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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!

6974 reviews in the archive.

Tone Rings: Custom Classic Wood Tone R

Submitted by fenderleo2 on 7/27/2016

Where Purchased: Banjo Hangout Classified

Overall Comments

 As he had advertised, Mr. Green offers an Archtop "woodie" tone ring with not alterations to your flat head rim. I had been looking for one of these type designs so I could just swap out my flathead for a bit of a more bright tone without making it too pingy and metallic sounding. Mr. Green had a Brazilian Cherry ring that was able to be turned and it was perfect, combined with a Sullivan roasted factory floor maple bridge, martin vega lights, and a clear remo head this set-up turned out to be exactly what I was looking for a little bit of pop but not pingy or overbearing and the highs up the neck sparkle real nice.

-Taylor

Overall Rating: 10

Recording King: RK-80A Archtop

Submitted by fenderleo2 on 4/26/2010

Where Purchased: Sawnee Mountain Music

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 1500 ($US)

Sound

Its great loud, popping sound, i play stanley and scruggs style so it fits it perfectly. I use a 5 star smooth head cranked to 11 lbs. and a gary sosebbe bridge which i need to sand down and JD crowe studio lights by ghs. i have a presto tailpice on it now but im gonna replace it with a adjustable one here soon. Very rich, bright, and WArm at the same time.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It was set up by the great wayne wright and I tell you what this is the best sounding and feeling banjo, better than any american banjos i have played.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Its a mahogany resonator and neck with a really nice maple rim for the tone ring. the neck is nice, i wasnt a big fan of the white bining on the necks fretboard but that doesnt really matter because i bought for its sound not appeareance but still very nice look.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

all parts on this banjo seem to be the best and last me a while , unless i feel like making it gold plating.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

sawnee mountain music was great along with recording king, they shipped it to the music store, in 3 days and picked it up ready to jam it out. but service couldnt have been better.

Customer Service: 10

Components

the archtop is the only big difference in this banjo from the other recording king banjo in the line. the neck is pretty interesting inlay but the archtop ring just completes this banjo.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Great, if you want an archtop without having to pay for an american made one or a custom fitted tonering to your rim this is the way to go.

Overall Rating: 10

Morgan Monroe: Cascade MFB-5DX

Submitted by fenderleo2 on 12/25/2009

Where Purchased: Donleys Music

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 829 ($US)

Sound

Its great, I play the original Scruggs style, and also the Stanley style on this banjo. Its loud if you tighten the head real good, and sand your bridge down, but if you play with a loose head your goin to kill the sound. This one is real bright, but also has a good bass one it. to get it to its best sound, i use a Gary Sosebee banjer bridge, and the original tailpice, and a 5star head, you tighten the head down real good, and get a thin bridge, some scruggs light gauge strings, you just better hold on, its gonna punch!!!

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

a little high, but thats always east to fix, switch the strings, and bridge to get this thing to play real good. Also if you want a better banjer head on this one put on a 5 Star head.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Its a mahogany neck, resonator and rim. No flaws in it, mine also came with one of the newer banjo 5th string tuners so it was real nice. but good all the way around.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The armrest looks like it might need to be replaced after like 3-4 years of playing maybe more depending on how much you play it. I'd replace the tuners with the 5 Star tuners. and tailpiece is just an ol eagle claw so not much there unless you just dont like the appearance.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Ive always dealt with Donleys Music for my bluegrass needs. They have the best service and friendliest workers, its not a big town music store, but a small, down home store where they actually care what your needs are. ill always choose them- donleysmusic.com

Customer Service: 10

Components

Its just a regular Bluegrass banjo, im replacing he tailpiece, armrest probably, tuners, tone ring and head, but thats just because im lookin for another sound than this one has but its gonna still be a great banjer.
Now the real thing that i like about mine is the neck, the neck on my new one is so fast and slim easy on your hand and fingers, ive played Gibson that cant compete with the slimness and speed of this neck.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Its great banjo all around for an intermediate banjo but if you upgrade all the things i said these newer Gibson better lookout here comes the the morgan monroe.

Overall Rating: 9

Capos: Earl's Suspender Capo

Submitted by fenderleo2 on 1/10/2009

Where Purchased: 2008

Overall Comments

Its a good capo for the fifth string, no drilling or nothing. it might get in the way a little but you'll get used to it.

Overall Rating: 8

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