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!
6809 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: mikesbanjomute.com
This mute is a must! I just received my Mike's mute in the mail this morning (extremely fast shipping) The mute is well made and absolutely perfect in it's design, simplicity and ease of installation. I am just a month into learning and play for a couple of hours a day. I found myself not playing as hard or fast due to the fact that I did not want to drive everybody in the house nuts when I hit a clunker...not to mention ringing my own ears. I installed it in just seconds and wow what a difference. I can't wait until this afternoon practice session!
Highly recommend this product!
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Banjo Hut through Amazon
Banjo sounds nice and crisp for a beginner level banjo, although since I am new to this, take it for what it's worth. It was purchased for me as a Birthday gift so I didn't get to pick it out myself so don't know how good it will be for bluegrass/scruggs style, but we'll find out.
Sound Rating: 8
When I pulled the banjo out of the box I could hear a loud rattling noise. Upon further inspection three of the four screws that hold the resonator to the banjo were loose. I tightened two of them down snug but not over tight. The third however would not tighten down and kept turning. I removed the resonator off of the banjo to see what was happening and the stud that is pressed into the side wall of the resonator actually was loose and pulled out of the wood and was laying in the bottom. I looked closely at the other two and they were close to falling out as well...very disappointing to say the least. I corrected the problem with some serious epoxy glue and glued the studs into the sidewall. I became a hack banjo luthier in a hurry...
The strings were set quite high off the fret board so I did some adjustment and got that set comfortable for me.
Setup Rating: 3
Other than the issues I had with the resonator the banjo looks fantastic and plays very well.
Appearance Rating: 8
The hardware seems good for a beginner banjo and at least on par with all the other (many other) Asian imports. It in fact looks better than most of them out there. As I progress I will certainly upgrade but I will hang on to this as my travel/campfire banjo
Reliability Rating: not rated
I sent banjo hut an email, however I was told that the loose hardware could have happened in shipping. I didn't push the issue as I did not know the extent of the problem with the banjo at the time. The banjo was under warranty (I think) but like I said I didn't know that I would have to be gluing things to fix it at the time so I can't say whether they would have replaced the banjo or not. Also as it was a gift I didn't have any of the paperwork etc and I don't know how long the warranty is.
Customer Service: 5
The resonator studs pressed into the wood needs to be checked closely.
Components Rating: 8
Even with the issues I had I would certainly recommend this banjo as a great way to get started for a reasonable price. I have really enjoyed learning to play and I haven't found anything that annoys me about the banjo or has hampered my progress...
Overall Rating: 9
'Saint Anne's Reel' 5 min