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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!

7087 reviews in the archive.

Mike's Banjo Mute: 5-string Standard Model

Submitted by jtallant on 5/8/2014

Where Purchased: On Line

Overall Comments

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical after reading over all of the reviews and even after watching the YouTube video testimonials when it came to the Mike’s Banjo Mute.  Well I bit the bullet, stepped up to the bar, and ordered one for myself.  All I can say is WOW.  All the positive reviews are NOT hype, they’re truth.  I’ve only been playing for a couple of years and was pretty proud of my progress until last night after I had installed the mute.  I never realized how many times my thumb was inadvertently hitting the head until I heard every strike come through loud as a rifle shot.  I’m sure that Mike’s original idea behind the mute was to promote/enhance domestic tranquility amongst banjo players but even after only ½ hour of use, I can clearly see how this thing is going to improve my right hand technique 1000% over the next couple of months.  This mute should be standard issue for any new or novice player. It is amazing to see how something with such a simple design can be so effective. 

Overall Rating: 10

Tommy George : Bluegrass Banjo

Submitted by jtallant on 7/2/2013

Where Purchased: Facory Direct

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Outstanding! Bright, Loud, very Powerful voice and INCREDIBLE sustain. I tend to pick a bit on the heavy side which sort of makes my other banjo sound a bit distorted, but with this one, the sound remains crystal clear, bright, and loud.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Special care was taken by Christian during the setup. He called to ask what gage string I preferred, and if I wanted 5th string spikes. I prefer the action to be low. Christian was able to find me the lowest possible bridge.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

When I commissioned Christian to build this banjo, I took him my Mandolin and Fiddle so he could see the bindings and hardware on each. Both the Mandolin and Fiddle are done in a blonde finish on curly maple so he incorporated different aspects of the other two instrument’s appearance into the appearance of this banjo. Now when you see the three together they look like a matching set. The uniqueness and beauty of the natural finish never fails to attract attention whenever I uncase the instrument. The banjo is definitely eye candy!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

No issues yet (as expected) but I have talked to other local pickers who play George Banjos and say they are VERY reliable. They also say that they have never had any issues with them. Christian assured me that the banjo has a lifetime warranty on any build related issues. (Warranty does not cover things like damaged incurred as a result of using the banjo as a shield in a bar fight.)

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Top Notch. Christian kept me up to date on every aspect of the build. He regularly sent me texts with pictures while the banjo was being built. If unsure of a choice I had made, he wouldn’t hesitate to call just to be sure he was making the proper choice. I really got a sense that he was building the banjo to MY specs and he would do almost anything possible along the way to make sure I was happy with it in the end.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Top quality woods and hardware. Again, I have heard other local pickers brag on the fact that George Banjos only uses the highest quality parts available. I never realized how cheap the components/hardware of my other banjo (Alvarez Silver Belle) were until I compared them to the ones on my George Banjo.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I first met Christian Stanfield of George Banjos at a local jam where he had setup several open back banjos on display. One look at the quality and craftsmanship of these banjos and I knew that these instruments were WAY out of my league. Christian told me to go home and make a mental list of everything I would want in a dream banjo as if I had won the Powerball lottery and could have anything I wanted in a banjo. Next week he wrote everything down and then put pen to paper and came up with a price that was VERY reasonable for a custom build. I was shocked to find out that could own a brand new made to order banjo from a local builder for about what other American made banjos are going for used. I am very fortunate to live in an area so close to Tommy George and Christian Stanfield of George Banjos. The craftsmanship and dedication these two put into their instrument is second to none. I have no doubt that this banjo will provide me with a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

Overall Rating: 10

George Banjos: Bluegrass Banjo

Submitted by jtallant on 7/2/2013

Where Purchased: Factory Direct

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Outstanding! Bright, Loud, very Powerful voice and INCREDIBLE sustain. I tend to pick a bit on the heavy side which sort of makes my other banjo sound a bit distorted, but with this one, the sound remains crystal clear, bright, and loud.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Special care was taken by Christian during the setup. He called to ask what gage string I preferred, and if I wanted 5th string spikes. I prefer the action to be low. Christian was able to find me the lowest possible bridge.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

When I commissioned Christian to build this banjo, I took him my Mandolin and Fiddle so he could see the bindings and hardware on each. Both the Mandolin and Fiddle are done in a blonde finish on curly maple so he incorporated different aspects of the other two instrument’s appearance into the appearance of this banjo. Now when you see the three together they look like a matching set. The uniqueness and beauty of the natural finish never fails to attract attention whenever I uncase the instrument. The banjo is definitely eye candy!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

No issues yet (as expected) but I have talked to other local pickers who play George Banjos and say they are VERY reliable. They also say that they have never had any issues with them. Christian assured me that the banjo has a lifetime warranty on any build related issues. (Warranty does not cover things like damaged incurred as a result of using the banjo as a shield in a bar fight.)

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Top Notch. Christian kept me up to date on every aspect of the build. He regularly sent me texts with pictures while the banjo was being built. If unsure of a choice I had made, he wouldn’t hesitate to call just to be sure he was making the proper choice. I really got a sense that he was building the banjo to MY specs and he would do almost anything possible along the way to make sure I was happy with it in the end.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Top quality woods and hardware. Again, I have heard other local pickers brag on the fact that George Banjos only uses the highest quality parts available. I never realized how cheap the components/hardware of my other banjo (Alvarez Silver Belle) were until I compared them to the ones on my George Banjo.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I first met Christian Stanfield of George Banjos at a local jam where he had setup several open back banjos on display. One look at the quality and craftsmanship of these banjos and I knew that these instruments were WAY out of my league. Christian told me to go home and make a mental list of everything I would want in a dream banjo as if I had won the Powerball lottery and could have anything I wanted in a banjo. Next week he wrote everything down and then put pen to paper and came up with a price that was VERY reasonable for a custom build. I was shocked to find out that could own a brand new made to order banjo from a local builder for about what other American made banjos are going for used. I am very fortunate to live in an area so close to Tommy George and Christian Stanfield of George Banjos. The craftsmanship and dedication these two put into their instrument is second to none. I have no doubt that this banjo will provide me with a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

Overall Rating: 10

Cases (Soft, Gig Bags): Rockbag Resonator Banjo Gigbag

Submitted by jtallant on 9/6/2012

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Overall Comments

At first I was skeptical about a banjo gig bag. But this bag is like wrapping you 5 string in a huge thick blanket. Your banjo fits snug in its thick padding and the neck is supported by a thick pillow pad with a wide Velcro strap. The zippers are large (almost oversized) and look like they will hold up for years. The straps are wide and comfortable and make transporting you banjo a breeze. I would never use just a gig bag to tour (like that's ever going to happen) but as far as just going to and from a local jam or band practice, this is the way to go. I have gig bags for other instruments. However, the look, feel, and overall performance of this bag is a huge step up in quality.

Overall Rating: 9

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