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!
6879 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Spotlight Music, Ft Colllins, CO
Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 232 ($US)
Sounded a bit flat, but was a starter banjo. I am playing scruggs style, and to begin with didn't sound like I wanted, but after a professional set-up sound has improved 100%.
Sound Rating: 8
the banjo was set-up initially by what I assume was a guitar jockey. it was OK, but the bridge was a cheapie one. the 4th string notch was 3x as wide as the string. replaced with Emerson power bridge. Definitely needed it. Action was good, a bit higher after new bridge, but OK.
Setup Rating: 8
The finish is beautiful. it's a honey colored mahogany, and what drew me to it in the first place. Slick and not gummy, and wearing well. there are a couple of dings in the resonator, but I probably put them there traveling home.
Appearance Rating: 10
the tuners seem to need something, but not sure. the tailpiece seems OK, but I want something a bit flashier. For the money, it is probably what I could expect. I'll leave it mostly as-is so it doesn't become a money pit.
Reliability Rating: 8
Got nothing from Fender. The rating is for Spotlight. The banjo was missing an armrest, e-mailed fender and nothing. Called Spotlight and they called their rep, and got and armrest sent to them, and then fed-exed it to me, on their dime. Great Place in Fort Collins. Better than Guitar Center...
Customer Service: 10
Tuners, see above. Tailpiece, see above. Head needs tightened but is OK. not sure about hooks. Worth what I paid. A starter banjo.
Components Rating: 8
For the price, if you need a banjo bad, I'd buy in a second. totally worth $230. If it was stolen, I'd get another, 'cause with a little work, they sound great! I love the finish. the honey colored wood is great, everyone that plays around here makes a comment on how pretty it is. I wish I'd asked about Fender beforehand, but that doesn't make much difference to me. In MT I'm kinda used to poor customer service. I'm just too far away to matter to most big companies. Compared to others, this banjo is not 100% but I need to get better, and this will let me play while I save for something better. Kinda why I stopped playing, couldn't afford a better on in a lump.
Overall Rating: 8
'In praise of Sarah Wood' 41 min
'GROVER FRICTION TUNER' 2 hrs
'My completed 4 string' 3 hrs