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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!

7014 reviews in the archive.

Recording King: RK-80

Submitted by jayder1985 on 6/25/2011

Where Purchased: from origional owner

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: ($US) (bought USED)


Sound is OK. Nothing to write home about. It is pretty dead sounding regardless of what is done with the head and bridge. I think the biggest thing causing this issue is due to the neck that was improperly cut as i am sure each neck is not individually fit to each banjo. Not to meantion an improperly fit tonering.

Sound Rating: 5


Banjo was setup decently. It played well with a nice action and at least noted true.

Setup Rating: 6


It looked good. It has a very thick plastic finish which makes it nearly impossible to scratch. I wasnt a huge fan of the headstock but i did like the fretboard inlay.

Appearance Rating: 7


Cheap parts. But I will say this, for the money they are good banjo. Better parts would make for higher cost. Like i said that plastic finish isnt going anywhere. As far as playing it without a backup, this banjo would be my backup and there is no chance of it becoming a main ax.

Reliability Rating: 5

Customer Service

Bought it from origional owner making it devoid of any warrenty.

Customer Service: not rated


Like i said most of the banjo is cheap, upgrade the banjo and you upgrade the price. If you are going to spend more on this instrument than you already do, just spend the extra money and get a better banjo.

Components Rating: 4

Overall Comments

Overall is was an OK banjo. I got it on trade and would otherwise not have had one. It is a good beginner to intermediate level banjo, but is not one for a road musician to use as his main instrument. It is a good value for the money but is not worth anymore than $500-$600 in my opinion.

Overall Rating: 6

Hatfield: Buck Creek

Submitted by jayder1985 on 6/3/2011

Where Purchased: Arthur's Workshop

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


My banjo has a Hatfield no hole ring in it that gives it a very hard sound that i like. Overall it is a very balanced banjo that has a good hard tone with very sweet tone up the neck.

Sound Rating: 10


This banjo was setup almost exactly the way i like it right when i came into the shop. After trying several bridges both compensated and straight, i found that one of the compensated bridges was head and shoulders above the rest. The action was setup just the way i like it, close enough to play easily but high enough for me to really accentuate my pull offs.

Setup Rating: 10


Its a beautiful banjo. I had a speed neck made so there is no finish on the back of the neck.

Appearance Rating: 10


It is extremely well build and sturdy. It has no tuning issues whatsoever and it is all i will play for years to come.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Arthur has the best costumer service i have ever dealt with. Extremely informative telling me about his banjos and how he builds them. When i went to pick up my five we spent two hours in his shop talking about the banjo as well as many other things. He was absolutely great!

Customer Service: 10


Hatfield flathead no hole ring,
Gotoh tuners,
Cox maple rim,
Cox resonator

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have owned many banjos. Gibsons, Frank Neats, Recording Kings and others but this banjo has them all beat. It is extremely sturdy, built well, and played well right out of the gate. I am a full time muscian and can only play what i can rely on and this is a banjo that i know wont let me down!

Overall Rating: 10

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