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!
6991 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: from Colin Vance
Year Purchased: 2020
Price Paid: MSRP ($US)
It's a light (4.8 lb) openback, with 25 1/2" scale and 11" D. The sound is both bright and woody. You can chose the balance. And it can pop if desired.
Sound Rating: 10
It arrived perfectly set up. Several of the design elements are ingenious, but tinkering with them is self-evident. (There's certainly no need as yet.)
Setup Rating: 10
Both the design and fabrication are outstanding, and much is unique. The ad photos caught my eye as just something I'd love. In person, it's even better.
Appearance Rating: 10
There's nothing shoddy here. I can't even imagine possible trouble.
Reliability Rating: 10
Communication and shipping were prompt, friendly, and first-rate.
Customer Service: 10
Nothing is cheap or weak. Several aspects are unique to Vance.
Components Rating: 10
By my standards, the banjo is relatively small and light, looks and feels beautiful, and is just what I wanted in my present circumstances. (With very, very few exceptions, I'm the only one playing and listening.)
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: from Mike
Much, much quieter? Absolutely! But more than that. Other commercial and home-made mutes I've tried either don't mute nearly as much or do so by muffling the sound. What makes Mike's mute different are two other things that happen. You get a huge sustain: would-be loud short sounds turn into quiet sustained sounds. And much of the high frequency component of the un-muted tone gets shifted toward lower frequencies. Both render the banjo much more socially acceptable to the anti-banjo crowd. Everyone's happier, but you also get a delightful, new tone to your instrument --- and you might even appreciate its un-muted sound all the more.
Overall Rating: 10
'Old Piss (TOTW)' 7 min
'Ooops... mistake...' 35 min
'Hangman's Reel' 1 hr
'Need some help' 1 hr