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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!

6864 reviews in the archive.

Bridges: Beaver King 5/8

Submitted by DandyRandy on 3/27/2009

Where Purchased: Kerry Scott (lazyarcher@rogers.com)

Overall Comments

I've gone through a lot of bridges in the last 2 years. I've tried Wadsworth, homemades, CatEyz, Sosebee, Snuffy Smiths, and others. Some of these are great bridges, but I thought I'd give the Beaver King a try in looking for that elusive bluegrass sound. I think I've found it! Kerry will send you one and you don't have to pay for it unless you decide to keep it. The sound is perfect for my RK. It's also a great looking bridge on top of that!

Overall Rating: 10

Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival

Submitted by DandyRandy on 1/15/2009

Overall Comments

This was formerly the North Fork Bluegrass Festival in Hotfhkiss, CO. It will be held in Palisade this year and looks like it will be even bigger and better. The festival was small enough to enjoy without all of the hassles of larger festivals, but had big name performers such as the Kruger Brothers, Karrie Hassler and Hard Rain, and many others. It was peaceful with lots of jamming and camping and the jam camp was great, with Hickory Project and Chele's Kitchen. The setting was perfect and the River Bend Park on the Colorado River will be great I'm sure, with lots of shade trees. Can't wait for June 12.

Overall Rating: 10

Morgan Monroe: MNB-1

Submitted by DandyRandy on 4/21/2007

Where Purchased: banjoteacher.com

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 399 ($US)

Sound

Great sound for an upper level beginner banjo. Loud, bright, good for Scruggs style, which I am learning, and carries well through the Rocky Mountains out the back door. Family hasn't even complained and I pick it a lot.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Lots of other banjo reviews mention how well the setup was. I was a little disappointed that the bridge was in the case in a bag. Nice case though, by the way, like a cross between a gig bag and hard case. I think it's styrofoam, padded and covered in a black cloth material. If you open it up it looks like a good quality hard case. Everything else was OK though other than the bridge. I actually learned a little because of having to place the bridge. Instead of measuring I used a harmonic method, adjusting the bridge until the 1st string 12th fret harmonic matched the fretted 12fret on the first string. It sounds pretty good, but don't know enough about the rest ot the setup to evaluate accurately. Action seems a little high for me so I adjusted it.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Very nice looking banjo for the price. Some internet photos make it look orange, but it's not. really. My wife calls the color redwood . That was a main concern before it arrived, but it looks good.
Rim: 3-ply solid blocked mahogany rim
Tone Ring: Rolled brass tone ring (brass is good)
Flange Assembly: 1 piece flange
Tuners: 10 to 1 gear ratio Ashton Bailey planetary tuners (stays in tune pretty well considering newness)
Resonator: 14" Mahogany Resonator (beautiful gloss finish with faux ivory trim and circular inlay, removes easily with 4 screws)
Inlay Pattern: Abalone Heart Pattern Inlay (nice)
Fretboard: Rosewood (could probably use some oil)
Bridge Wood: Rosewood Tipped Maple Bridge (adequate, but will probably replace)
Frets: 22 Nickel Silver
Head: Frosted Remo
Hardware: Nickel (nice shine, engraved armrest)
simple tailpiece, but not cheap quality
No flaws that I can see. Good quality, doesn't have the feel of a cheap banjo.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Plastic tuner pegs look like plastic tuner pegs, but planetary tuners work well. I think this is a dependable banjo and will last a while. I wanted a little more than a Goodtime or Gold Tone Cripple Creek, but didn't want to spend a whole lot more and this was one of the few in the $350-400 price range that looked worthwhile and had good reviews. I haven't had it long, but will give it a good score for dependability and modify it later if need be.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Have not dealt with them, but ordered late Thursday night and it arrived the next Thursday during the day. Ross at banjoteacher.com is good to deal with.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Nice looking overall. They need to work on the look of the pegs and the tailpiece, but you also have to consider the price. The pegboard is outstanding and really adds to the quality look. Someone mentioned that they thought that MM might use a sticker on some, but I don't think so. It has a high gloss finish over a beautiful design that really catches the light in a colorful way.
One negative has come up since I wrote this review, The strap hook that should be just to the left of the neck is not there! The one below the tailpiece is though. Am waiting to see what Ross at banjoteacher.com has to say about getting the piece and will update later.
OK, he got back with me. Don't need the piece for the strap, will just use the hooks.
Also, I bought a Fullts 1934 tailpiece, cost about 1/4 the price of the banjo. It doesn't fit. Be careful if you buy any replacement parts. They were nice enough to give me a refund and it was the banjo's fault, not theirs.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I recommend this banjo for someone looking for something better than a basic beginner model. It would do well in any jam or band.
If it were stolen I would buy something even higher quality as I plan to stay with the banjo, but would definitely regret losing this one.
I really like it for the price. It's very easy to play,even with a fairly high action and light strings.
I would have asked about the setup before buying it.
I have only played a couple of other banjos in shops, but this one sounds pretty good for the price. Overall, definitely worth the price.

Overall Rating: 9

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