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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!

7077 reviews in the archive.

Cumberland Banjos: 12" Slot Head

Submitted by zac987 on 1/14/2017

Where Purchased: Directly

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This banjo sounds amazing for both fingerpicking and clawhammer. It has a huge sound, bassy and growly. With picks, it's loud enough to play bluegrass. It has a very dynamic tone, capable of pretty much anything I throw at it.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Great action, I haven't had to change anything.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Aesthetically, the banjo is perfect. No flaws whatsoever. 26 3/16" scale, Richlite fingerboard and peghead veneer from Balsam Banjo Works, three piece neck using yellow birch with a cherry center strip, Grover Sta-Tite tuners, two way adjustable truss rod accessible at the heel. The rim is maple, from Rickard Banjos. Hooks, nuts, shoes, tension hoop, and Silver Belle tonering from Rickard Banjos. Fielding tailpiece. Goat skin head. The rim and neck were treated with a vinegar steel wool solution to age the wood, then finished with tung oil.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Without a doubt.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

This is my second banjo from Cam. He's great to work with; one of the friendliest and most helpful guys in the banjo community. If I ever wanted / needed another custom banjo, he's the first person I would think of. The custom process is always so much fun. He sends a lot of pictures, so you can really see the progression between raw materials and the beautiful end result.

Customer Service: 10

Components

There's nothing cheap or weak about it!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

10/10, exceeded my expectations (which were already high). For lack of a better analogy, my other banjos are parlor guitars and this one is a pre-war dreadnought. The quality is up there with Ome, Brooks, Jason Burns, and Seeders. Check Cumberland Banjos out on Facebook or Instagram! 

Overall Rating: 10

Cumberland Banjos: Salad Bowl Banjo #4

Submitted by zac987 on 9/29/2015

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Nice and deep, like a gourd banjo with the perfect size gourd. Not too boomy or tubby.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Perfect action, no setup changes required.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This banjo looks better than some $1000+ instruments that I've seen. Everything looks great.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware seems great. No problems thus far.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Cam was very responsive and great to talk to. I'd love to work with him again!

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is a flush-fret gourd(less) banjo with a salad bowl rim. It's got slotted tuners, including the fifth. It is a pleasure to play and it sounds great. Cam is a great up-and-coming luthier, and a great player too. I'm super happy about this instrument. 

Overall Rating: 10

Gordon's String Music

Submitted by zac987 on 5/27/2014

Overall Comments

I've been going to Gordon's for a couple years now, and I have nothing but great things to say about them. They have been open for twenty-five years now, and they are certainly the home for traditional music in Tallahassee. 

I've purchased instruments, strings, stands, you name it from Gordon. They certainly beat the hell out of Guitar Center, and they don't mind if you stay for hours at a time just playing the banjos. They offer lessons in any traditional instrument you can think of, including banjo, guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. 

They don't always have the parts or instrument you're looking for, but they can always order it in. I'd much rather support these guys than go to a giant chain. 

Gordon's String Music is located at 1903 North Monroe Street in Tallahassee, Florida 32303, south of I-10 and north of the capital building

Overall Rating: 9

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