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!
6976 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: from Barry via eBay
Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 200 ($US)
This gourd banjo has a really nice clear sound with a rich bass due to a small hole in the top of the gourd. It is a joy to play - as my first ever fretless, let alone gourd, banjo I am pleased to hear the sweet ancient sounds I imagined come forth.
Sound Rating: 10
After the banjo arrived, I was playing it within 5 minutes - just raised the hand-carved bridge and tuned it to F, and out came a tune. The nut is removable and as such I was able to sand the bottom of it a bit to lower the action ever so slightly to suit my playing.
Setup Rating: 9
The banjo is just gorgeous. It has a really nice bloodwood fingerboard a and head stock atop a beautiful flamed maple neck attached to an 11 inch gourd that was painted black - nice contrasts. the finish is nice and smooth and the lines are clean.
Appearance Rating: 10
All looks sturdy and solid - a nice thick black leather tailpiece; tight tackhead; wood friction pegs; solid construction (no wiggles).
Reliability Rating: 10
Barry is great to deal with and very responsive (quick replies to emails, quick shipping, banjo well packed). He included a "care and feeding of your gourd banjo" in the box with some tips for what to expect and how to maintain a gourd banjo.
Customer Service: 10
Mostly hand made, but the tuners, tacks and skin head all seem fine. Comes with Nylguts.
Components Rating: 10
Great value! For $200 I have a work of art and a great fun player. Thanks Barry!
Overall Rating: 10
'Lange tailpiece wanted' 5 min
'Good Sunday Morning' 3 hrs
'Blues' 7 hrs
'“Mint Condition”' 7 hrs
'Old Kentucky Hills' 8 hrs
'Old Kentucky Hills' 9 hrs
'Shipping a banjo to Canada' 11 hrs
'Tuning For a Beginner' 11 hrs