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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!

7131 reviews in the archive.

Cases (Soft, Gig Bags): Reunion Blues Leather Gig Bag

Submitted by John Allison on 7/25/2012

Where Purchased: Christmas Present from wife

Overall Comments

While I certainly appreciate the gift and thought, I have a number of complaints concerning this gig bag. First of all, the factory packaged gig bag was missing one shoulder strap and one of the buttons fastened to the bag to prevent it from touching the floor was detached from the bag and laying in the bottom of the package. I am totally dumbfounded at the lack of quality control in such an expensive product.

Although it is a nice looking bag and a bag which offers excellent protection for the banjo, the problems cited above certainly prevent me from recommending this product to any of my fellow pickers.

Overall Rating: 3

Cases (Soft, Gig Bags): Gig Bag, Boulder Alpine

Submitted by John Allison on 3/24/2010

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Overall Comments

Good looking, well thought out gig bag with multiple compartments for accessories. Padding is reasonable for price but bag is not strong enough for the heavier, resonator banjos suchs as the ODEs, Stellings and Sullivans. After minimal use, one of the shoulder straps broke free from the case (stitching broke) allowing the banjo to fall. Fortunately, a friend was standing behind me when it happened and caught the banjo before it hit the floor.

Elderly replaced the case without charge: however, I upgraded to a more durable case. The cost of the original Alpine case was applied to the new case. Kudos to Elderly.

Overall Rating: 5

Sullivan: Greenbrier

Submitted by John Allison on 1/21/2010

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter


My Sullivan Greenbrier is loud, has a crisp, clear, brilliant sound that suits my bluegrass style playing. In particular, the sound it produces is particularly suited to up the neck playing which I really enjoy doing. Playing close to the bridge with my right hand produces a bright, twangy sound but as I move more into the "Y" position, the sound becomes quite rich and full. No dislikes what-so-ever.

Sound Rating: 10


I bought the banjo used and the setup seemed to be good. I had a couple of spikes added to give me the capo positions I wanted. I also replaced the bridge (which was not the original Snuffy Smith bridge that came with the banjo) with an original and had the banjo re setup at Elderly (which was accomplished free of charge). I could have done it but preferred a professional do it. Since then, I have used the Nechville compensated bridge but recently switched back to the new Sullivan hard growth bridge. Sounds great.

Setup Rating: 10


The Sullivan Greenbrier is a maple banjo with beautiful finish. The inlay work on the peg head and neck is ornate but not in excess and produces a pleasing appearance. In fact, the entire banjo is really easy (and pleasing) to look at.

Appearance Rating: 10


The arm rest has some sweat produced tarnish on it but, SemiChrome seemed to take most of that off. The hardware seems to be quite reliable and lasting. I would, and do, perform at gigs without a backup. For a festival where I would perform, however, I would probably carry a backup but not because I do not trust the Sullivan.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

As noted previously, I bought my Sullivan at Elderly Instruments and am more than satisfied with the deal and the service provided by Elderly. It was not under warranty but Elderly has certainly provided timely and quality service without cost. I have also been in contact with First Quality Music concerning the Sullivan. They have been helpful and timely with their responses and I had the pleasure and privelage of talking with Bill Sullivan concerning the bridge issues.

Customer Service: 10


All components are quality.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

My Greenbrier was manufactured in 2002 and was signed and dated (as to completion date) on the inside of the resonator by Bill Sullivan himself. As such, this is a keeper and I would not trade if for the world.

Overall Rating: 10

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