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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!

6776 reviews in the archive.

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by danielburdett on 3/28/2015

Where Purchased: http://www.mikesbanjomute.com/

Overall Comments

AMAZING!  I have no doubt that I will become a better banjo player because of this small $35 item.  This mute now allows me to practice at night after my kids are asleep.  This was not an option before, so I would have to squeeze 15 or 20 minutes of practice in before the kids went to sleep.  Not any more!  In fact, when the mute arrived in the mail, my toddler was taking a nap, so I tried it out.  I put the mute on (super easy to do) and played for a solid 45 minutes while she slept.  I can't explain how excited I am to be able to play more banjo now!

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Bullfrog Bridge

Submitted by danielburdett on 6/4/2012

Where Purchased: Virgil Lawson

Overall Comments

Virgil was nice enough to let me try out his compensated radius bridge. This bridge really is amazing. The harmonics that this bridge has given my banjo is like no other bridge that I've tried. The quality of craftsmanship is like no other as well. The first thing that I noticed after putting the bridge on my banjo was the amount of vibration I could feel through the resonator of my banjo. Not just on one string either. The 3rd and 4th string really sing with this bridge on. One of my band members even mentioned that my banjo sounded much better, and I hadn't told him about the change of bridge. I would highly recommend trying out one of his bridges. He is also and extremely nice person to deal with and will work with you to customize your bridge in any way you choose. All of my future banjos already have bullfrog bridges on them!

Overall Rating: 10

Straps: Dogwood Designs

Submitted by danielburdett on 4/24/2011

Where Purchased: Dogwood Designs

Overall Comments

I have been lucky enough to get to know Dave over the past few months. While visiting my sister, I was able to stop by Dave's house and design a strap. I was able to talk to him and describe exactly the kind of strap that I desired. He used English tooling leather lined with Elk hide to make the strap. He told me that it was the same combination of leather that he used for Steve Martin's RB-18 Hartford banjo, which is pretty cool. After designing the strap and taking measurements I drove back to my house. A few days later my strap arrived in the mail. He antiqued the leather to give the color a very nice hue. The design on the strap is my initials at the base, with the flying eagle inlay above that, and above that a Gibson headstock that matched the design on my Goldstar. I had him make me a professional strap, but it is a little different from the other professional straps he makes. I had him design the strap so that it attaches to the J-hook above the neck. This design allows for the strap to hold the banjo while not rubbing up against the back of the neck. The stitching on the strap is second to none. I have posted pictures on my home page if you are interested in seeing the strap. I highly recommend buying a Dogwood Designs strap. Dave's ability to customize your strap makes it so unique. You can almost have anything put onto your strap that you would like. I also recommend springing for the ultra custom straps that are lined with nice leather, such as Elk. My strap is extremely soft on the underside, but still durable enough on the top to allow customized tooling. I will definitely buy other straps from Dave when the need arrises in the future.

Overall Rating: 10

Armrests: Nechville Comfort Bevel Armrest

Submitted by danielburdett on 2/10/2011

Where Purchased: www.nechville.com

Overall Comments

I have been wanting a wooden armrest for some time now. After looking various brands over I settled on Nechville, for various reasons. The first is that I feel that the craftsmanship at Nechville is unsurpassed. This feeling was reinforced with the arrival of this arm rest. It attaches very easily to my banjo, which is a '79 Gold Star. I initially had some reservations about how secure the armrest would be. You basically loosen two screws that hold metal clamp things and fit the armrest up against the rim of your banjo. Upon tightening the screws, however, the armrest clamps snugly against the banjo. There is no wiggle room whatsoever. Another draw to the Nechville armrest is the use of exotic woods. They cost a little more than a standard hard wood, but I think it is money well spent. I spoke with Tom about the kind of wood I have on my banjo and he recommended that I purchase a cocobolo armrest. The wood compliments the mahogany on my banjo better than I imagined it would. Now when I pick my banjo on cold nights my right hand will no longer suffer from a lack of circulation! I highly recommend this armrest to anyone looking for a wooden one.

Overall Rating: 10

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