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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!

7124 reviews in the archive.

Cases (Hard, Flight): Superior(Saga) CF-1530B Fiberglass Resonator Banjo Case

Submitted by chancy on 2/7/2013

Where Purchased: Banjo.com

Overall Comments

The case seems to be very well built especially considering the price. I wasnt expecting it to feel so sturdy. The hardware looks to be decent quality and looks nice being powder coated( i guess) black. There are six latches that are well placed which keeps it closed up all nice and tight. The hinges seem to be built well enough and have fabric covers over them on the inside. The handle feels like it is made of rubber and seems like it will hold up well but I may replace it with a leather handle anyway. I like a some what soft squish like a leather upholstered handle has. There is a rubber gasket seal all the way around the banjo case that should keep dust and water out. The only thing I didnt like about the case is the lid stay is a little short so the lid barely stays up. While I was putting my banjo in the case for the first time the lid fell down and the edge of one of the latches put a nice gash in my neck. Now I know to be aware of that fact and it should not happen again. For the price paid though that is a small fixable issue and may not be present in all cases. Mine may have been shorter than others. The banjo fits perfectly and feels very secure( it told me so). It closes just fine with my strap attached which has a shoulder pad. The pocket inside is smaller than on some cases but plenty big for a tuner, some,picks, some gorilla snot, and room to spare. Handle placement is good for my banjo and the case seems well balanced with banjo inside. The straps came in a fancy velvet baggy and didnt seem as cheap as some have said but I will not be using them anyway. Nice rubber feet placed where you would need them and should keep the case from sliding around on the floor. Over all I am thoroughly impressed with this case I would definitely recommend it upon first impressions but only time will tell if it is really built well and will hold up through years or decades of use. My thanks to the good folks at Banjo.com for a great price and fast shipping on my new case.

Overall Rating: 9

Arthur Hatfield

Submitted by chancy on 12/2/2012

Overall Comments

I have a 1929 style 1 Gibson that Mr. Hatfield converted from tenor to 5 string for me. He built the neck with FE inlays and rosewood fingerboard. He aged the binding to match the original binding on the resonator. Also the finish on the neck matches beautifully to the original resonator. The neck feels wonderfull and plays even better. He also turned the rim to accept a flathead tone ring and a one piece flange. The new finish where the rim was turned for the opf blends perfectly to the old finish. I opted to use Mr. Hatfields own 20 hole tone ring and could not be happier with the tone. In my opinion the outcome of this conversion is what we are all looking for. It sounds perfect to me and as it breaks in it has unbelievably gotten better. Gobs of that "pre-war" tone emanate from this thing and it is "LOUD" to boot. One of my friends that plays a Granada reissue asked me if I could turn it down some. LOL. The interaction I had with Mr. Hatfield and his wife during the process was very pleasant and they are incredibly kind. They were very patient with me and answered all of my questions promptly via email and telephone. I unfortunately was not able to pick up my banjo in person and had to have it shipped. It arrived quickly and extremely well packed. Mr. Hatfield's craftsmanship and customer service is bar none. Mr. Hatfield is my banjo Dr. from now on and I would recommend him without hesitation.

Overall Rating: 10

Alvarez: B1

Submitted by chancy on 11/9/2011

Where Purchased: EBAY

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 800 ($US)


This banjo sounds incredible. Its very loud and bright. I have many other banjos is this is the best for Bluegrass sound along with my RB250. I have played a friends Earl Scruggs gibson and the Alvarez blew it out of the water but I'm sure that has ALOT to do with setup.

Sound Rating: 10


Setup was OK from shop that i purchased from on ebay. Action was a little high and the head was not tight. Bridge was a little dark. Now with a head at 91 on drum dial and kateyez pruple heart bridge it sounds perfect.

Setup Rating: 8


This banjo is B E A utiful. Be far the best looking banjo I have seen in person. Vine inlay is very well done very little filler. Orange finish is unique and pretty. Only visual issue was a small amount of finish checking on upper part of back of the neck below headstock. Not an issue to me.

Appearance Rating: 10


Very dependable. Hardware is holding up very well as well is the gold plating. Finish seems thick and is flawless with the exception of the checking on back of the neck.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Tried to ask the company what year it was made and never got a response via email.

Customer Service: 1


Tuners are ok nothing fancy but stay in tune well. Bridge was poopoo. Everything else is as would be expected on a very high end import.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

If you have an opportunity to get your hands on one of these banjos for under 1200 I would def. suggest you pop on it. Best banjo I've laid hands on. Hard to believe its an import and a banjo from a company not known for 'jos.

Overall Rating: 10

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