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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!

7077 reviews in the archive.

Yates: Shelby SH0002

Submitted by David Ward on 5/20/2009

Where Purchased: Warren Yates

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 3250.00 ($US)

Sound

I am really impressed with the sound of this banjo. it has decay like I have never heard or played before,but also has good sustain.I got it yesterday so I am still tweeking it. It definately has an old sound for a new banjo.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It was sent by Warren in N.C. and sent to Wisconsin and by the time it moved so much I had to reset it up . All the parts lined up perfectly ,neck,tailpiece.bridge,etc. I wish I could have got it right from Warrens hands because he really knows how to build a banjo and set them up.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I got the distressed model because I am tired of polishing all the time and I just want to play it. Regardless I'm very satisfied with Warrens work. The neck is perfect and the inlay is great. I really like the color and look of the resonator.I really like this banjo.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I tuned it up this morning and it stayed in tune pretty much all day. I have complete confidence in this instrument. It is a real solid banjo and I'll be using it daily.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I really liked dealing with Warren Yates.He is down to earth and he really knows banjos. Being a good banjo player himself he really knows what you want.He is more than willing to help you out if he can at any time. Great guy!

Customer Service: 10

Components

All the parts fit perfectly. Warren makes almost everything so it is top notch. The tone ring has what I have never heard before. If it is prewar sound I like it. Nice playing neck,fits perfectly to the rim .All the parts are matched and fit well. Also comes with a high quality case.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

As I said earlier I just got the banjo and am still setting it up but so far I plan to play this banjo out most all the time. I would recommend anyone looking should check out a Yates Banjo. They are a quality instrument

Overall Rating: 10

Bishline: Midnight Moon,Maple

Submitted by David Ward on 2/7/2009

Where Purchased: Bishline Banjos,Tulsa

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 3000.00 ($US)

Sound

This banjo has a Kulesh Big Ten tone ring, after I got the head adjusted and the instrument set up it was amazing .Great tone all around the neck.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Everything was set up exactly the way I asked Rob to do it. After shipping there was a few things loose but that is to be epected . I had no problem getting it set the way I wanted it.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

BEAUTIFUL, awsome attention to detail .Great appearance.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I've only had it a couple days but I think it will be dependable. Stays in tune real well.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Rob is very easy to deal with and will answer any question ,no problem. He really knows what he is doing. Builds a great banjo. Rob will build you the exact banjo you want,bridge heigth,color, tone ring, action heigth. Everything, I am 100% satisfied

Customer Service: 10

Components

Great parts. You can have the instrument built with any parts or tone ring. I chose the Kulesh Big 10 and it was the right choice for me. Very powewrful tone ring.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

You can't go wrong with this banjo. Great Instrument, Great Wood,Great Banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Fitch: Masters Five

Submitted by David Ward on 6/21/2008

Where Purchased: Fitch Banjos

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 3100.00 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sound is excellent, it was what I expected when I bought my 2003 RB3 Gibson but did not get! I can't wait to get in front of a microphone! I expect this banjo will get better the more it is played and I plan to do just that!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo was set up exactly like I asked Cliff Fitch to do. The banjo came from Texas to Wisconson so I expected to have to check out any adjustments . About 30 minutes after I unpacked it it was sounding great,no problems!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The banjo was perfect, The color was what I wanted exactly. This is a Mohagany banjo and the finish is excellent. High quality job!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Iv'e only had it a couple days but I think there will be no problem. It stays in tune real well. I checked it out again today and everything stayed where I put it. It has a very nice neck.excellent work. This banjo already feels like an old friend.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I was really happy dealing with Cliff Fitch because he was always quick to respond to anything,no surprises. I just sent Cliff the pot out of my RB3 so he can cut a Cox rim to fit the Huber tone ring I also put in it.. I have complete faith in the work Cliff Fitch can do.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I have to say it is all top quality , The Blaylock Bear Tracks tonering is awsome.Cliff does a great job building banjos.Everything fits real good.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I also own a Stelling,Huber,and Gibson, they are all good banjos but this Fitch banjo is a great sounding banjo. This banjo has more than enough volume so you don't have to pick real hard, the banjo has nice tone all around the neck . I feel this is one of the best banjos I have played. It is no wonder J.D. Crowe endorces this tone ring. He etches his autograph on each one. Cliff sent me pictures of J.D. doing just that!

Overall Rating: 10

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