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!
7124 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Banjo.com
Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 2195 ($US)
I play bluegrass. Great tone up the neck with plenty of bottom end. I'm sure the sound will improve further as it "plays in" some. The walnut is not as harsh as my last (Maple) banjo and not as "mellow" as some mahogany banjos I have played.
Sound Rating: 10
Mark at Banjo.com adjusted the head tension while I was at the store. The action was already perfect. He installed RR spikes and oiled the fret board before it was shipped. It arrived looking better than it did when I first saw it.
Setup Rating: 10
Burled Walnut resonator, Walnut neck, Rosewood fret board, maple binding. Inlay work is simple and nicely done, leaving more of the wood visible than on most banjos, which is one of the reasons I like this model. The finish is very nice
Appearance Rating: 10
Everything looks to be of high quality. Time will tell, but I don't forsee any problems. I've only had it for two days.
Reliability Rating: 8
Mark at Banjo.com was great. Very helpful and easy to work with. He did a great job on the set-up and spike installation. I was even impressed with the packing job they did. I called Bishline with some questions before I commited to the purchase and Rob Bishline himself answered the phone. He was very friendly and helpful. We talked for a good while. Try calling some of the larger manufacturers, and I doubt the guy whose name is one the peghead will be the one answering the phone. Too bad the scale only goes to ten. I'd give Mark/ Banjo.com and Rob Bishline a much higher score.
Customer Service: 10
Kulesh Vintage 20 tone ring, Sosebee bridge. As I said before, time will tell, but all of the components seem to be of high quality. The standout is that burled walnut resonatorand the figured maple binding.
Components Rating: 10
I don't think you could buy a "better" banjo in any price range. I played a $10,000.00 Gibson in Nashville that didn't sound any better. I played a Gibson Grananda, a Stelling Red Fox, a Wildwood Artist and a couple of Deerings when I was looking at this one. The Bishline sounded (to me) better than the Wildwood and the Deerings and no worse than any of the others. This is subjective and there are many variables, (wood type, set-up, strings, etc) but that was my assessment.
Overall Rating: 10
'1890's Buckbee banjo' 7 hrs