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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!

6941 reviews in the archive.

Chair: Pick N Glider

Submitted by Bizdoc on 5/14/2014

Where Purchased: Woodwind & Brasswind www.wwbw.com

Overall Comments

I had read several reviews of the Pick N Glider with several stating the chair was un-naturally straight backed.  Some complaining of missing parts. I have had a different experience:

First, All parts were in the box, and the box arrived in good condition.

I was surprised at the quality of the solid oak construction, and ease to assemble.  The Cushions are firm and comfortable, seem to be of quality.  The back is straight, but it is excellent for playing instruments, as it puts you in the correct position.  While it is not a reclining chair by any means, I also sit in the chair and rock/glide while watching Television or reading, the motion is very smooth.  I still find the chair very comfortable for all mentioned activities.   It's not built for a nap, but good for everything else.

I highly recommend this chair, the price is very good for what you get.  If you are considering one, buy it!  You won't be disappointed!

Overall Rating: 10

Chair: Pick N Glider

Submitted by Bizdoc on 3/30/2014

Where Purchased: Woodwind & Brasswind

Overall Comments

I was hesitant to purchase this chair because others have stated that the back was uncomfortable.  So on a leap of faith I ordered anyway.   

I'm Very Pleased!   I was not expecting the quality hard oak construction.  Assembly was 5 minutes of placing and tightening 4 bolts.  The cushions are terrific, very comfortable.  I find the back in perfect playing position.  The gliding mechanism is very smooth, I forget I'm gliding while playing.  I would highly recommend this chair to anyone looking for an instrument chair.   I was afraid to have a chair without arms, but the construction is solid..   This is a great chair.   

I bought mine at woodwind & Brasswind, best price I could find and shipping was free, communication during transaction was also great.

Overall Rating: 10

Gold Tone: BG-150F

Submitted by Bizdoc on 7/31/2010

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 523 ($US)

Sound

Good sound, loud and bright. surprising quality sound from a non tone ring banjo. Only change I made after receiving banjo was to change the strings.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Banjo was set up well, good action, I changed the strings, I didn't like what came on the unit, minor item.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Very good looking banjo. I like the mahogany color, and the neck has a nice color change effect at the heel where it fades to black. The finish is gloss. The Neck and rim are Maple, and the resonator is mahogany. has hearts and flowers inlays on the Rosewood fingerboard, nice looking. The head has a very nice pearloid inlay for both the Gold Tone words and a nice design, bindings are nice. Nice Color on the wood stain.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Hardware appears to be good, the arm rest is the normal Gold Tone Chrome designed arm rest, decorative and comfortable. Appears to be a very reliable unit.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The tone hoop does a very good job. I was surprised at the volume provided by this unit. The tone hoop does a very good job.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I purchased this as an upgrade to my prior Gold Tone CC100R +

Also purchased it due to the lower weight than my Gibson. I was not disappointed. While I liked my CC100R, this unit is better looking and has a better sound, the weight at 9 lbs is less than my gibson and doesn't hurt my shoulder to hold it. I'm very pleased with this banjo, good looks, good sound, a mid weight unit with punch.

Overall Rating: 9

Deering: Goodtime

Submitted by Bizdoc on 7/31/2010

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I like the sound of this, rather plunky, which I like. Loud enough to play with others, but the open back model is lower volume than my rsonator models, which is a benefit playing at home

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Set up well, good action, tail piece was high at my request for a plunky sound

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Wood is rather plain, however I have grown fond of the blond color, the inlays are attractive, and the head is a real improvement. The 3 ply rock maple rim is attractive. The lack of a fingerboard inset leaves the fingerboard the blond maple, plays fine, but when used to the dark finger boards of my other banjos it is sometimes surprisingly distracting. Lacks an Arm Rest.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

I've found nothing on the unit that isn't reliable, even the guitar type tuners, that at one time I didn't like, are reliable and smooth.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The only issue I have is that there is no arm rest. I originally had a Vega arm rest added to the order, but found it to dig into my arm. I later ordered a Nechville wooden arm rest, which made a world of difference, now very comfortable.

the component rating is a little lower due to no arm rest

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I like this banjo very much. It is so light at 4 lbs. It picks up and plays effortlessly. This has become my player banjo. It's just so easy to play which is why I wanted this unit. I like the sound, love the low weight.

Get a good arm rest for this. I found the Nechville armrest to fit extremely well and made a big difference in playing this banjo.

Overall Rating: 8

Gold Tone: Cripple Creek 100R Plus

Submitted by Bizdoc on 10/3/2009

Where Purchased: Ross Nickerson

Year Purchased: 20096
Price Paid: 479.00 ($US)

Sound

Good Full Banjo Sound, should keep up with much higher priced banjos. Not the mellow sound of my Gibson, but then it didn't cost what a Gibson does. Still a nice Banjo Sound

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

I had rail road spikes put in and chose the Plus model because I wanted the planetary tuners. Action is very good, this banjo plays like a dream. The neck is so smooth your hand easily slides up and down without any sticking.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Nice looking, for my taste the tobacco brown is a bit too dark, but it is still very nice, and it has an understated look, which I like very much.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Appears to be very reliable, the arm rest appears to be of chrome and does not appear that it would tarnish like others I have, everything seems to be of good quality.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

BanjoTeacher was good to deal with, answered all questions and shipped timely.

Customer Service: 9

Components

all components are of good quality, should be a lifetime banjo.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I bought this banjo because I needed something lighter for everyday use. I love to play it. It is light, has good tone and is loud as you want it to be. parts are fine. The action is great and the neck is excellent. I would recommend this banjo to anyone either starting out or experienced. for the beginner it's one you'll keep. For the experienced, it's a light banjo that won't hurt your shoulder, and is a delight to play.

Overall Rating: 9

Gibson: Earl Scruggs Standard

Submitted by Bizdoc on 7/18/2009

Where Purchased: private individual purchase

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I was looking for the low lows that I had been hearing and this did not dissapoint me. It has the lows that are so wonderful and all tones are excellent. I love the sound and looks of this banjo. The only dislike is that weight of the banjo, it is HEAVY, and I had to get another lesser expensive, and less heavy banjo for every day use. However this is a great banjo.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Banjo setup was easy as it came with a head signed by Earl Scruggs, so I changed it to a new Remo head, I was able to change the head, replace the bridge, change strings and still have an excellent sound.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

this is an absolutely beautiful banjo with highly flammed resonator and neck, with a high gloss finish. The high gloss nickle finish is very complementary.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

Banjo would hold up well with daily playing, only the nickle plating on the arm rest seems to be at risk of tarnish, which is to be expected on this finish. I keep mine poliched.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I love this banjo, it is absolutely beautiful, and it is a real cannon. I have a hard time keeping it quiet enough to play around the house without the whole family hearing no matter what I do to silence it. The tone is fabulous.

This is the banjo I want for a lifetime.,

Overall Rating: 10

Gold Tone: Cripple Creek 100R Plus

Submitted by Bizdoc on 7/18/2009

Where Purchased: BanjoTeacher

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I purchased this for a light banjo for everyday use so I could take the resonator off wthout having a full flange to worry about. I got the Plus model because I wanted the planetary tuners instead of the guitar tuners. I like the weight, the neck is very smooth for excellent playability. The looks are nice in this price range as it has nice fret markers, instead of dots it has snowflakes. The banjo has a decent tone for the price range, not a cannon or exceptionally clear, but then it's $500.00.. I am disspointed in the color. I thought it would be a medium brown, but it is so dark it is almost black, if sending it back were not so much a hassle, i would have done so to get a lighter color, but again the finish is excellent for playability.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Banjo was setup fine as it came directly from Gold Tone in Fl. I needed to retune it, which is no issue.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The head is nice, planetary tuners are good, the chrome plating is good, and the arm rest is decorated with scrolling and the words "Gold Tone" which is very nice. I do not like the dark, dark color. I was expecting a dark brown that would still show the wood grain, but it is so dark that it is almost black.

Appearance Rating: 6

Reliability

Seems reliable, I will use this for my everyday use and will also use it for travel.
the Banjo appears to be reliable. I will use it for my everyday use and for travel. I don't see anything that would cause issues.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

No issues, called Ross Nickerson and we discussed what I was looking for and he recommended the CC100R Plus for my needs, which it fits nicely.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Componets all seem fine for the price. I see no issues.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo, it has what I was looking for, a light everyday banjo, the sound is acceptable, and the looks are fine. I really like the playability in the neck, it is very smooth. and the weight is what allows me to play it daily for as long as I want without shoulder strain. This would make a good banjo for a starter or intermediate/advanced who wants a light daily use/practice banjo.

This was more expensive than most advertisements due to the purchase of a few additional items: I had railroad spikes put on, which were done nicely, and I got the deluxe heavy padded carrying case.

Overall Rating: 8

Straps: Levys

Submitted by Bizdoc on 7/18/2009

Where Purchased: Musicians Friend

Overall Comments

Wanted a cradle strap for my Heavy Gibson. It is a solid strap with good sheep skin padding. It holds the banjo solidly and provides good padding for the shoulder. Stringing it through the hooks could be a time consuming difficult issue on some banjos, but not an issue with Levys, but any cradle strap. This is made of good leather.

Overall Rating: 9

Morgan Monroe: Matterhorn

Submitted by Bizdoc on 3/24/2008

Where Purchased: BanjoHut

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: $915.00 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Purchased this banjo as an upgrade to my beginner banjo. I had read about banjos that were bright, and had bark and growl. Didn't know what this meant until I started to play the Matterhorn. Very good sound, much better than I had expected. I never expected to hear a difference between my previous banjo and the Matterhorn. Excellent sound, very glad I upgraded.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Banjo came in very good condition and was packed very well. Was out of tune but is to be expected with shipping. Putting in tune is no problem with the chromatic tuner recommended by Paul at banjohut. The left hand action is very good. My previous banjo hurt my fingers when playing. the Matterhorn has a gentle string touch for the left hand. Very nice. Great play action both on strings and up and down the neck.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very attractive banjo. It has an oldtimey look with the solid maple with walnut stain, nicely accented with the antique brass hardware and semi transparent frosted head. I much prefer this look to the shiney chrome dime store look of some of the other new banjos

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

this banjo appears to be very reilabable, solid in every way.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I have used the banjoHut prior and they are excellent to work with. They have been very helpful in every way. You will not go wrong with the folks at the banjoHut. I had a problem with my last banjo and it was taken care of by Paul at banjohut with no questions, customer satisfaction is important to them. Athough they seem to specialize in the low to mid range banjos. As I Progress to a more expensive banjo I'll have to go elseware just due to lack of product.

Customer Service: 10

Components

This banjo is solid maple everywhere, no lesser woods on the banjo. the bell brass tone ring adds that rich banjo sound to the instrument.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would certainly recommend this banjo to anyone wishing to spend the $900. Having played a banjo from a lower class and moving up to the Matterhorn was a very pleasant experience. I love the looks of the banjo, the playability is excellent, the materials are quality. If your price range is in the $915 area this is an excellent choice.

Overall Rating: 10

Morgan Monroe: MNB-1

Submitted by Bizdoc on 3/5/2008

Where Purchased: BanjoHut

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 459.00 ($US)

Sound

Has good sound, plenty loud, Lacks some brightness, but then it has a tone hoop as opposed to the brass bell tone rings.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Banjo was set up nicely. Only adjustment that was needed was one of the strings had a buzzing sound. I called Paul at BanjoHut and he told me to turn the tension nut to move the neck slightly away from the strings. This took all of 5 minutes, and all is well. I have called the Banjo Hut a couple of times and they were very good to deal with, always pleasant.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Nice looking banjo. resinator has nice inlayed ring on back, nice fret decorations, not just dots. Engraved arm rest. Very shiney mahogany color. Nice if you like the eye candy.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

good hardware, seems sturdy. Do not attach strap to the bottom hook, the hook will fall off. Banjo Hut recommends not connecting to this either. Would do fine at a gig.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

BanjoHut personnel couldn't have been nicer. Very knowledgable, accomodating. and helpful

Customer Service: 10

Components

I chose to upgrade the strings and bridge on the Banjo. Not sure it made a big difference for a beginner, but BanjoHut staff recommended upgrading from the factory strings and bridge.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Would recommend this banjo for a beginner. It performs well, looks good, and I have had good service. I would probably upgrade to a better banjo if this one were stolen.

Overall Rating: 8

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