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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!

6991 reviews in the archive.

Seeders Instruments: #29 custom tubaphone

Submitted by pg60 on 4/20/2015

Where Purchased: From Will

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


Perfect, matches what I wanted to a T which is so nice when doing a custom build. Not giving it a 10 because tone is subjective & there is likely an even better sounding banjo out there somewhere...

Sound Rating: 9


Pefect setup. Will listened to my preferences and delivered. Haven't messed with it one iota. Not even the bridge ;-)

Setup Rating: 10


This is where Will really went the extra mile for me. He was more than willing to work with some unusual ideas I had, mixing in his owmn aesthetics at the same time. Some builders just offer their spec builds and let you order one. Will truly built a custom banjo for me. Cherry rim with Birsdeye Maple veneer, Cherry neck, Birdseye headstock plate. All the maple stained a warm amber. Ironwood fretboard. *Perfect* custom inlays.

Appearance Rating: 10


Will hand-aged the brass hardware. It's gorgeous. He used a Rickard Tubaphone ring, Gotoh tuners. All the hardware is top-notch.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Will was a pleasure to deal with. We talked on the phone but mostly corresponded via email. He responded quick, and patiently went through lots of questions and bad ideas (from me). I have no doubts that Will will stand behind this banjo as long as I own it.

Customer Service: 10


The wood and finishing, overall fit/finish is what stands out. The inlays are the best I've seen. And they were custom, not stock.

No weak or cheap parts whatsoever.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have done several custom guitar builds and a couple banjo builds.

This is by far my best custom build experience yet!  Also renews my belief that true value can indeed be found doing a custom build.  By that, I mean Will built 'exactly' what I hand in mind & added his own vision & skill to the mix.  

It wasn't just waiting in line for a spec-build, it was truly a collaborative process & turned out beautifully.  I've had the banjo for about a month & love it more every day.  Selling off big chunk of my herd now because I don't need them anymore.

I could not recommend Will more highly.  Also happy to provide additional info to anyone considering working with Will.  He re-necks old rims too (BYOR ?) and his necks are to die for with gun oil finish.

Overall Rating: 10

Chuck Levy

Submitted by pg60 on 5/7/2013

Overall Comments

I have been taking lessons with Chuck for over 1/2 year now. Chuck is incredibly patient and truly does know how to teach. He takes pride in putting lots of effort into his teaching.

He adapts to each individual student, listens closely to what you play, and gives meaningful feedback. He encourages you to focus on the positives and any corrections are provided in a constructive manner.

Chuck will give you chunks of a song that you can handle. Then repeat, then circle back to previous measures so you don't forget the wider context. The end result is that I'm learning to play Clawhammer without Tab, and feel like I'm learning to play by ear.

On a more practical note I appreciate Chuck's flexibility in scheduling. You don't have to commit to weekly time slot, he will schedule lessons at mutually convenient times with no pressure to stick to rigid schedule.

He has gotten me off to a great start playing Clawhammer Banjo, couldn't have done it without him!

Beyond being a great teacher Chuck is a great guy who truly cares about his students. I'm proud to have him as a teacher and as a friend.

Overall Rating: 10

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