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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!

6935 reviews in the archive.

Wildwood: Heirloom

Submitted by Bagpussfrog on 5/28/2009

Where Purchased: Frailers UK

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This banjo has a perfect tone for clawhammer/frailing/old time music, the TuBaPhone tone ring and fibreskin head balance the tone out nicely - and the block maple rim gives a woody undertone that give this banjo a far warmer sound that other TuBaPhones I have played.

In standard G it is bright with a warm bottom end and even sounds right for bluegrass style pickin'

However, where this banjo really shines is in Double C tuning. It is something else - beautiful rich tone, lovely sustain and plucky on the 4th string,

A lovely sounding banjo and infinitely superior to the Vega #2 IMHO

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

setup was nice out of the case, I hadn't seen this banjo, and really took a chance on it, what surprised me, is that it came through the post with the bridge still set up, and lo and behold, it was still perfectly in tune!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is a beautifully crafted instrument, the hand engraved MOP inlays are lovely to look at, the neck is a rich stanined curly maple - the binding and purfling are 1st class. Aesthetically, this is top class!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is quite heavy for an open back banjo and seems to be solid as a tank! I will point out that many people are surprised by how heavy these banjos are, however, they are NO WHERE NEAR as heavy as a quality bluegrass resonator banjo (I had an OB250+ and it was a monster) This is light as air in comparison and is comfortable when played with a strap.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't needed to deal with them, but I hear Mark is a very nice guy.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

This banjo has obviously been built with the best quality parts, and as such - I am 100% sure that it will outlast me!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I Love everything about this banjo. It is so well built, so easy on the eye and so great to play, with a sweet tone, that for me, it knocks all other banjo's out of the water - of course you need to like the TuBaPhone sound - but if you are considering a Vega #2 - try one of these if you can - miles better IMHO

If this banjo was stolen, I would get another in a New York minute!

Overall Rating: 10

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