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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!

7162 reviews in the archive.

Stealth: Standard

Submitted by mato65 on 1/21/2002

Where Purchased: through Scott Vestal

Year Purchased: 1997
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


Let me preface all of this by saying that my Stealth
is actually sort of a prototype. I have one of the
earliest versions that was put together by Marty
Lanham of the Nashville Guitar Company. When I
originally played Scott Vestal's banjo and asked
him about getting one like it, there was no such
thing as the Stealth...there was only the one that Scott played. The original idea was to built the hidden 5th string neck to add to my pot assembly. I purchased the pot assembly from First Quality (with a Kulesh tone ring) and called Scott, who by then had just begun to sell complete
banjos. He took my parts to Marty who then completed the banjo. Mine is the 5th or 6th one built.

The Stealth is well suited to many styles I think. It can sound soft and sweet or can really crack but with a good deep sound when you push it.

Sound Rating: 9


When I first received it, the action was actually a
little lower than I wanted, but a minor adjustment
fixed that quickly.

Setup Rating: 9


The Stealth has almost no ornamentation but has
the now well-known very distinctive (cool!) look.
Mine is mahogany. The newer Stealths that I have
seen all show superior craftsmanship and a very
nice look. The lack of inlays on the fingerboard,
may throw off some people for a while, but you'll
learn to look at the dots on the binding pretty

Appearance Rating: not rated


Everything about this banjo will hold up to a
professional's standard for reliability and durability.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Scott Vestal is as nice a guy as you'll ever meet,
and can help you get the banjo that you want the
way you want it. I'm honestly not sure what kind of
warranty it carries, but I think Scott would be
willing to fix any flaws in materials or
workmanship. He's on the road a lot, so there may
be slight delays however.

Customer Service: 9


All professional quality materials and parts!
The guitar tuners really make tuning easier.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The Stealth is well worth the price. If it was stolen
I'd call my insurance company and then order another
one immediately. I love it. It's a great-sounding and playing
banjo, and I've owned Gibson,
Stelling, Rich and Taylor, Gold Star, etc. This
banjo will hold up to a professional's standard for
sound, reliability and durability.
I don't know of any banjo that I'd rate as a 10 overall, but the Stealth is close.

Overall Rating: 9

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