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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!

7179 reviews in the archive.

Bishline: Salty Dog

Submitted by corycox3 on 1/1/2012

Where Purchased: Jack's Music, Conway, AR

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 2,900 ($US)

Sound

This banjo is loud, clear and bright. I play bluegrass style and it is the epitome of that kind of sound. I'm serious when I say that when I go to jam sessions, 9 times out of 10 someone will comment on how much they admire the it's sound. If you play in jam sessions at festivals and such, you know that you're overrun with guitar players. It is loud and clear enough to cut hrough the half a dozen guitar pickers in jam sessions and sounds fine doing it.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It was shipped from Tulsa to Conway set up. When I ordered the banjo through Jack, I also emailed Rob Bishline and told him to pick out the best one he had. He replied and said he had played it before sending it to Jack's and that he thought it was as especially fine (of course he's going to say that, he made it and sold it!) I don't think Jack did much to it to change it. When it showed up, I played around on it, he asked if it needed any adjustments and I felt it was about as good is it could get, so I paid him and took the thing home with no adjustments. It fits my hand well and the action is perfect. I've adjusted the head tension in the six months or so that I've had it, but that's the only thing that's all that was done.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This thing is as pretty as a speckled pup! The flame in the wood is a thing to behold and the hardware shines. It really is a pretty banjo. In a world of Gibson look alikes, this thing looks like a special made handcrafted banjo. You can tell it wasn't made in a factory overseas, but that an artist put his time and talent into it.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Everything on it is solid and well made. I imagine my great grandkids will be picking around on this thing in 100 years.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I've never actually dealt with Rob and the folks at Bishline to correct a problem, but I can say that Rob actually cared enough to write back when I contacted him over Facebook to say I ordered one of his banjos, and then followed back up with me to see how I liked it after I took possession of it. He may not really care how happy I was, but he sure put on a good act like he did if he didn't! Rob's interest and attention really made the buying experience special.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I think it is all fine. I know the tail piece is a Presto, I don't know about the flange and all that, but it looks first rate. In other words, the parts are nice enough I ain't been poking around at it to figure out how to spend more money to upgrade it. That makes my wife happy.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is my first real banjo. I come across Bishline's at the place where I bought it, Jack's music. I'd been looking for a new banjo for over a year andI reckon I've played all the different brands out there. Honestly, for the money, I couldn't find anything that made me smile like this banjo. And I reckon that's what means you've found the right banjo, it makes you smile when you play it. I kept returning to it, over and over. It looks and feels like a craftsman built it and it was cheaper than a lot of banjos that look and feel like they come off an assembly line. It was cheaper and nicer than others I looked at and I like that. Most of all, I love the sound and others do too. Like I said, people comment on it and other banjo players ask to play it. When it is played angels sing in the heavens above, dogs and cats become friends and peace comes to the middle east. Okay, maybe not all that, but if a musical instrument could do those things, it would be this fine banjo. You should get you one. You shan't be disappointed.

Overall Rating: 10

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