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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!

6941 reviews in the archive.

Banjo.com

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 6/5/2015

Overall Comments

I've bought a couple banjos from banjo.com my experience has been good except an issue with a kershner tailpiece, which I understand is due to the dock strike/ ships from China not being unloaded. I also know that after 5 months there competitors have gotten there shipments in and Im still waiting.

Overall Rating: 7

Straps: Banjo Hangout standard strap

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 7/17/2012

Where Purchased: BHO store

Overall Comments

Looks nice,feels nice,fast shipping,easy assembly.

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Deluxe

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 2/2/2012

Where Purchased: Musicians Friend

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 2100 ($US)

Sound

Sounds like a sweet mahogany banjo not to loud just the right volume. Crystal clear notes up and down the neck. The low d string gives a nice vibration across the whole instrument.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Had to adjust the action to high for my tastes. It was shipped over 4000 miles and was still in tune out of the box.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Awesome looking banjo, I love the inlays on the fingerboard and headstock. The wood has very pretty grain. I love the smell of a new banjo, smells like a wood shop with a hint of carpenters glue.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Quality through and through foresee no problems. Profession level instrument , no back up needed

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Lifetime warranty, Musicians friend was the cheapest on price and shipping. Was expecting the banjo to be way out of adjustment but all I had to do was lower the action about .032 at the 12th fret. The bridge was spot on perfect.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Very nice neck shape and inlays,quality bridge and tuners. Finish is outstanding can find a flaw on it. Case is the nicest case Ive owned. Deering tail piece time will tell if I like it.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Im completely satisfied with my purchase. Dont expect to buy another banjo unless I can get my kids interested in playing music.

Overall Rating: 10

Recording King: RK-R35 Madison

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 11/15/2010

Where Purchased: Banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 679.00 ($US)

Sound

I have no complaints it sounds as good as any banjo Ive played.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It has good action and the bridge location marked. I had them put on a Kershner tail piece and a Hatfield bridge.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Good looking banjo, seagull inlay ,dark stained maple, nickel plated metal nice and shiny. I have no complaints.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It has a 3 piece neck with joints at the heel and peghead very well done. Classic pot assembly with quality parts.It will get the job done

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Lifetime Warranty to original owner. They should of caught the crooked resonator before shipping.

Customer Service: 5

Components

Inlay work is very nice.Tuners could be better. Better quality stock bridge.The flange didnt set properly inside the resonator,the 4 brackets are either to far down on the rim or the neck notch in the resonator is to shallow.Also the four brakets hit the inside of the resonator. I took them all off and cut 1/8 inch off of all 4 of them, now I need to deepen the resonator neck slot or raise the braketts about 3/16 on the rear of the banjo so the resonator sits flush around the flange. Quality should of caught that before I received it.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Considering what I paid for other banjos. This banjo is the best deal on the market. Great sound,Great playability,Great looks.It had a few quality issues but they were easily fixed.

Overall Rating: 9

Bishline: Custom Salty Dog

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 4/6/2009

Where Purchased: Bishline Tulsa Ok

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 2400 ($US)

Sound

After a year of owning the banjo and doing some tinkering with different parts It sounds very good. Good bark, not as loud as it was when new which is good.Of all the banjos Ive played it sounds only second to a 1940 Gibson I played at a local Guitar center. So Im happy with the sound

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Set up was fine good action.The bridge feet were sanded at an angle so the bridge is not at a 90 deg angle from the head it leans toward the tail piece. Replaced bridge. Relaced the stock remo head with a deering head which improved bass response and brightness.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Very nice looking banjo best looking banjo Ive ever owned.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Hardware gotoh tuners ,sosebee bridge, bishline tonering, generic tailpiece,generic case,armrest looks generic. It is a very good looking maple banjo frets are IMO tapered to much on the ends but Ive also seen reveiws that people like that. Im not a pro dont play for a living but If I were this banjo would do the job.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Lifetime warranty to original owner. Havent called them

Customer Service: 5

Components

The stock Tail Piece was pretty cheap it rattled when you hit the Low d replaced it with a kershner which improve bass response and sustain.Replaced Remo Head with a Deering head which also improved bass response and treble.Armrest looks cheap its kinda square on the edge not rounded. Will replace with a wooden one later on.Case is very cheap no brand name.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I would not reccomend buying a banjo unless you play it first . My Salty dog had a few issues like the cheap tail piece The armrest looks and feels pretty cheap but the chrome has not worn off. The nut was about 1/16th off which made the low d string to easy to push off the fingerboard I recently moved the nut which fixed this issue.The case is cheap the peghead cushion fell out the day I open it up out of the shipping box and 2 handles rivets popped out one day when I picked it up. So It had a few things I didnt like. It is the best sounding and best looking banjo Ive ever owned but had a few issues. If you order a banjo I recommend ordering specific parts and if at all possible play it first.

Overall Rating: 8

Other: BanjoMate Thinline Armrest

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 2/24/2009

Where Purchased: WWW.LITTLEMOUNTAINMUSIC.COM

Overall Comments

Simple to install remove to bracketts slide on armrest and adjust height.Put it on my Deering goodtime openback.Its the same color as the goodtime matches real well and comfortable.
DOUG@LITTLEMOUNTAINMUSIC.COM

Overall Rating: 10

Deering: Goodtime

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 1/30/2009

Where Purchased: Willis Music

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 199.00 ($US)

Sound

Sounds good a little flat up the neck but good for the price.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Good

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Looks good maple throughout which is what I like

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Tuners are not great but do the job. Have to adjust quit often

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

No experience in this area

Customer Service: 5

Components

Ebony tip on bridge has came unglued and the tuners are not great also would like a better nut. For the price and playability its great.

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

I recommend this for a knock around banjo or for a beginner.

Overall Rating: 7

Deering: Sierra

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 12/20/2008

Where Purchased: Willis Music

Year Purchased: 1997
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sounds good has a sweet mellow sound.I prefer the mastertone sound but I bought it without playing it they didnt have one in stock ordered it from a deering advertisment.But again sounded alot better than my previous banjo.The newer sierras have a different tone ring and a different tail piece. I think mine was one of the first ones sold.The sound when played up the neck was not great a little dull not as crisp and bright as I would of liked. It is a mahogany banjo the newer maple sierra banjos are probably more to the sound that I like.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

set up was close had to move bridge and lower tail piece but you got to expect that from a store that dont know much about banjos.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Looks good but nothing fancy about it.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Never had any problems with hardware but the tail piece was to small and short I thought, probably why they changed it on the newer models.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

never had to make a call to them

Customer Service: 5

Components

Well made banjo nothing fancy was a big step up in sound from my previous banjo a flatiron montana rose I should of replaced the tail piece may of changed the sound a little more to my liking.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

A good sounding quality banjo ,but not the classic gibson sound, but all the same sounds good.If I had it all to do over again I would of bought a Mastertone or Master clone just because I like that sound better. I did like the neck alot very fast and slim easy to play. Sold the banjo in some hardtimes.

Overall Rating: 7

Flatiron: Montana Rose

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 12/3/2008

Where Purchased: Willis Music

Year Purchased: 1989
Price Paid: 800 ($US)

Sound

Sound was not great was a beginner at the time and it was slightly better than my Alvarez bluegrass special I had before. Didnt know much about set up but knowing what I know today probably would of sounded better if set up properly.

Sound Rating: 5

Setup

No set up action was good easy to play

Setup Rating: 3

Appearance

Very nice looking banjo

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Never had any problems with it

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Willis music is great from my experience with them sometimes a little slow with customer service.

Customer Service: 8

Components

Never had any problems

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Very nice looking and would sound and play well with a good set up. Sold the banjo and bought a Deering Sierra. Which was much better

Overall Rating: 6

Alvarez: Bluegrass Special

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 12/3/2008

Where Purchased: Willis Music

Year Purchased: 1987
Price Paid: 375 ($US)

Sound

Sound was good for a beginner very loud but not very crisp up the neck was very flat.With a good set up would sound a little better had a steel tone ring.

Sound Rating: 5

Setup

no set up action was good

Setup Rating: 5

Appearance

Simple looking but looked good very shiny chrome had it for a couple yrs and it still looked good and after many hours of practice.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Never had a problem with it

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Willis music is good.Sometimes a little slow with customer service

Customer Service: 8

Components

Never had any problems

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Good beginner banjo looks good plays good sounds ok quality parts traded it in on a Flatiron Montana Rose which was not much better.

Overall Rating: 6

Homespun Video: Alan Mundes Lick A minute

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE on 11/13/2008

Where Purchased: Willis Music

Overall Comments

Very helpful licks from a banjo super uber love his style of playing. Alot of moveable licks . It has helped me alot.

Overall Rating: 10

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