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!
6936 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Luke Mercier
I don't own this banjo, it was just in my repair shop to have the nickel plating taken off the tuning machines. I really enjoyed this banjo so I felt that it should be reviewed. This is now my second time to borrow the banjo and I like it even more than the first time I had it. The banjo has a nice warm mellow tone and has plenty of volume. Its not a cannon by any means but will hold its own.
Sound Rating: not rated
Very nice set-up. Great neck width (1 1/4) with a 26 mm string spacing at the nut. The action is 1/8 at the 12th fret and the 1/2 bridge has a slightly wider spacing that is 44 mm. Its really comfortable to play. The scoop depth matches the string height over the head so it feel good playing in both areas.
Setup Rating: not rated
Its is a head turner. All brass hardware and Dobson tone ring. 12 inch pot that is 3/8 in thick and 2 1/2 in tall. The rim is maple and veneered with rosewood on the inside and out. I shouldn't say veneer because the rosewood is thick and would have to had been bent into shape. Walnut neck with a paddle style headstock. The finish has a nice old look to it. Not reliced just looks like and old banjo. It really fits the banjo's style and hardware. Its not perfect but if it was it wouldn't look and feel like an old Dobson.
The scoop is lined with brass which I thought was a nice touch.
Appearance Rating: not rated
The hardware is brass so it is going to tarnish. Thats a plus in my book. The tuning machines are waverly and I don't believe are standard on his banjos. Friction pegs are what he usually uses. Seems very sturdy.
Reliability Rating: not rated
Only heard good things but I have never talked to Mr. Mercier
Customer Service: not rated
Components Rating: not rated
I would recommend one of Luke's banjos to anyone interested in replicas of a Dobson style banjo.
Overall Rating: 9
'Priming the Pump' 10 min
'Old Rim, New Neck' 41 min