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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!

6941 reviews in the archive.

Tuners: Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS

Submitted by MrBoyette on 10/23/2012

Where Purchased: Russo Music Center (Amazon.com)

Overall Comments

Awesome little tuner. I love the inconspicuous size. Banjo fits in the case with the tuner attached. Tested against my two Snarks and found it just as accurate.

Overall Rating: 9

Deering: Deluxe

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/18/2012

Where Purchased: Deering Factory

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 1900 ($US)

Sound

Sound is fantastic. I play bluegrass and I like the hard-driving loud bluegrass sound. The Deluxe is crisp and clear without the tinny twang found on my Fender and is capable of delivering in a jam with other instruments.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Sounded great right out of the box. Haven't found a need to make any changes other than normal tuning. The bridge had a small chip in in so I replaced it with a Stockwell Moon bridge.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful clean inlay pattern. Just the right amount, not too plain and not too gaudy. The wood finish is beautiful, and the fingerboard flawless. I particularly like the peghead inlay.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The plating on the armrest is beginning to show a little wear, but I play it several hours a day, seven days a week and seldom wipe it clean afterwards. The tuners are reliable, the frets all seem to be solid, the tailpiece and other hardware is adequate but not overly done.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

They answer the phone.

Customer Service: 4

Components

I didn't care for the plain plastic truss rod cover. Replaced it with a MOP one. After a year the resonator edge began to separate. First the split was a small 1 inch crack. A month later it is now a 4 inch long wide crack. The damned thing is falling apart in my hands. I'd been better off with a sawdust-rim Kay.

Components Rating: 2

Overall Comments

Not much to say. A decent banjo if it holds together.

Overall Rating: 3

Straps: Lakota Banjo strap

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/18/2012

Where Purchased: Zepp

Overall Comments

I just love this strap. I initially purchased a different cradle strap and it was just too fat and bulky. Wouldn't fit in the case. I got the Lakota initially because it was thin. Found out it was tough but soft, really well made, and thin enough to fit in the case.

Overall Rating: 10

Digital Tuners: SNARK bano tuner

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/18/2012

Where Purchased: Musicians Friend Online

Overall Comments

This is my second one. The first one, the plastic swivel pin that holds the foot to the mounting bracket broke the day after I got it. They really should have made those pins from metal instead of plastic.
The thing performed so well and was so easy to use I purchased a replacement knowing that the pin was an achilles heel in the design.

Overall Rating: 8

Picks: Sammy Shelor Stainless Steel

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/18/2012

Where Purchased: Zepp

Overall Comments

Worth the $30. They fit well and stay put. No ragged edges, a smooth stainless finish that doesn't wear like the nickel-silver. I like the fact that one has the logo on it so I know which one goes on which finger without having to ghetto-rig one with fingernail polish or filing a scratch in it. If I lost one, I'd purchase another set.

Overall Rating: 10

Picks: ProPik Thumb - flat

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/18/2012

Where Purchased: Zepp

Overall Comments

I was skeptical at first. A metal thumbpick with a huge flat plastic blade riveted to it. It even looks weird. But I was also frustrated at every plastic thumbpick I had ever used got larger and larger until the strings would get in the open gap and trap my thumb. I could've spent the rest of my life heating plastic thumbpicks in boiling water and trying to reshape them. The metal loop doesn't stretch out like plastic and the plastic blade doesn't clank like the all-metal thumb picks. Really good design. Won't ever use anything else unless something better comes out. Plus it is 1/10th the cost of the bluechip, which is very very close in design.

Overall Rating: 10

Truss Rod Cover: Truss Rod Cover

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/16/2012

Where Purchased: outlawbanjos.com

Overall Comments

I ordered a mother of pearl truss rod cover from Ron directly for my Deering Deluxe. It arrived in a few days. Beautiful truss rod cover with outstanding craftsmanship. Engraved with my initials.
Earl's 5 Banjo Shop highly recomended.

Overall Rating: 10

Zepp Country Music

Submitted by MrBoyette on 2/16/2012

Overall Comments

Been a customer of Zepp for several months now. Marc is always willing to answer all your questions about anything banjo you may have. I feel fortunate to have such a resource close by!

Overall Rating: 10

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