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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!

7100 reviews in the archive.

Bart Reiter:

Submitted by Boxcar on 2/8/2006

Where Purchased: Elderly Insturments

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 1596 ($US)

Sound

Clear bright tone, nice and round, great low end. Very pro sounding.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup fantastic, easy to play and good for me as I play clawhammer and 3 finger. Just the right height for both. I might add a Fiberskin head, it currently has a 5 star frosted top.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Not the nicest maple on the neck but that would have upped the price to. Beautiful Ebony fretboard and peghead. Classic griffin inlay with star on peghead and at 5th string.very tasteful. Nice ring of rosewood around back of pot..

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Great finish, not over done at all. Hardware seems good, not exceptional but good. This banjo looks and sounds like a 80 year old banjo but is alot more stable and I feel more comfortable with it. One day in 80 years you will see this banjo selling for a crazy price.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Just got it so I haven't had to deal with Bart yet. From what I hear it's all positive. I did email him to complement him on his workmanship and I recieved an email within a few hours thanking me for my praise.

Customer Service: 10

Components

It all looks good, the inlays really stand out and are beautiful.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I'd recommend this banjo to anyone. It feels better to support one craftsman then a company like gibson. If it was stolen I would greive it's loss. after I was done greiving I would save up for another. The best banjo I've had the experience of seeing in person and playing here in Vancouver, B.C.

Overall Rating: 10

Gold Tone: Bluegrass Special BG-250F

Submitted by Boxcar on 2/19/2004

Where Purchased: E-bay

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 500 ($US)

Sound

his Has a decent sound for the price, bright with new strings and alright bass. shoulda saved for a deering Deluxe which blows this Banjo away soundwise, as well as everything else. its an alright bluegrass banjo sound.

Sound Rating: 6

Setup

banjo was setup decent, i lowered the bridge a bit to better suit my tastes, right now its at a good height for playing clawhammer and bluegrass. which i switchup equally. and i put some Schaller D tuners on.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

some nice wood grains on the neck, and tasteful snowflake inlays. I dont like the peghead inlays much but thats me.

Appearance Rating: 6

Reliability

seems like everything will last until I upgrade, the finish seems good. I really have no choice of playing this without a backup at a gig as i only have 2 banjos and the other one is a 107 year old Baystate 309 with nylon string, not to bluegrassy.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

never dealt with them, dont intend to.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

everything seems well constructed especially compared to my Fender FB-55 which are so poorly made.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

If I had the choice again I would Save for a more expensive one. cuz the banjo fever cant be cured with this banjo.

Overall Rating: 6

Fender: FB-55

Submitted by Boxcar on 2/19/2004

Where Purchased: Toews Music, Abbotsford

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 350 ($US)

Sound

The sound of this banjo is garbage, I do like the sound to play old-timey style banjo as there is no tone ring just a wood rim, and it sounds like some of the cheaper banjos that the Banjo Players of Old played. for Bluegrass its no good.

Sound Rating: 3

Setup

Banjo was setup poorly, bad action, bad bridge which cracked. This being my first banjo I learned alot about setting it up myself.

Setup Rating: 2

Appearance

It seems like all the money went into the inlays of this banjo, which arent even well done. the single truss rod is Poorly machined the wood rim is thin, the metal is all poorly machined. the peghead is big and clumsy looking.

Appearance Rating: 3

Reliability

this banjo wont last 15 years. and i wouldnt rely on playing a show with this banjo alone. i would sooner call the show off.

Reliability Rating: 3

Customer Service

never dealt with them.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

nothing standsout, and everything is cheaply made, but compared to the FB-54 this is amazing.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I would only recomend this banjo to someone like me whose only choice was a fender fb-55 or an fb-54. The 54's have sausage necks and non-geared 5th string pegs, which my 55 came with. This is a decent 1st banjo, but u'll probabally want to upgrade withing 3 or 4 months.

Overall Rating: 3

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