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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!

6864 reviews in the archive.

Ron Coleman

Submitted by Jason Wilkerson on 7/26/2013

Overall Comments

10 out of 10 is for real. Ron was a SUPER guy to work with. He made a neck to fit my rim. I've never had a luthier to begin a project so quickly. Mine was a neck with some special requests, and Ron went above and beyond to produce what I asked for. He sent over pictures at every phase of the project. Plus his prices were very reasonable. You've got a return customer!!

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Steve Davis compensated bridge

Submitted by Jason Wilkerson on 3/6/2012

Where Purchased: From Steve

Overall Comments

Extremely high quality. Produces a rich and interesting tone.

Overall Rating: 10

Nate Calkins: Tackhead #44

Submitted by Jason Wilkerson on 11/14/2011

Where Purchased: From Nate

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 500 ($US)


Low and rich. Very pleasing.

Sound Rating: 10


Strings a little close together for my taste, but it was my fault that I did not specify when I ordered.

Setup Rating: 9


First rate. One very small glue mark from the head on the rim, but this is really first class workmanship.

Appearance Rating: 10


The banjo has no hardware, but unless I abuse this banjo, it looks like it will last forever. Very good construction.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Excellent. Nate produced this banjo during a time when his wife was giving birth to a baby. He managed to work around that and finished it on time. He patiently answered all my questions, and produced exactly the banjo I asked for.

Customer Service: 10



Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Excellent tackhead for a great price. I would buy again from Nate without hesitation.

Overall Rating: 10

Tailpieces: Fults Parallel tailpiece

Submitted by Jason Wilkerson on 8/26/2011

Where Purchased: from Fults

Overall Comments

The tailpiece is a work of art, but as far as improving the tone or harmonics, it had the opposite effect. The website assures the buyer that it will improve tone, it did not. It also assures the buyer that it eliminates retuning issues when changing to an alternate tuning, because it holds the tailpiece in place as one string is tuned. This also did not happen. When I contacted Bob, he would not take the tailpiece in return. The website does not mention either way if returns are allowable. There's a reason why there's always 3-5 Fults tailpieces for sale on the hangout classifieds. I give it '5' just because it's well-made.

Overall Rating: 5

Picks: Pro Pik Cobalt Picks

Submitted by Jason Wilkerson on 7/14/2011

Where Purchased: 7/11/11

Overall Comments

Save the extra $4. I could tell absolutely no difference between these and the regular nickel Pro Piks that I use (except the Cobalt is shinier). The Cobalt picks are supposed to last longer, but on the other hand, I'm still using the same nickel picks I was using 7 years ago.

Overall Rating: 6

John Boulding

Submitted by Jason Wilkerson on 7/12/2011

Overall Comments

John did a basic setup. I was also having some trouble with the neck width of my Huber. John suggested a repair that not only worked great, it was less expensive than I would have expected. He did the work in very quick fashion, and even met me with the banjo on his way to a show, saving me another drive to his shop. I'm completely happy, and will definitely use him again.

Overall Rating: 10

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