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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!

7088 reviews in the archive.

Don Bryant

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 9/6/2013

Overall Comments

Well, I just got back my 1928 Gibson Style 2 banjo with a SUPERBLY crafted Don Bryant neck. This banjo has the half inch hollow tube and I wanted it to accent my 1929 Pyramid banjo. This banjo is a bit quieter for home practice and perfect for playing with 2 or 3 people. I also will use it when I play with some dulcimer groups who may have a guitar and bass but play many Carter Family songs. This banjo will be a sweet addition to that sound. The neck was made from mahogany and Don did his usual excellent job. I am really enjoying this little banjo with pure pre war sound and a little 4 cylinder engine under the hide. I have had necks made from both Bill Hayes from Maine and Don Bryant from NC. Both are excellent luthiers. This is my second neck from Don.

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Ron Barnes Gum Drop buttons

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 2/19/2013

Where Purchased: Ron Barnes

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Ron Barnes Gum Drop buttons

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 2/19/2013

Where Purchased: Ron Barnes

Overall Comments

I have several sets of these buttons and they are "KILLER" !!! I was performing with Rodney Dillard just last weekend. Rodney saw them across the sanctuary and came over to see them from 150 feet away !!! I helped him on stage that evening and he loved them. Ron is good to work with and these are wonderful reproductions of the old Catalin buttons from the 1930's. You will treasure these buttons. WOW is all I can say.
For more information OR to order these for your banjo CALL Ron @ 757-898-0869 OR e-mail him @ ronbarnes@aol.com

Overall Rating: 10

Tone Rings: ARNOLD CLAYTON PYRAMID TONE RING

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 9/29/2011

Where Purchased: Arnold Clayton

Overall Comments

I have received and am currently using an Arnold Clayton Pyramid Tone Ring in my 1929 Pre-War Gibson Pyramid Banjo. I had a chance to hear one of Arnold's rings in another conversion banjo and really like the sound. The ORIGINAL ring was great and had a sweetness to it that I enjoyed. Arnold's rings had a louder and just a bit more sustain and edge to it. If I had to compare them to something familiar to us all, I would say Arnold's rings sound more like a NO HOLE FLATHEAD compared to a 20 HOLE FLATHEAD. I am really enjoying the new found power in my already incredible sounding Pre-War 1929 Gibson Pyramid Banjo these days. Arnold is such a GREAT guy to deal with. He makes you feel like you are the most important project in his shop. Arnold also makes NEW Pyramid Banjos and they include his Pyramid Tone Rings. I would recommend Arnold Clayton to anyone looking for that PRE-WAR TONE on a budget. You don't have to spend 70,000 dollars. Just call Arnold Clayton !!!

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Arnold Clayton Bridge

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 9/14/2011

Where Purchased: Arnold Clayton

Overall Comments

Well, I met Arnold several months ago when he purchased a Bilt-Rite banjo capo from me. We have become fast friends since then. Arnold is the maker of The Pyramid Banjo that's out there right now for purchase. ( by the way > these are GREAT banjos ) I wanted to try his PreWar style 2 - legged bridge that I had been hearing so much about from my good buddy and expert luthier Don Bryant. Arnold got the bridges to me just in time to celebrate my birthday, ( and Bill Monroe's ) on September 13. >>> WOW, WOW, WOW is all I've got to say about them. They sound fantastic and look so cool at the same time. They beefed up the tone & volume and look TOTALLY PreWar !!! I just love these bridges and they look and sound so great on a banjo. I HIGHLY suggest these for your banjo and Arnold is one cool guy !!! A great gentleman to do business with. He is SO KNOWLEDGEABLE about banjos as he's been making banjos and bridges and such for over 20 years. He's tried EVERYTHING and completely understands all the magical STUFF that goes into banjo knowledge. Treat yourself to one of these UNIQUE banjo bridges.

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Ultimate Banjo Mute

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 9/6/2011

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

After trying MANY mutes I would have to say HANDS DOWN !! The Ultimate Mute is LESS PROBLEMATIC. When I play I don't want ANYTHING that I have to work around. Most of these mutes get in the way even though they may work. I want the mute to be INVISIBLE and that's why I reccommend the ULTIMATE OVER ANY OTHER !!

Now, IN MY HOUSE I don't actually use a mute. I want to hear the FULL BANJO AT FULL TONE. My family knows that's how it will be. There's no problem in my house when it comes to banjo !!

Overall Rating: 10

Bill Hayes

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 9/2/2011

Overall Comments

I just received a banjo project that Bill Hayes did for me. We had talked about it last summer and he offered to do it during his slow moments during this past year. I just want to ENCOURAGE any of you to use Bill if you are looking for that VERY SPECIAL LIFETIME banjo. He is pretty much a PROJECTS guy right now meaning that he is converting old Gibsons into LIFETIME BANJOS. His HANDMADE neck work is SUPERB !!! they have a SPECIAL FEEL that transcends the STOCK or PRODUCTION feel that MOST banjos actually have. I can't say enough about his attention to detail and beautiful appointments that he is able to accomplish in his luthier work. He is NOT looking to make necks but instead is putting together LIFETIME CONVERSION BANJOS using ONLY PREMIUM PRODUCTS AND VINTAGE OLD WOOD AND OLD PARTS. Bill is your GO - TO GUY when it comes to this small but special NICHE in our hobby. AGAIN , Bill's neck work AND KNOWLEDGEABLE LUTHIER SET-UP CAPIBILITIES ARE SECOND TO NONE !!

NOW - If you're JUST needing a NECK, I HIGHLY SUGGEST Don Bryant in North Carolina. I also have a neck from Don on my Pre-War Gibson PYRAMID banjo. To be honest I love BOTH these necks EQUALLY !! Don is JUST AS PICKY and does JUST THE SAME HAND WORK on his necks. He has plenty of feedback here on the hangout as well.

So > whether you need just a neck OR that PRIMO LIFETIME banjo.

THESE ARE THE GUYS I RECOMMEND !!!

THEY BOTH CAN DO ANYTHING THAT YOU NEED DONE ON A BANJO >>>
>>> AND DO IT RIGHT !!!

10 on them both !!!

Overall Rating: 10

Picks: Cobalt Power Picks

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 7/19/2011

Where Purchased: Bob Perry

Overall Comments

I have been using "old" Nationals all my life. While at I.B.M.A. a couple of years ago I met Bob Perry. He asked me to try his picks. Now I am a creature of habit and VERY traditional. I told him I would and didn't give it much more thought. Later, when I did try them > WOW !!!
I couldn't believe the volume & clarity. Also they were VERY comfortable and had GREAT GRIP !!
Since then, I have never had Nationals on my fingers again !! I also as a result of this dramatic change tried others out there as well.
NOTHING EVEN CAME CLOSE !!
Bob is so wonderful to work with and LOVES not only the banjo >>
BUT HE ALSO UNDERSTANDS US BANJO PLAYERS !!
His picks are THE BOMB !!
Try them > I think you'll be very surprised how good these really are.
He also has a smaller blade that was just developed and they are VERY FAST & QUICK PICKS !!

THESE ARE THE ONLY PICKS I EVER USE NOW !!
I ALSO PREFER THE NO-HOLE PICKS WITH EVEN DEEPER TONE & MORE POWER !!

Bill Adams
Capo Crusader
Bilt-Rite Capo & Apollo "D" Yuners

Overall Rating: 10

Don Bryant

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 5/25/2011

Overall Comments

WOW !!! WOW !!! WOW !!!

I JUST received my neck from Don Bryant for my 1929 Pre-War Gibson Pyramid Banjo. I was VERY, VERY particular about what I wanted done on this neck. I MUST SAY that everything I wanted was done EXACTLY as I wanted. Don did a SUPERB job for me and was wonderful to work with. Don is definitely a gentleman and one you can trust !!! Not only was the neck superb but the set-up was expertly done. I have been playing a long time and know a GREAT job when I see one. My APOLLO "D"TUNER & BILT-RITE BANJO CAPO demo video has some of my playing. While I am certainly no pro by a long shot, I am a decent weekend picker. Don Bryant is worth contacting if you need quality banjo work done.

Overall Rating
10

Overall Rating: 10

Don Bryant

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 5/24/2011

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 10

Don Bryant - Thurman NC

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 5/23/2011

Overall Comments

WOW !!! WOW !!! WOW !!!

I JUST received my neck from Don Bryant for my 1929 Pre-War Gibson Pyramid Banjo. I was VERY, VERY particular about what I wanted done on this neck. I MUST SAY that everything I wanted was done EXACTLY as I wanted. Don did a SUPERB job for me and was wonderful to work with. Don is definitely a gentleman and one you can trust !!! Not only was the neck superb but the set-up was expertly done. I have been playing a long time and know a GREAT job when I see one. My APOLLO "D"TUNER & BILT-RITE BANJO CAPO demo video has some of my playing. While I am certainly no pro by a long shot, I am a decent weekend picker. Don Bryant is worth contacting if you need quality banjo work done.

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Apollo " D " Tuners

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 1/4/2011

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Apollo " D " Tuners

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 1/4/2011

Where Purchased: Inventor Coy Willis

Overall Comments

My name is Bill Adams from Waldorf, Maryland. Some of you may know me. I've been playing banjo and bluegrass 40 years now. For decades I've been ignoring all the great "D" tuner songs and licks because I didn't like the Keith Tuners and how they continually had to be reset and weren't always accurate or the Cam Tuners and how they had to drill giant holes in the peghead to install or the Cheata Keys and how they looked on a banjo. Well > LOOK NO FURTHER !! I stumbled on The Apollo "D" Tuners and after reviewing them and speaking at length with the inventor, Coy Willis, I bought a pair. All I can say is WOW !!! These tuners are JUST what we banjo players have been looking for. They are very sleek and attractive to look at. You don't even see them from the front. They work like Cam Tuners BUT EVEN BETTER AND SMOOTHER. They only need to be set once for the most part and they ALWAYS work accurately. As they say on TV > SET IT & FORGET IT !!! They are built like tanks and the craftsmanship and engineering is beyond belief. I RARELY get excited over a new gimmick or product but THIS IS THE REAL DEAL !! No gimmick or new fangled contraption > THIS IS THE BOMB OF "D" TUNERS !!! I will be at THE CABIN FEVER PICKIN' PARTY in Hampton, Virginia in the beginning of March 2011 and have a booth all set up for anyone to come by and see these, play them and take them for a test drive. After you've turned these just ONCE you'll discover what I did > that you need to look no further for QUALITY , ATTRACTIVE "D" TUNERS that you'll be PROUD to show off at each and every jam you attend. Come by and "Kick the Tires" and see these fine tuners plus ALL the other new cutting edge banjo products this gentleman has produced. Ask for me by name, Bill Adams, and I'll take all the time you need to try out and TAKE HOME with you something you'll TREASURE for life. We'll have them there for sale & I'll even install them for you. Call me with ANY questions you might have or just to talk. > Bill Adams 301-848-1864 cell (leave message)

Overall Rating: 10

Straps: Dogwood Designs

Submitted by Pre War Pyramid 9331-14 on 7/16/2009

Where Purchased: Online

Overall Comments

Dave Schneck of Dogwood Designs Banjo Straps has just CUSTOM designed (2) banjo straps for me. WOW !!! is all I can say. He was so quick and easy to deal with. They are just gorgeous. Why buy an ordinary strap in the store when you can design the strap of your dreams to go with the banjo of your dreams. EXTREAMELY & HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall Rating: 10

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