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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!

7169 reviews in the archive.

Second Life Banjo--Carl Arcand: 5-string open back

Submitted by sold1ode on 9/11/2017

Where Purchased: from Carl Arcand

Year Purchased: ca. 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


Great, bright and loud enough to require a towel to mellow the ring

Sound Rating: 10


Excellent. I wanted both low action and a high bridge; Carl angled the neck to pot perfectly

Setup Rating: 10


Tigre maple with Chubby Dragon head inlay. Stunning.

Appearance Rating: 10


Excellent hardware, Carl is quite particular.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Excellent. Carl is prompt to reply and sent numerous pictures during the building stage.

Customer Service: 10


There are no weak or cheap parts on Carl's banjos.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

As someone who either presently owns or has owned many fine banjos, from Romeros to Doc's to Chuck Lee's to Deerings, Ode,  Cloverlick,  Rickard and others, all much better banjos than I deserve, the work of Carl Arcand certainly belongs in the prestigious category of fine makers. In my case, Carl built a long neck for an old Vega LIttle Wonder tone ring pot. The result is an absolute joy to play up and down the neck. His neck is much more comfortable than Deering's newer "Vega" Longneck, and his detailed inlay work makes my banjo far more beautiful than the Deering or the original Vege Seeger long neck.  In fact, I like Carl long necks so much that I am thinking of having him make me another, for a Tubaphone pot I recently acquired. Carl Arcand is one fine maker of banjos. 

Overall Rating: 10

Jeff Whittington

Submitted by sold1ode on 10/3/2016

Overall Comments

Just had a Skype lesson with Jeff Whittington and based on that, believe that Jeff is an excellent banjo teacher. He's upbeat, experienced, and patient. He started right off with four basic rolls and other techniques and then applied these techniques to songs. He didn't hesitate to stop me if I was not on track, and patiently guided me in the right direction. As one who taught for over 30 years, I know the difference between a real teacher, a person who successfully communicates whatever is being taught (or one who does not), and Jeff is in the former category: a fine teacher. I recommend Jeff's banjo teaching to students at any level. 

Overall Rating: 10

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