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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.

Recording King: RK-R35 Madison

Submitted by MrHoney on 1/22/2012

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 719 ($US)


It registers the low end full, round sound--mid tones are punchy but warm and is clear up-the-neck. Nice bluegrass sound for Scruggs style pickin'. I haven't changed the factory bridge, I probably won't until I find a need to. Sound is real nice right out of the box.

Sound Rating: 9


Banjo came setup, with the RR spikes I requested. I haven't had to change anything or update it. As I learn more about the tonal differences in bridges and hardware, I may think about changing them. I don't see the need right now, everything seems great.

Setup Rating: 9


Maple banjo with satin finish. One piece flange, bell brass cast tone ring, planetary tuners, brass tension hoop, cool simplistic seagull inlay.

Appearance Rating: 10


Solid banjo, everything looks well made and fitted. I've only had it a couple of weeks but it still looks like it did when I took it out of it's case for the first time.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Recording King banjos come with a lifetime warranty. Didn't have any communication with RK themselves.

Customer Service: not rated


The only thing I would consider changing is the bridge. There's nothing wrong with the factory bridge (maple,ebony top), I've just heard name brand bridges may give you the specific sound you might be looking for.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I feel like I bought a really good banjo. Played it at a my first jam and it sounded great compared to other banjos and with other high quality instruments. Nevermind the fact that I got it for under $1000. The sticker price was $719, it cost me $909 all said and done. That was a 2200mile shipment. Came with a case and RR spikes.

Overall Rating: 9

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by MrHoney on 1/22/2012

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

Well, it does exactly what you want it to. Mutes your banjo to about the sound of a normally strummed guitar, maybe quieter. Fits quick and ease. I can't see any reason it would wear anything over time. Good purchase for the considerate ;) Might be a bad habit to use it all the time, so find a place to be loud. But when you can't...this is the answer.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by MrHoney on 1/22/2012

Overall Comments

I bought online on Christmas Eve, 2011 and had to wait a couple days to talk to them, however, we kept in contact thru email. Once everyone was back to work they gave me a call and talked about the banjo (turns out he owned the banjo I was buying) and asked about the RR spikes I wanted installed. Gave me (a beginner) practical info and suggestions. Really nice people, felt good buying for them. My banjo came with a case and in a box. No damage, no fuss. Georgia to Alberta (that's far!) Good experience.

Overall Rating: 10

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