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!
7134 reviews in the archive.
I would like to offer a recommendation to anyone needing some banjo work to look into the work of Chris Cioffi.
My banjo needed some new frets, had some isolated string buzzes and just plain poor quality tone at certain frets, and in general did not meet my expectations for that elusive banjo “sound”.
I chose Chris because after some initial conversations he impressed me as a person who was driven to perfection on set-up and getting the result as best as he knew how, as opposed to just doing the repair work and sending me a bill.
Chris always discussed the options with me before proceeding and we talked about what would be involved regarding time, costs, and expected results. The decisions on how to proceed were left up to me.
I elected to have my radius fingerboard planed, and stainless steel frets installed. We talked about a new neck, but Chris felt he could make the original neck work. I also elected to have a new rim and Huber tone ring installed as a best option to improve the sound quality. Chris fine-tuned the set up until he felt the results measured up to his standards, and then he shipped it back.
What a wonderful surprise. I was and still am, months later, immensely satisfied with the results. The neck plays very well, the buzzes are gone, and the tonal quality is consistent and pleasant up and down the neck. I am very pleased with the stainless steel frets, they sound great and are well worth the extra effort.
If you already have a banjo that feels good in your hands, and is comfortable to play, my very strong recommendation is to let Chris have a chance to see if set-up improvements can make you happy before you run out and try to buy just another banjo.
And if your present banjo is just a clunker you have outgrown, check with Chris before you buy for his recommendations and advice.
Overall Rating: 10
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