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!
7169 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Sprucetree Music
Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 1450.00 ($US) (bought USED)
The sound of this banjo is excellent for clawhammer style. It is tonally very even, with crisp highs, and strong bottom. Because of its internal resonator, the bass is sharp and clear; not muddy as I've heard on some other banjos. The internal resonator also gives this banjo some added projection that I don't get from my open back banjo. While it does not offer a traditional old-time sound, it is still a great sounding instrument.
Sound Rating: 10
This banjo was set up by Sprucetree music before it was shipped to me and was set up very well.
Setup Rating: 10
Although this instrument is a 1996 model, it looked just about new when I received it. The craftmanship is flawless. The maple neck has a nice flame to it. The headstock inlay and neck inlays are beautiful. And the internal resonator, with its f-holes is just cool.
Appearance Rating: 10
I haven't broke it yet, so I guess that's a good thing.
Reliability Rating: 10
I emailed Bart Reiter recently with a couple of questions about the banjo, and he responding quickly and thoroughly. And Sprucetree Music was very helpful to me before I purchased the banjo.
Customer Service: 10
Some rainy day, I'd like to replace the fiberskyn head with a renaissance, just to hear the difference, but that's about the only upgrade I can think of.
Components Rating: 10
One of the reasons that I bought this banjo was because of John Balch's reviews here, and because it sounds so good on his CDs. I would certainly recommend this instrument to someone looking for something different than a traditional openback. And I think that since Bart Reiter no longer produces this model, mine is kind of special. So if it was stolen, I'd cry.
Overall Rating: 10
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