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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!

6936 reviews in the archive.

Resonators: David Fox - HogFiddles Custom resonator

Submitted by 2finger3finger on 2/27/2009

Where Purchased: From David Fox

Overall Comments

Dave Fox made a resonator for my beloved Wildwood Heirloom. It is sold as an open back banjo, and I like to play old-time and bluegrass, and didn't want to carry around 2 instruments. I sent him measurements, photos and tracings of the instrument, and he did all his work without getting his hands on it.

I wouldn't have believed this was possible, but he created a binding for the resonator that perfectly matches the banjo neck. The wood pattern and color match the instrument so exactly it looks as if they came from the same tree. He designed a simple set of brackets to attach it, using just the existing hardware, so he didn't have to drill the rim.

It sounds beautiful and looks great. The sound of the Heirloom, enhanced with a resonator, is nice and people at jams often ask me about it. Mr. Fox makes other instruments (he has a signature model banjo and a mandolin that sounds very nice).

He lives in New York state, and his email is

Overall Rating: 10

Bob Altschuler

Submitted by 2finger3finger on 2/25/2009

Overall Comments

Bob is one of the best teachers of any kind I've ever had. Unlike the typical professional banjo player who can't teach, he is a superb evangelist for the instrument, and advocate for the student.

His emphasis is always on how you want to play, and how you want a tune to sound. Tell Bob what you are shooting for -- in my case, improved jamming skills. His focus is on how to get you there. He will throw in some ideas of his own, out of an apparently infinite storehouse - not just a better John Hardy, but a better way to find the melody or add some interesting fills. His band's sound is mostly bluegrass but brings in many other musical styles, so if there is something else you want to play, he can help you. Case in point, he plays a wicked version of Ellington's 'Caravan'.

His approach is to start with the abilities the student has, build them up, work on the weak points, and work toward a goal that is a stretch but realistic. If there were more Bob A's in the world, there would be a lot more happy, good-sounding banjo players.

Overall Rating: 10

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