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!
7075 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: used
I picked up a hand crafted banjo by the late Willie Huff recently. Seems he had put Schaller tuners on it. One of them seemed to just spin in the hole instead of the gears turning.. worked like a friction peg. But I took it out of the headstock, and instead of seeing the wood in the back of the headstock being chipped out letting the tuner spin in the hole, the sections of the tuner body were slipping. In other words the gears were not turning, the body wasn't spinning on the wood, but the parts of the tuner had let go of each other. I was at least happy to see the wood was fine, but these are the first Schallers I've had and they are going away as fast as I can say Gotoh.
Overall Rating: 1
Where Purchased: Fifth String San Francisco
Year Purchased: 1976
Price Paid: $750.00 ($US)
I was only 17 when I splurged for this banjo back in '76 and over 30 years later I know I made a great choice. The quality was and is considered to be better then the Gibsons of its day,. This banjo has the thinnest fastest neck I've ever seen, unlike other GS banjos I've seen from the 80s, or today. The gluing of the rim is tight without any gaps.. tone ring casting perfect. Never a crack in any part of it. Eventually I did a fret leveling as what I consider maintenance after many years, and it turned out great. The tone is bright crisp full arch top sound. I've had many other banjos, flat and arch, most don't have the depth of tone of this one, that's hard to describe. It's a quality that just doesn't sound hollow, or cheap. I played a 30's archtop mastertone recently and honestly thought they sounded identical. I am still winning contests with it. A pro player tried it out recently and his first words were.. "what a neck"! I will never give this banjo up, it's still my favorite! Viva arch tops!
Sound Rating: 10
I think the setup was good, 1976 was a long time ago.I've changed heads, bridges, tailpiece experimented a lot.
Setup Rating: not rated
Dark Mahogany/nickel with Flying Eagle inlays
Appearance Rating: 10
over thirty years, no hardware issues
Reliability Rating: 10
never used it but I know Saga and they're great.
Customer Service: not rated
Tone ring / rim and slim neck are the standout best.
Components Rating: 10
I would buy onother if I lost it, and could find one in decent condition but the early models are rare.
Overall Rating: 10
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