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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!

7079 reviews in the archive.

Dean Robinson [dean-o-craft]: Dean-O-Craft Open-back SN-0014

Submitted by Debbielee on 11/26/2013

Where Purchased: Dean Robinson

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 1,300 ($US)


I play Clawhammer style banjo. This banjo really punches out the sound. I have always had somewhat of a light touch so I needed some volume. I think the brass tone ring helps with this. Although this banjo has a mello sound, it can be heard clearly in a jam. (Many compliments from other players).

Sound Rating: 10


Yes, this banjo was set up well. I, however, had the action raised only because a higher action is my preference. Dean was more than willing to work with me to get my action just the way I wanted it.

Setup Rating: 10


This is a beautiful banjo! Dean takes pride in his workmanship. My banjo is made of Birdseye maple with a walnut accents. It has a pearl inlayed star on the ebony headstock.

Appearance Rating: 10


The hardware is good and solid. Dean takes pride in his finishes. This banjo has a hand rubbed French polish. I have used this banjo for many gigs. It is my "go to" banjo. It keeps its tuning very well, which is very important when I'm playing for the public.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Dean is always friendly, always willing to give you advice (even if it is not his banjo). My husband and I have both used Dean Robinson in the past before the purchase of this instrument. All Dean-O-Craft banjos have Lifetime warranties. I know Dean Robinson and know that he is always willing to fix a problem should it arise.

Customer Service: 10


Dean would not take shortcuts or use cheap materials. A few of the standouts on this banjo would be the brass tone ring, the Renaissance head, the feel of the neck, and the beautiful appearance. The most important part of this banjo is the sound. It doesn't matter how beautiful the banjo is, if it doesn't have the sound you are looking for, it has nothing. This banjo has it all.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I've known Dean Robinson for awhile.  He is a conscientious hard working perfectionist. He takes pride in each and every banjo he builds.   This banjo has beautiful workmanship that compares to the top custom builders in the United States.  I was looking for  a simple traditional look.  This particular banjo does not have the elaborate inlays that some of the other Dean-O-Craft  banjos have, but it was exactly what I was searching for.  

  Here is a photo of it.

Overall Rating: 10

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