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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!

7170 reviews in the archive.

Flinthill: FHB 280 A

Submitted by bonnetteanthony on 10/19/2014

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 600 ($US)


The sound is powerful, very much an archtop, very poppy, but remember this is a mahogany banjo, so there is also something dry and deep about the sound that i love.

Sound Rating: 8


When the banjo arrived i was prepared to do a full setup. Pulled it from the case and it was awesome. Setup was spot on.

Setup Rating: 10


Stunning good looks, beautiful hearts and flowers inlays, i love the wide binding. The resonator fit is not exact, its the only flaw i can find.

Appearance Rating: 9


Seems very solid, well put together. The tuners were advertised as being gotoh, but i cant find any markings on them. They are very smooth and accurate, however, so they may well be.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

The guy i talked to via email was friendly and very forthcoming. I initially wanted the FHB-280 non-archtop, but he told me there would be a 2-3 month wait time, and that the archtop would take a week. Patience is not one of my virtues.

Customer Service: 8


The rim and no hole tone ring were nicely slip-fit, and produce a powerful archie voice. The neck is among the best feeling necks i have played, and also one of my favorites to look at. I replaced the (1/2") bridge, but only because i had a Veerman Archie bridge laying around.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I read every negative Flinthill review and every negative forum post on this site before buying it. Honestly, I bought this banjo with the idea that if i hated it, that i could  take it apart and learn what makes a "real" banjo tick, and replace parts as needed. I paid $600, shipped . You cant buy the parts for that. Once it arrived, though, i realized that i had a real gem on my hands. A powerhouse banjo that looks as good as it sounds, for $600!  I also read all the posts about stolen parts, stolen designs, and all the other back and forth stuff. He said-she said. I finally decided that neither Saga or any other banjo company gives a rat's behind about me. In the end, it is about value for the consumer. And this banjo is awesome. For $600.     

Overall Rating: 9

Gold Tone: Cripple Creek 100R Plus

Submitted by bonnetteanthony on 3/11/2012

Where Purchased: Bbay

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 400 ($US)


This is my first banjo, and not having played any others, im not sure how much help I'm gonna be. That being said, I think it sounds pretty good for the scruggs style I'm trying to learn.

Sound Rating: 7


Having no one around to set it up, I am having to work off the forum posts on the Hangout, with mixed results. However the action on the banjo was good and low when I got it.

Setup Rating: 7


Nothing special, just like I wanted, but it does look nice. Rich dark stain looks good, and I like the engraved armrest.

Appearance Rating: 7


The tuners are smooth. The finish appears deep and glossy. The hardware looks fairly heavy-duty.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

Nothing yet. Hopefully won't need to find out.

Customer Service: 5


I was gonna upgrade the tailpiece to a Kirschner I had laying around, but the factory tp looks and feels heavy enough.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

If I ever get it set up just right I think this banjo will be great to learn on.

Overall Rating: 7

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