: 10
This is my first good banjo and I may be buried with it. If anybody stole it I'd go mental. Then I'd hunt them down. No wait... I'd collect the insurance and go back and buy a Cavalier model from Gary; they have a wonderful sound. Maple is a bit of a gamble for Canadian climates (I am told) so glad I have walnut. The Knight walnut seems to me comparable with Frank Neat's bean blossom which my teacher Chris Quinn owns (and posted a review on). My favourite thing about this banjo, aside from the incomparable full bell-like clarity and power, is the neck - it is elegantly on the narrow and thin side for smooth playability.
Overall Rating: 10
'Walnut Banjo Rim' 4 hrs
' Psychopathic cats???' 5 hrs