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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!

7171 reviews in the archive.

Second Life Banjo--Carl Arcand: 5-string open back

Submitted by banjorev on 2/29/2012

Where Purchased: Second Life Banjo - Canada

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 850 ($US) (bought USED)


Carl Arcand of 'Second Life' restores old banjos and builds his own. This one has an original neck with an old pot with original hardware. It sounds amazing! It has a no-holes flat head tone ring, medium strings, and an Elite Fyberskin head. It has a great 'rumble' with nice volume and an old time plunk. It's perfect and sweet!

Sound Rating: 10


Setup was spot on. I didn't have to do anything except tune up the strings. The pot, neck and hardware are in excellent condition and I was playing it within 5 minutes after receiving it.

Setup Rating: 10


This is a partially restored banjo. Carl uses old, aged rims and hardware whenever he can. Mine had an old pot which was re-finished perfectly, along with it's original hardware that was in perfect condition. The neck was new, but has fantastic inlays and hard maple binding with hand carving at the heel. Very nice indeed! The tuners are high quality with ebony buttons. Overall the banjo is beautiful!

Appearance Rating: 10


Hardware is top-notch. Any aged hardware is restored to it's natural beauty or new hardware is added...usually from Rickard Banjo...and we all know how excellent his stuff is! I've only had the banjo a short time but it's solid and feels and sounds great.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Contacting Carl at Second Life Banjo is just a matter of sending an e-mail. He responds within a day and seems very friendly.

Customer Service: 10


Even though some parts are older or restored, the banjo looks new. He uses the best hardware available and everything goes together really well.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Overall I am very impressed with Carl's work. I think the banjo I have could easily be sold for twice what I paid (don't tell Carl!). The workmanship on this banjo is excellent. My next banjo will be from him.

Overall Rating: 10

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