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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!

7137 reviews in the archive.

White Mountain: "custom" Tubaphone banjo

Submitted by Bobby Langdon on 3/21/2012

Where Purchased: direct from maker

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


OUTSTANDING!!! when I ordered this banjo, I had a specific sound in mind. that sound has been captured to a T. listen to Stringbeans recording of "mountain dew". when the strings are brushed, the banjo banjo gives a sound like "hhuuurrannngggg" instead of the old timey "hhaaruuummp" plunnky sound. this banjo can be driven hard, yet come back to delicate and "clucky" with ease. As I also play scruggs style , I pulled out my finger picks and gave it a whirl. I must say that bluegrass wise the sound is comparible to my 88' gibson Earl Scruggs.A very sweet, rich, powerfull, and loud Banjo. :-)

Sound Rating: 10


the banjo was set up perfectly from the maker, a few tweaks from the shipping box, and we were ready to roll.

Setup Rating: 10


A very pretty banjo. Curly maple neck , and rim. the rim has an african blackwood cap. All raw brass hardware. Tubaphone tone ring. black and white checked purfling on the rim and neck. Fairbanks whyte Layde No.7 inlay. a very fine handcrafted instrument. While there are a few minor flaws, i feel they add personality and soul to this banjo.

Appearance Rating: 9


the banjo appears to be built like a tank, i think it will last many generations (at thevery least a hundred years). all hardware is top quality.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Outstanding, Ron Grimsley is spot on, very attentive, and very quick to reply to any questions.

Customer Service: 10


All the the hardware on this banjo is top quality stuff. Rickard brass hardware, grover tuners, presto tailpiece, etc.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Overall, a great banjo, it is everything I ordered and expected.
Many thanks to Ron Grimsley at White mountain banjo

Overall Rating: 10

Gold Tone: CC-OT

Submitted by Bobby Langdon on 2/2/2012

Where Purchased: little music store in washington state

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter


I really like this banjo, I bought it on a whim as something to knock around. I wasnt expecting much sound wise, but have been really surprised with the sound i can squeeze from it. It has a really nice "pop" sound to it, but can be really sweet and delecate too.

Sound Rating: 9


Setup when purchased was ok. bought from a little guitar store, so I really wasnt expecting any magic. I adjusted the action, as it was a little to high for my taste. Added some medium guage strings, and replaced the no knot tailpiece with an old presto copy I had lying around (still on the fence about which one i like better). Most importantly, I tightend the head as tight as the hardware would allow (which isn't super tight). this banjo is my clawhammer banjo, so I dont require blugrass tightness anyway, just enough to get the "plunk" out of the banjo.

Setup Rating: 6


The banjo looks like a cool old time banjo, and even better the Maple in the neck actually has figure. About a quarter of the neck, between the third fret and the seventh is tiger stripe (WOW, go figure). I really like the color, and the satin finish, BUT, i really could have done without hokey painted on star "inlay" , and "Gold Tone" on the peg head (nothing a black magic marker didnt fix).

Appearance Rating: 9


I really like this banjo, But the hardware is really cheap. The brackets are TERRIBLE!!! They bend out of shape while trying to tighten the head (on the bright side Dont ever have to worry about busting It). The tuners are cheap chinese guitar tuners that do the job, but wont last. The finish has a few spots that aren't perfect, but really, who cares, its a cheap import banjo.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Have not dealt with them

Customer Service: not rated


please see above

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

Overall, this banjo for the price is a great buy. I actually think the American made banjo that looks like a toy, would probably be a better investment, but for people like me, that need a fingerboard, and stain. I feel that you cant go wrong with one of these banjos, sound and playability wise.

Overall Rating: 9

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