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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!

6919 reviews in the archive.

Armrests: Banjomate Thinline Armrest

Submitted by shannonhearne on 7/25/2013

Where Purchased: LIttle MOuntain Music

Overall Comments

This Thinline armrest is my third purchased from Little Mountain Music. Each armrest has been terrific, and the service and follow-up from Little Mountain could not be better.

Overall Rating: 10

Heads: Balsh 4 Star Goat Skin Heads

Submitted by shannonhearne on 3/9/2013

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

I cannot recommend John's Stained, pre-mounted Goat Skin Heads enough. I now have for and each is beautiful, sounds fantastic, and was easy to mount. Finally, John is a great guy, and is a pleasure to deal with.

Overall Rating: 10

Tone Rings: Rickaard Tubaphone Tone Ring

Submitted by shannonhearne on 3/3/2013

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

A nother first rate product by Bill Riickard. I just put ths ring on a new long neck,and it is terrific. Sounds great, look great, strong and flawless construction.

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Bart Veeerman 2 Foot Tenor Banj Bridge

Submitted by shannonhearne on 8/20/2012

Where Purchased: Directly From Bart

Overall Comments

An absolute 10! The bridge is a beautiful piece of work, and my Century old Vega has never sounded as good; projection, claity, intonation, timbre,
and no floppy 4'th string!

Beyond that, Bart is an amazing guy, a consumate professional, and a pleasure to work with.

--Shannon Hearne

Overall Rating: 10

Heads: John Balcch Hide Head

Submitted by shannonhearne on 7/31/2012

Where Purchased: John Balch

Overall Comments

I just "installed" a pre-mounted stained Calf Skin Head made by John Balch.

The Head is one of the most beautiful I have seen, and mounting the Head could not have been easier.

I cannot recommend John's Heads more hhighly!

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Gary Sosebee Cotton Mill 5/8 in. bridge

Submitted by shannonhearne on 2/6/2012

Where Purchased: From Gary On Ebay

Overall Comments

An excellent bridge, everything you would expect from a Sosebee Bridge ..... woods, craftsmanship, ...everything is first rate. And Gary shipped it lightning fast!

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Amber Tuner Buttons

Submitted by shannonhearne on 1/30/2012

Where Purchased: Greg Boyd's

Overall Comments

Beautiful Amber Buttons that come in two button styles and two shaft shapes. I installed them on 5 Star tuners . They were a bit more work than I anticipated. You will need a set of needle files, and, if my experience is typical, about two hours to size and file the butoons for tight -non slip installation. But, IMHO it was well worth the work. The buttons are beautiful. I bought them from Greg Boyd's on-line. They were shipped quickly, with no problem.

Overall Rating: 10

Tone Rings: Bill Rickard Dobson tone ring

Submitted by shannonhearne on 7/29/2011

Where Purchased: Bill Rickard

Overall Comments

Excellent!!! Could not be more pleased.

Bill and Bob are great people to work with.

Overall Rating: 10

Heads: Bill Miller calfskin head

Submitted by shannonhearne on 7/23/2011

Where Purchased: Bill Miller, Banjoseen.com

Overall Comments

My experience was not at all good. I bought a new pre-mounted 11 inch calf skin head from Bill Miller. In attempting to mount the head I followed the instuctions that came with the head to the letter. The flesh hoop came out of the head. Nothing of any substance was holding it in place. Once that happened the skin and the hoop were not mountable ( believe me, I spent another 3 hours attempting to make it work.).

I carefully packed them and returned them to Miller after I had exchanged several emails with him, including my request for a full $42.00 refund.

Once they had been shipped back to Miller, at my expense, I got an email from him saying I would only get a $14.00 refund. (altogether, I spent over $54.00.)

I know others have had a good experience with these heads. I can only tell you what mine was.

In closing, my past experience has been that banjo makers, and banjo parts makers, are just about the nicest group of people you would ever hope to meet. Brooks Masten, Will Fielding, Bill Rickard, Mike Ramsey, Wayne Rogers, Doug Campbell,the Deerings, Chuck Lee .... are great folks. Not so with Bill Miller.. Again, not a good experience.

Overall Rating: 1

Armrests: Banjomate Thinline Armrest

Submitted by shannonhearne on 7/18/2011

Where Purchased: Little Mountain Music

Overall Comments

An excellent armrest. I purchased the wooden armrest in curly walnut. It is beautiful, well enginered, good materials, and excellent craftsmanship. Little Mountain Music was responsive and a pleasure to do business with.

PS: I liked my first Thinline arm rest so much I bought a second one in curly maple for a twelve inch Ramsey. It is also absolutely beautiful, and the buying experience with Little Mountain Music was a real pleasure!

Overall Rating: 10

Tailpieces: Fielding Tail Piece

Submitted by shannonhearne on 5/21/2011

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments --(On-line at: Elderly.com).

Overall Comments

A very nice tailpiece. Well made. Nicely finished. A bit tedious to work with (when installing new strings), but well worth the effort.

Like everything Will Fielding makes, its good.

It is an excellent alternative to a No Knot. Not as "plunky", with a more bell like tone and improved sustain.

PS: I now have two Fielding tailpieces. one on an 11 in., Dobson, and another on a 12 In. Ramsey. In both cases the tailpiece functions beautifully.

Overall Rating: 10

Armrests: Brooks Nasten Brass Wire armrest

Submitted by shannonhearne on 5/21/2011

Where Purchased: Brooks Masten

Overall Comments

A very nice armrest, sturdy, well designed, easy to mount, easily adjustable, and it looks great. Not the most comfortable arm rest I have ever used, but probably the best looking. And, working with Brooks is always a pleasure. Great guy!

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Moon Bridges heavy weight

Submitted by shannonhearne on 8/16/2010

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Overall Comments

Simply terrific!! I have used many bridges, including the Stockwell Medium weight Moon Bridge. But, the 5/8 'Heavy Moon Bridge is a different animal. Can't say enough good things about it!

Overall Rating: 10

Tailpieces: Bill Rickard No Knot tailpiece

Submitted by shannonhearne on 8/16/2010

Where Purchased: Bill Rickard on-line at:: Billrickard.com

Overall Comments

A very good No Knot tailpiece. I purchased the natural brass, non-plated tailpiece.; excellent craftsmanship, heavy and nice looking.

I put in on an 11 in. tubaphone, replacing an older nickel No Knot. It not only looks better, it improves the tone and the sustain.

Overall Rating: 9

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