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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!

6941 reviews in the archive.

Zachary Hoyt: #99 curly maple 12"

Submitted by john bange on 1/10/2019

Where Purchased: bho classifieds

Year Purchased: 2019
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

very loud with rich full voice with Aquilla nylon strings

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

set up was spot on ...changed to a Stringbean45 bridge for my nylon strings...action need no changes

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

oiled finish is beautiful...don't care for bling...banjo has none

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

top notch components, some made by Zach and some sourced...I think Gotohs are the best

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

very responsive and friendly...banjo got across the country almost overnight

Customer Service: 10

Components

no shortcomings at all...period!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

really nice, well made, professional quality, performance grade banjo...way more banjo than I need but I'll sure take it...

Overall Rating: 10

Capos: shubb f5 fine tune capo

Submitted by john bange on 10/19/2017

Where Purchased: Shubb

Overall Comments

this is the best capo I have ever found for my long neck Vega/Martin banjo.  It has rubber bumpers on the sides for protection.  the adjustability is second to none.

I get a clear note from each string without any volume loss.  Mine is a flat fret board but they make one for a radius also.

expensive but worth it...so I bought a spare

Overall Rating: 10

Bacon (after Day): Belmont long neck

Submitted by john bange on 8/11/2017

Where Purchased: BHO CLASSIFIEDS

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

great one for a folk style banjo...not overly bright...has a metal tone ring

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

set up ok when I got it...made changes for nylon strings...raised action
very easy to make adjustments...changed t/p to a Kirschner...added geared pegs all around

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

50+ year old banjo looked great...beautiful neck and pot...nickel in excellent condition...neck is very thick...I mean Louisville Slugger thick

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

it's lasted 50 years, so far

I'd gig it without back-up

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

unable to rate

Customer Service: 5

Components

no truss rod on neck but it is straight and stable...did I mention thick?
rim is little on the flinsy side but ok...banjo has a metal tone ring...good but obsolete pegs and tail piece

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I'm happy I bought it..a very nice, vintage banjo, needing only some tlc to be a front-line instrument for folkie type music.  A good banjo to add to a folk singers collection.
  I would recommend this banjo to anyone in this condition.  banjo has a 3 piece neck and this must be solid.  some care should be give to a close exam when considering one.

my comments on tone and volume are based upon the use of nylon (harp) strings.

 

 

 

Overall Rating: 9

Stands: South Mountain Woodworks

Submitted by john bange on 4/14/2017

Where Purchased: South Mountain Woodworks

Overall Comments

this stand is a work of art.  It is furniture grade craftsmanship...spendy for a stand but if your banjo is worth it to you...

the stand comes in your choice of wood, has a magnetic locking clip that is easy to use and is very stable.  It takes about 2 weeks to get it made to your specifications and is well worth it.

Overall Rating: 10

vega/martin: Vega PS-5

Submitted by john bange on 3/11/2017

Where Purchased: LaVonne Music

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: 1900 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

huge, bright sound...banjo likes a tight head with some down-force from tailpiece

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

banjo was very easy to set up...serial # indicated Martin made from Vega parts...changed to a Kirschner t/p and added nylon(harp) strings and an all maple 3/4" bridge
the volume is astounding...

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

mine was built in 1971 and it looks like it was built yesterday. the dark finish on what looks like a mahogany neck, is beautiful...all nickel is original and has held up like it is a week old

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

yet to gig with it but I know it will be reliable

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

only changed the tailpiece because of preference...all components are top-notch

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments


best banjo I have ever had


long neck values are really soft right now...I can't believe I got it for sub 2k


stuck it in an American Vintage case and rounded up a CF Martin case badge...they can bury me with this one

 

 

 

Overall Rating: 10

Pickups: K & K twin spot

Submitted by john bange on 12/14/2015

Where Purchased: Blue Star Music

Overall Comments

This was very easy to install.  It is compact enough that my strap still fits inside the pot when in the case.

The volume without a pre amp is quite loud with a true sounding (to me) tone.  I added a belt clip dual pre amp to the set-up  and plug in, both banjo and 12 string string.  the pre-amp allows adjustments to fit the room.

Unplugged, sitting around a campfire, I hear no volume loss with it.

It is installed in a Deering Vega Little Wonder long neck banjo strung with nylon (harp) strings

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Stringbean45(Don New) bridges

Submitted by john bange on 10/1/2014

Where Purchased: bho classifieds

Overall Comments

ordered 3 x from Don...years apart.  Always perfect. bridges shipped fast...identical size and highest quality...perfect for my nylon strings...I would buy again in a heartbeat.

Overall Rating: 10

Gibson: RB-175

Submitted by john bange on 6/18/2014

Where Purchased: Intermountain Guitar and Banjo

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

review is based on set up with fishing line strings...this banjo is nice and bright...louder than my Vega Little Wonder long neck which has no metal tone ring. It is very good for a "folky", Seeger style.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

50 year old banjo set up very easy. truss rod was fully functional and requies very small adjustments. neck was made solid to the pot with rod adjustments...neck set was good.
with my strings, the banjo likes a very tight white frosted head and some downforce on the t/p

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

the finish was checked along the entire banjo. I used 000 steel wool on the neck and pot. the finish is now very attractive and the checking is almost invisible. the mahogany neck is some of the nicest wood I have seen...It has a slightly heavy, slightly "v" shape feel which is very comfortable

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

the original hooks and nuts were marginal and I replaced them with new USA made stuff. the rim is in excellent condition for it's age and has no corrosion. banjo seems rock solid now

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Leo, at Intermountain is great to deal with...ships fast

Customer Service: 10

Components

the Elton planets (5) were okay but I prefer a guitar type of peg so I replaced them, keeping the Elton 5th peg for now. the tailpiece was in excellent condition as well but unusable with the nylon strings so I installed a Kirschner

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

good value, easy to set up, work great and sound great with most any string set up

I actually got the banjo for $800 but I uncluded the money spent on parts and a case.

 

Overall Rating: 9

Tommy George : Long neck

Submitted by john bange on 1/15/2014

Where Purchased: bho classifieds

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Played in a Seeger style with fishing line strings, this Banjo is a little louder and brighter than my Vega Little Wonder Long Neck...probably due to the rolled brass tone ring

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Keeping the odd-ball strings I use in mind...this Banjo really likes a tight head.
Changes to set-up were easy

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

This is where this Banjo really shines. It is beautifully built with gorgous, well figured woods

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Excellent with top notch components..gonna be hard to keep calling it my back-up

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Not applicable

Customer Service: 10

Components

All components top notch

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Wouldn't mind a little wider nut

Overall Rating: 9

Other: Rickard tension nuts

Submitted by john bange on 10/3/2012

Where Purchased: Rickard online store

Overall Comments

huge inventory, good prices, excellent quality and shipped fast

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: deering vega woodsong campfire longneck

Submitted by john bange on 9/26/2012

Where Purchased: Intermountain Banjo

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 950 ($US)

Sound

just like my Little Wonder long neck...loud and bright with fishing line...maybe too bright with the black head...thinking about changing to white frosted

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

my setup score is based on how easy this banjo is to set up with nylon strings.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

the fit and finish is top notch. I am a huge Deering fan and this one does not disappoint. I changed out the Gold painted hardware for nickel. I just don't care for it though it is done very well...got a tension rim from Deering at a very good price...nice folks!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

while this is my back up banjo, it is only so because of string breakage. these banjos are rock solid and dependable, light weight and loud

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

lifetime warranty and very friendly folks on the phone...never needed to get one repaired

Customer Service: 10

Components

the tuners are as good as they come but I prefer Rotomatics so I replaced them. the tailpiece is top notch but unsuitable for nylon strings (not to mention that it was painted gold) and I went to a kerschner...rims, hooks, nuts all top drawer

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

these light weight long neck banjos are the best out there...beautiful wood, well finished sharp cuts and angles without tons of shiney clear coat to cover up the nato wood...came in an excellent case

Overall Rating: 10

Bernunzio Vintage Instruments

Submitted by john bange on 9/26/2012

Overall Comments

I am sorry to say that: I have not yet bought an instrument from these fine, knowledgable folks but I hope to change that. They have a huge inventory and are great to deal with. I first was recommended to shop there by Alan Hart and he was right. I get all my strings there.

just recieved my Taylor 12 string from them...excellent service and condition...shipped same day

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Boston Longneck Special

Submitted by john bange on 4/3/2012

Where Purchased: bho

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

set up with nylon(fishing line) strings, this banjo is very loud, a little brighter than my Little Wonder with a nice full voice...a big suprise as I was thinking of getting a wood pot...no way!

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

nylon set up takes awhile but it is perfect now. the action can easily be raised and lowered as needed with the nuts through the pot to the neck...so easy I would give this feature a 12 if I could

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

very plain, very well done...no flaws that I can see

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

banjo is about 10 years old and hardware looks new

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

no contact yet

Customer Service: 9

Components

the Deering tailpiece had been removed and I was happy to see that...won't work with nylon...had a Kirshner...I replaced the 5th string spike for a bone pip...added a shubb 5th string capo...banjo came with Gotoh guitar tuners and I replaced the Gotoh knobs with some Grover rotomatic knobs...slipped right on,

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

best case money can buy comes with it...American Vintage...Had the Boston for a month now...I am just blown away by how great the steel pot is with fishing line strings...30# 1st string,50# second, 60# third, Aquilla all nylgut 4th, and 40# 5th...sold this banjo only because of the weight...kept the AVS case

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Vega Little Wonder custom long Neck

Submitted by john bange on 4/3/2012

Where Purchased: Intermountain Banjo

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 1300 ($US)

Sound

set up with nylon harp strings, the sound is full and bright...loud enough to be heard in a band

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

very easy to set up for nylon strings...file the nut, change the Deering tail piece and add a 3/4 bridge

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

very pretty, figured maple neck...excellent workmanship

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I know the hardware will last...it's all top notch...no need for a back up banjo other than breaking a nylon string...that's what my Boston long neck is for

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Deering has always responded fast to any question or order I placed

Customer Service: 10

Components

no weak components. I pick on the tail piece only because it will not accept nylon strings...as on my Boston, I replaced the 5th string spike with a bone pip...added a Shubb sliding 5th string capo

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I love this banjo...It is nice and light, very solid I can depend on it.
It came in an good case but not an American Vintage...think I'll buy a new one

Overall Rating: 10

ODE : style 2 long neck

Submitted by john bange on 3/27/2012

Where Purchased: BHO classifieds

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 800 (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

this is a loud banjo., though no louder than my steel rim Boston... great with a bunch of other instruments and voices. quite heavy

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

banjo is very easy to adjust...learning curve with the head tension...truss rod adjust at the heal and requires some care...some threads on the forum about this...selling this banjo only because of the arch top head and low bridge. my two other long necks are set up with nylon strings, a flat head and a 3/4" bridge...this banjo has a 5/8th on it now and could even go lower...too much right hand technique adjustment for me

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

gloss finish 5 piece neck is gorgous

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I always have a backup but only for a broken string...this thing is built like a tank

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

n/a

Customer Service: 5

Components

excellent planets...great tail piece...no weak parts, though I hear the truss rod gears are a little weak and require special care...came in a Lifton case...tuff to beat

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

great(if heavy) folk singers banjo...perfect for vocals...I'd give it a 10 if not for the weight

Overall Rating: 9

Vega: SS-5 Folklore

Submitted by john bange on 3/6/2012

Where Purchased: BHO classifieds

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

made for us old folkys and it delivers that sound...loud enough for vocal accompanymwent...not overly bright with good bass
50 year old banjo sounds great

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

50 year old banjo was very easy to set up and work on...dual coordinator rods and truss rod worked fine...picked up another one and this one needed a little neck adjustment. the allen screws on each side of the coordinator rods make this a very easy job

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

hooks are justifiable a little tarnished and will be replaced...50 year old finish is attractive and has held up well

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

banjo is solid and will be my back-up...neck set is fine...neck is straight and truss rod works...even the old pegs worked fine...I just put new ones on it.
Care should be given when inspecting the 3 piece neck making sure that there is no delamination at the heel

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

n/a

Customer Service: 5

Components

neck is solid to the pot...heavier and chunkier than I am used to but good, very straight!...original nickel components are good...matching set of original looking hooks and nuts will need replacement...mediocer t/p replaced...nickel rim held up well

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

don't know if this helps anyone but, I think if a decent example of the Folklore can be found, it can be upgraded(modernized) to become a good solid banjo...new pegs can be easily fitted after CAREFULLY drilling out the holes. A new geared 5th peg can be fitted in 5 minutes...about $200 worth of parts and case and you will have a nice instrument...I have had both a 22 and a few 25 fret Folklores and I like them...the long neck is way louder

Overall Rating: 8

intermountain Guitar & banjo

Submitted by john bange on 4/12/2011

Overall Comments

very friendly, knowledgable and competitive pricing. Shipped very very fast. huge inventory on web site...I'd give Leo a 12...got my Vega and Gibson from them...still the best...very competative pricing

Overall Rating: 10

Other: Gold Tone CBS BANJO STAND

Submitted by john bange on 7/20/2010

Where Purchased: Elderly Inst.

Overall Comments

little oak folding banjo stand, built well and very solid. I have an open back long neck on it and it works great...bought a second one and it was not the same size.  i have bought 4 of these well build little stands and no 2 were alike.  This is my only complaint.

They can be disassembled and sanded to get them more uniform but you shouldn't have to.

 

if you only need one, rating is 9...if you are displaying more than one banjo and want them standing at similar angles...rating is 7

Overall Rating: 7

Other: Gold Tone Clip-on Tuner

Submitted by john bange on 3/23/2010

Where Purchased: Gold Tone

Overall Comments

just arrived...very easy to use...very easy to see in all lighting conditions...great product...didn't last very long, 'bout a year, too fragile for me

Overall Rating: 6

Cases (Hard, Flight): Gold Tone ot800/ot800ln

Submitted by john bange on 1/6/2010

Where Purchased: The Folk Shop

Overall Comments

I would start this by saying that i am a huge Gold Tone fan...the excellent Gold Tone OT800 long neck deserves a better case than the Chinese made throw away that comes with it.
the handle looks to be very fragile. the whole thing is out of balance...set it down, it flops over...carrying it,walking to the east, your fist is pointing to the northeast and the case is pointing to the southeast...IT BUMPS INTO EVERYTHING AND IS HARD TO CONTROL. the covering is fragile(not good on something that is bumping into stuff all the time)...I hope they get the massage on this and go back to TKL because the banjo is the greatest! it would be better to sell them without a case
If you gig a lot, this case is totally inadiquate...as a place to store and occasionally travel, it's ok

Overall Rating: 1

Gold Tone: Ot-800 long neck

Submitted by john bange on 11/11/2009

Where Purchased: The Folk Shop

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 900 ($US)

Sound

suits a poor old folksinger as perfect as possible...set up just right, very rich and loud...lotta sustain...longer I have this banjo the more I like it...sound is loud and full...1 year later...changed the Renasance head out for a white frosted...much brighter!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

set up fine as recieved...all the tools you need to get into trouble come with...I made some changes that I needed to do myself...dealer was very helpful and the banjo is very, very easy to set up to any playing style...adjusted coordinator rods to raise the string height and went to a 11/16th bridge...action was really low...I finally made my own bridge by adding a thin ebony strip to the base of a Snuffy Smith 11/16th bridge...I would add that the truss rod adjustment requires VERY SMALL adjustment to get the action/neck to move...1/8 turn at a time

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

very pretty with a high gloss finish...I don't know!(panda wood?)...the inlays were really done nice...THE INLAYS WERE REALLY DONE NICE!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

seems like it is well made...never had any problems with Gold Tone products though having read some of the other reviews, I will keep an eye on the tuners and knobs...very good so far. will I use it at a gig without back up? I had 2 Vegas so I bought 2 of these...I like back up....SOLD 2nd one...these are rock solid/YEAR LATER...see components!...replaced the tuners with Grover guitar pegs(livin' in the past)

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

read my review of The Folk Shop...Easily one of the best sales experiences I have had...just great people
Gold Tones warranty reputation is excellent although I have not need ed it yet

Customer Service: 10

Components

I didn't see any weak parts. I would point out the excellent tailpiece...you know the case is not an American Vintage but it is fine for now....GOT RID OF THE CASE ...GOT A TKL...the reason the tailpiece was excellent is that it is not stock...my 2nd banjo had a no knot on it and the sound was not near as full...put some downward pressure on the strings with an optional t/p ...rating goes to 10 with Kirschner t/p...banjo gets a 10...case gets a 4...HAD BANJO FOR A YEAR NOW! I replaced the cheap brackets and nuts. Anyone who has one of these will need to do this. The thread on the nuts is so sloppy when screwed on the brackets that you are tightening the head all the time.TRUST ME! get some nice closed end nuts and brackets from Elderly or Stew-Mac. I junked the cheap Vega style arm rest for a 5 star bolt on...much better. I still love this banjo but the components I have changed were not too hot.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

for folk music, vocal back up and playing around the campfire, I do not see how you could beat these banjos...if your looking for a tub-a-phone, you gotta try the OT-800...month later/make that year later, my opinion is the same...It is the best long neck I have ever played...(that I could afford)...rating goes to 12...200 gigs later rating at 14...supplied case really sucks(see review on new Gold Tone cases) so i bought an American Vintage. Even with the case and the components I have changed out, I still believe that this is a great value considering what a Deering or Wildwood would cost. I installed (very carefully) a stainless eyebolt on the neck at the 13th fret for a strap...I would have liked that to be a about the 15th or 16th fret but I guess body size will determine this

Overall Rating: 9

The Folk Shop

Submitted by john bange on 11/10/2009

Overall Comments

I just got to tell everyone about Paul and the folks a Tucson's Folk Shop...as the name implies, very into folk instruments and music. I found a long neck banjo in stock...bought it at a vary fair price(2 of them in fact) and had them shipped to me. A great store full of like minded people...really bent over backwards to help me.

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Vega Senator

Submitted by john bange on 11/19/2008

Where Purchased: Elderly

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 1372 ($US)

Sound

rich full tone with nylgut strings...plenty of volume

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

tightened head after week...

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

very plain, just like I like it...pretty wood

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

satin finish is excellent...nickle top notch

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

best dealer I've found along with Buffalo Bros

Customer Service: 10

Components

I got the "new" Derring case with mine...would have preferred the older TKL over the Golden Gate bumpUPDATE!!!!!!!!!I got rid of the crappy bump case. The hinges did not line up, the banjo rattled around inside. With what Deering charges for their excellent banjos, this is just a shame. They should go back to the TKL like I just bought from Elderly. rate the banjo a 10...the case a 4 for a 7 average

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I recomend it to all, I'd replace it if lost...way louder than my Little Wonder...way lighter than my Wildwood

Overall Rating: 10

Straps: Long Hollow Leather

Submitted by john bange on 10/6/2008

Where Purchased: Long Hollow

Overall Comments

I have 6 of their fine leather straps. The quality and craftsmanship is very high. The price is competetive and the service was great...real fast! very good stuff!!!!

Overall Rating: 10

Pennington: long neck

Submitted by john bange on 5/3/2008

Where Purchased: banjo hangout

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: $620 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

dan described the banjo as being bright with his rolled brass tone ring. this is very accurate...more so that my tubaphone...perfect for the type of music usually associated with the long neck banjo...changed the 9 to a 10...really happy

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

set up was excellent...string height perfect

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

good looking banjo...few rough spots to the head stock which I will polish out...pot is drop dead gorgous...polished out the reworked head stock...removed some of the high gloss from the Gold Tone neck...many many compliments

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

threw tuners away and installed new Gotoh's...rest is top notch...right in line with price...had for about 2 months now...play every day...third set of strings...the set up is still great...the sound is loud with one of Dan's own brass tone rings...best move I've made in a while

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

no worries...

Customer Service: 9

Components

as I said...threw the tuners out..replaced the Stew-Mac tail-piece with a Waverly copy.everything else top notch

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

for the price, this is one of the best banjo's I have purchased and I could not be more pleased...selling the gig bag and waiting for my new hcs...fits nice in my new, expensive(gulp) case

Overall Rating: 10

Buffalo Brothers

Submitted by john bange on 10/15/2007

Overall Comments

great service, very knowledgable, very competative pricing

Overall Rating: 10

elderly Instruments

Submitted by john bange on 10/15/2007

Overall Comments

huge parts resource, great instrument pricing, very fast shipping...been big help

Overall Rating: 10

Wildwood: Minstrel

Submitted by john bange on 9/9/2007

Where Purchased: buffalo bros

Year Purchased:
Price Paid: 1349.00 ($US)

Sound

my first tubeaphone...just fantastic...sustain,low end, highs...could not ast for more

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

don't mind tinkering with the set-up...did not touch it...just perfect

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

flawless as far as I can see

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

as good as my Vega...gave it a 10 too..........really stays in tune well

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

had a little trouble with a bum on e-bay so my order was a little "on and off" Chris Cooper just rolled with it and gave me the best service possible...I'd hit 12 if I could...no response to e-mails from Wildwood about the bracket nuts...Buffalo bros-10...Wildwood-3

Customer Service: 10

Components

the pot is something to see...good and heavy banjo with beautiful tone ring...very uncomfortable to play with a strap

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

SOLD this banjo couple of months ago for the sole reason that the bracket nuts extend down below the pot and make my side sore and bruised...looks like they all do

Overall Rating: 8

Deering: little wonder

Submitted by john bange on 5/14/2007

Where Purchased: Buffalo Brothers

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 700 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

suites my attempt at adding a "folk Banjo" sound to our trio. sound was quite bright when I first played it. I changed the strings to La Bella #17 nylon. This changed the brightness to a more full/mellow character while still being loud enough to be heard over the dreadnoughts

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It was set up dead stock and I left it so. The string height is good for me and my longish fingernails and the oddball clawhammer/three finger picking style I have evolved. the change to nylon required nothing but pencil lead on the nut and bridge...no buzzing at all.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The maple neck is very pretty. I choose this banjo over another used one or even a new on they had in stock. It even has a star inlaid on the 5th fret like the Senator I want next. I am not wild about the appearence of the shiny plastic head but as I said earlier, I like the tone.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

drop dead reliable...the satin finish is superb...looks like it will last forever

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

not much contact but very friendly on the phone...Deering,that is:...Buffalo brothers is the greatest!

Customer Service: 10

Components

best OEM stuff I have ever had...save the 10 for my Pete Seeger long neck...if I can ever afford one

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I think this is the best banjo for the price available and a good used on is really a great find. The included TKL case is really a plus also

Overall Rating: 10

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