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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!

6936 reviews in the archive.

Tuttle: Fretmaster #3

Submitted by pearcemusic on 1/2/2009

Where Purchased: direct bestfrets.com

Year Purchased: dec 08
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

very different from my #2 but equally even throughout. Great bass response .. and bell clear on the top end. AND it's brand new ... I'm hoping it is on it's way to warming up to being a truly great banjo.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

perfect ... .8375 high Nechville compensated bridge

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

beautiful dark mahogany with deep ambering that makes it look very traditional .... no concentric rings .... Flying eagle ebony radiused FB

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

very good so far ...

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Mike is great.

Customer Service: 10

Components

This Tuttle has a Heartland no-hole tone ring and Mahogany rim from Rob Smith. Otherwise it's pretty much the same as my other Tuttle mahogany #2.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I played it for the first time in front of 300-600 people this past Sunday ... big sound system ... good monitoring .... though I probably didn't need it because this banjo had volume to spare. Very nice deep tone ... but focused thruout the mid and hi end. The Heartland tonering and mahogany rim are a WAY winning combination.

Overall Rating: 10

Tuttle: Fretmaster #2

Submitted by pearcemusic on 12/31/2008

Where Purchased: Direct Buy from bestfrets.com

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 4700 ($US)

Sound

awesome .... powerful and balanced top to bottom
good for driving bluegrass, but has a wide range of tones that speak well in "darker" tunes ... jazz and single string work very good.
Just a really great custom 5 string banjo

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

perfect ... 1" high bridge sounds great and neck angle is perfectly adjusted for very playable action. I like it a little high, but this banjo came with a little lower action that I'm liking very much.
Mike does stainless steel frets that sound just like nickel silver, but wear REALLY well.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

beautiful lighter Mahogany nitrocellulose finish ... rim matches great ... amber effect is a nice traditional look.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

very

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Mike Tuttle is a great guy ... and is very focused on making an extraordinary custom banjo to your specific needs. Best fingerboard/fretwork and spikes I've ever seen.

Customer Service: 10

Components

#2 Mahogany 5 string with an old wood rim and 40 hole tone ring.
1" high old wood bridge radiused with extra wide spacing ...
Ebony FB radisued
Flying Eagle extra wide Ebony radiused FB
Reso with concentric rings
Waverly tuners
Ludwig head
spikes at 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12
Kerschner tailpiece
Best quality parts

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

this is a $5000 custom mastertone ... one of the best banjos I've ever played.
You get what you pay for ...

Overall Rating: 10

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