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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Ome: Juniper

Submitted by snozzle on 8/9/2017

Where Purchased: Eagle Music

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: £sterling () historic exchange rates / currency converter


Rich, mellow

Sound Rating: 8


set by Eagle was great

Setup Rating: 8


Vintage style. Looks great

Appearance Rating: 10


time will tell. Seems very good

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Eagle were good, though a little confused. Only got in touch with Ome after purchase. No response from them

Customer Service: not rated


Overall good quality, tight banjo. Good looking with fabulous sound

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Great banjo but rubbish customer focus and service. Price gauging - beware! About a month into the 10 month lead time from order, I requested the addition of a simple name plate. Eagle checked with OME and came back saying yes but the charge would be $250. I thought this a little pricey (nearly 10% of the total cost) but agreed.  About 6 weeks before delivery Eagle were in touch to tell me that "apparently, I had been given incomplete information" and that the addition of a simple name plate meant the otherwise standard banjo was now a "custom model and that the price would go up significantly" I never found out by how much as I cancelled the nameplate order.  I don't know who to be annoyed at - Eagle or Ome? Apart from anything else, they had already agreed (contracted) to add the name plate for $250.. Anyway, great banjo - be careful if you buy one! If you go to the Eagle annual Krueger Brothers day in Huddersfield, you will hear them endlessly promoting their "focus on customer service" - now rings a little hollow for me...



Overall Rating: 7

Appaloosas: Appaloosas

Submitted by snozzle on 12/18/2014

Where Purchased: on line

Overall Comments

CD and band review - Appaloosas, we first heard the band a the Cornish Bluegrass Festival back in 2013.  It was one of those very, very rare sets where every song was a great joy. Eliza's voice is so crystal clear and so well suited to the genre that we though she was a "Bluegrass Angel" just down form the Appalachians! The bell like clarity f her voice was matched by the flawless accuracy and rhythm of Peter's banjo playing with Stephen's soulful fiddle playing rounding off the amazing sound 

Often you hear a abnd live, buy the CD, find it limp and never listen to it again. we have most of the CDs of most of the greats of the genre and believe that Appaloosas is their equal in all respects. It gets played the most.

Overall Rating: 10

Griffin (James Bowen): 12 inch open back

Submitted by snozzle on 8/24/2013

Where Purchased: Direct from James Bowen

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 2600 (£Sterling) historic exchange rates / currency converter


Bought for claw-hammer. Mellow, throaty tone, transitions smoothly into brighter, lively end of scale. Has volume and drive for Scruggs style as required. Versatile, sophisticated sound

Sound Rating: 10


Very precise up and down the neck. Slides, pull-offs, hammer-ons, all effortless. Only buzzing comes from my incompetence

Setup Rating: 10


This instrument is a true work of art, the out put of James Bowen collaborating with master engravers and carvers. The neck is North American curly maple. Peg-head and heel-cap facings in real ebony. Fingerboard ebony bound in imitation ivory. Inlays white pearl engravings and heel carving by master craftsmen. The pot is curly maple with Greek Key pattern decorative banding. Bound in black with ebony capping inlaid with stars and glitter resin. Finished in "gun stock oil" - a high quality, durable finish that does not obscure the fine detail of the carvers artistry

Appearance Rating: 10


Like a Rolls Royce with strings on

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

James found out what I wanted then built an instrument that exceeded all my expectations

Customer Service: 10


The neck contains a slim, light and ingenious double acting truss rod. 26 shoes, hooks and nuts. Griffin long tailpiece in stainless steel. Griffin rim rods, fine thread, stainless. Gotoh tuners (Japan) "Snuffy Smith" bridge 11/16ths. Bone nuts. "Renaissance" high crown head.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Best i've seen, heard and played. Worth the wait

Overall Rating: 10

Kruger brothers in England

Submitted by snozzle on 7/7/2011

Overall Comments

Recently attended my first ever "banjo event", got to hear the brothers. They were at the Eagle Music shop in Huddersfield, England. Truely inspirational banjo playing form the modest Jens Kruger. Shocked that clinical Swiss could / would touch banjos! Depressed that my fellow English bluegrass fans seem to feel they need to dress like down-at-heel Hillbillies to participate. Nauseated by the smalz Greg Deering poured on his UK distributor - as if the actual customers were interested!

Overall Rating: 10

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