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!
6942 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Amazon
Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 699 ($US)
Excellent full sound, with a nice ring - no matter where you are on the neck.
Sound Rating: 10
The banjo may have been setup when I got it, but I doubt it, and it didn't matter as I wanted to take it apart to check for defects, and to re-setup.
I scraped a bunch of lacquer off under where the ring sits. Tightened the head to ~G#. Using a presto tailpiece, and Snuffy 5/8 bridge.
I set the action as low as I could without buzzing.
Setup Rating: 6
Very nice maple resonator and neck. Standard arrowhead inlay pattern for the 300. There are minor flaws in the finish and inlays but nothing unexpected from a mass produced, asian-made banjo.
Appearance Rating: 9
The armrest was extremely flimsy, and rather uncomfortable (the transition from the side to the top was a sharp angle). Replaced the armrest with a First Quality version.
Tuners are nice, but the knobs are almost too big to for peghead layout. At this point, it's not a big enough concern to change out.
Reliability Rating: 8
Customer Service: not rated
Stock Armrest is NO good!!!!!
Components Rating: not rated
On amazon, the banjo was listed as "used". I think what that meant was that it had hung in a music store for a while, as it still had a dealer tag on it when I received it in the mail. It was clearly not used.
Overall Rating: 9
I guess I will echo previous negative reviews for this store/website, and the main contact: Ben.
I wanted to order a Flinthill FHB-300, which was stated as in-stock. I was nervous about stock, so I checked several times, and it maintained an in-stock status (both the FHB-300 and the FHB-300A archtop were in-stock).
The day after I placed the order, Ben emailed me and said that the 300's were out of stock, but that he had many other similar banjos to offer me. I promptly checked the stock status on the 300 and the 300A, and watched the status change in front of my eyes. I haggled a bit, which obviously irritated Ben. Almost every other sentence was "you must not understand how good of a deal this is". In the end, all he really offered me was ~10% off of a banjo that I didn't want.
When I emailed him to say I wanted to cancel, he was unresponsive for more than a day (previously had been emailing every few minutes). I tried calling at all hours, but no one answered. I finally got an email confirming my cancellation, but didn't miss a chance to be a d*%k, and tell me I was stupid for not taking his deal.
I would never deal with this company again, no matter how good the deal.
Overall Rating: 1
'Banjo type' 1 hr
'Missing tabs' 1 hr