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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!

7071 reviews in the archive.

Hatfield: Celebrity

Submitted by PJRedWing on 3/5/2017

Where Purchased: Arthur Hatfield

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 3500 ($US)


I am very happy with this instrument. I have been playing it for 1.5 years. It sounded terrific when I picked it up and it has opened up nicely since then. Arthur pointed out that his tone ring gives an even tone across the fingerboard, and he is correct. There isn't a dull spot anywhere on the neck. Each note rings clear and the volume is even all the way across.

Sound Rating: 10


This banjo was set up perfectly for me. I'm not quite an intermediate player, and I find this instrument easy to play. Other than a couple of string changes in 1.5 years, I haven't made a single adjustment. It stays in tune nicely.

Setup Rating: 10


The neck on this bano is superb. It fits my hand nicely. The tiger maple that Arthur selected looks fantastic. The rosewood on the fingerboard has nice grain and contrasts nicely with the inlay. The inlay work is top notch

I requested one of Jim Cox's quilted maple resonators and Arthur was happy to accommodate. In fact, Jim was back in Kentucky and personally delivered the reso to the Hatfield shop. Arthur did beautiful finish work - the color really brings out the quilting.

Appearance Rating: 10


Most definitely - Arthur is a stickler when it comes to the quality of the parts that go into his banjos.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Everything you've read or heard about the Hatfields is true. Top notch customer service. Arthur and Bev are the best.

Customer Service: 10


Again, love the neck! The Gotoh tuners are fantastic - nice, accurate tuning.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would definitely do business with Arthur and Bev again. I can't say enough about the quality of the work and the customer service.

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Davis Banjo Bridge

Submitted by PJRedWing on 7/13/2014

Where Purchased: Steve Davis

Overall Comments

I brought a banjo (Recording King RK80) to Steve over a year ago for a setup. Steve adjusted the head tension, changed a few strings to different gauges and installed one of his compensated bridges. What a difference - the  instrument had a lot more power and the intonation was spot on across the neck.


Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Purcell Bridge

Submitted by PJRedWing on 7/13/2014

Where Purchased: Tim Purcell

Overall Comments

I contacted Tim in July, 2013 after reading positive reviews on his banjo bridges. I was looking for a bridge that would provide clear note separation without sacrificing too much sustain. Tim suggested the Wurlitzer organ maple bridge, so I took the plunge. I have tried four different (and very good) bridges on this instrument, and this one truly stands out. It provides good not separation with just the right amount (for my taste) of sustain. This bridge most effectively transmits vibration from the strings all over the neck and through the resonator. I've had it on for a year and have no itches to try another.


Overall Rating: 10

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