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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!

6934 reviews in the archive.

Hopkins: Renaisance Gold

Submitted by dobroman on 1/17/2010

Where Purchased: Morgan Music

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


This banjo has really come into its own in the last couple of months. Paul Hopkins has a theory that the parts in a banjo must "marry Up" to acheive their full potential. Ive heard people use the term settle in, what ever you choose to call it. The Hopkins folks match all their parts up on an individual basis, in other words they dont just start with a pile of parts and throw them together and sell it. Paul knows what they should sound like when they leave his shop. I loved it from day one, and it has gotten better since. Its a walnut neck on a Tony Pass rim with Pauls modified LouZee ring. WOW!! It has it all, and is the envy of my banjo pickin buddies.

Sound Rating: 10


I have owned lots of banjos, and none have played any better than this one. Some have been as good , but not better. I am a tinkerer almost to the point of insanity, but I keep going back to the setup it had the day I got it. I honestly think the only thing that could posibly improve this banjo is time. I have had this for 6 months and wont be fooling with it any more, now its time to play it more than any other I have owned!!

Setup Rating: 10


Looks while being important in a high end instrament, they are not the thing that I usually place a lot of value on.However when I saw this banjo I was drawn to it right away, mainly because the inlay is not over done but not understated either. Its the swords and crowns inlay that the Hopkins team came up with for this model. Then I saw the resonator.Some of the sweetest burl I have ever seen. All the hand engraveing and gold plate is perfect. After chating with Paul Hopkins I know he would settle for nothing less.

Appearance Rating: 10


Nothing but the finest in the industry for these guys.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

When you decide on a Hopkins or Louzee banjo, you get Pauls years of knowledge built in, and he is so easy to get ahold of with questions. I havent had any problems and dont expect any, but I am confident that if something were to happen, a phone call will straighten it out. His warranty is the kind I like, if there is a problem, he will fix it. I am sure there are items that are owner neglect that wouldnt be covered but once again most people that buy expensive instraments are pretty good at takeing care of the basic things.

Customer Service: 10


Paul Hopking has been in on developing several tone rings over the years so the ones he chooses to use in his own banjos are second to none. Nothing cut rate here!!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Simply put, this is the best banjo I have owned to date.

Overall Rating: 10

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