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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!

6986 reviews in the archive.

Grafton: Clipper Open-back

Submitted by subbuteo on 7/7/2013

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 480 ($US)


Sounds great! My wife prefers the sound of it which says more than anything I can communicate here.

Sound Rating: 10


Wonderful, really nice action, easy to play up and down the neck. The neck has a finish that feels great, not at all sticky.

Setup Rating: 10


Plain, simple matt finish but flawless, fretboard is marked with a simple pattern, markers on the side of the neck. Metal work all in good condition. I like it.

Appearance Rating: 9


It feels solid, all the parts all seem of good quality. I can't score a 10 after two weeks but right now, I am impressed.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Andy was great, quick to answer by email and very useful on the phone too!

Customer Service: 10


Everything seems good, tuners a little squeaky initially but have settled. The idea with this range is that the money goes on the parts and not appearance and this seems to be the case. I played a Deering Goodtime before buying this banjo and the Grafton banjos are much more solidly built. For example, one piece neck, two co-ordinator rods, more hooks, better pegs...

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I'm really happy with this banjo- my fourth. I played a couple of Grafton banjos that a friend owns (a Popular and a fretless Minstrel) and they were great. Better value than either the Gold Tone CC-100+ or the Deering Goodtime.

Overall Rating: 10

Kelvin Cheng

Submitted by subbuteo on 4/17/2012

Overall Comments

I took a new banjo to Kelvin for a set up and he did an amazing job. It sounds so much better. He is a full-time luthier of all stringed instruments, professionally trained and qualified. Very happy with his work.

I don't know if there are any other luthiers in Hong Kong!

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Snark Clip On SN1, SN2

Submitted by subbuteo on 8/14/2011

Where Purchased: Amazon

Overall Comments

I have the SN-2, red tuner. It works wonderfully, clips onto the peghead of the banjo, tunes accurately through either an internal mic or by vibration of the instrument (so background noise is not an issue). I'm delighted with it. The colour LED display is easy to read, clever clip design means you can clip it on anywhere on the banjo and rotate the display. I've tuned up with this and confirmed tunings with other tuners and it is consistent. Much better than the LCD one I had initially. Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by subbuteo on 1/27/2011

Where Purchased: Online, direct from Mike

Overall Comments

A very effective way to reduce the volume without affecting the tone. I opted for this over the GoldTone version (my banjo is a GoldTone) as it looked like a nicely engineered piece of equipment. It is! Well worth the money as it means I can practise next door to the children when they are sleeping and not wake them. I am very happy with my purchase. Also, Mike got it to me in record time over the Christmas period.

Overall Rating: 10

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