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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!

7100 reviews in the archive.

Huber: Roanoke Custom

Submitted by robarts on 5/13/2005

Where Purchased: Huber Banjos

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 4940 ($US)

Sound

As a fairly straight ahead Scruggs player (with some meodic passages), the sound I wanted was the Crowe-Scruggs-Osborne variety. This is just what I got. The Huber is a full sounding instrument with some snap, but befitting the walnut, is less "snappy" than my Granada. It has an extremely well balanced sound up and down the neck. The tonal quality is sweet when not picked hard. The strings bend well with some sustain. This may be due to the fact that I ordered gold plated parts instead of the stock Roanoke plating. When you play harder the instrument really reponds. It drives.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

the banjo was set up by Steve Huber and I picked it up at the factory. Included was a drum toque wrench and the settings he used on the head. He includes that too keep the head tuned at the optimum setting. The action was a bit higher than I was used to, but I have kept it there and gotten used to it. Steve uses light strings (another thing I was not as used to) but the set-up handles them well. I don't find the sound degrading when the light strings are played hard.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is an incredibly beautiful walnut banjo. The depth of color goes exceedingly well with the gold hardware. The parts are engraved and the engraving is deeper, with more relief, than my 1999 Gibson Granada engraving. The inlays are the standard Huber inlays--reminiscent of Gibson patterns but entirely unto themselves. My luthier, Wil Bremer, at Spruce Tree Music was particularly taken with the inlay pattern, and he has seen an incredibly wide variety of vintage instruments.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

All the hardware and finish are durable. I would not need to go to a gig with a backup.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I can't say enough about John Lawless and the AcuTab people who handle the business end of Huber Banjos. The business aspects of the transaction were handled clearly and concisely. It was clear what was being bought, how much it would cost, and when it could be delivered. Beyond that, phone contacts with John were always a pleasure. He had a banjo players love for the instrument and the subject.

I picked up the banjo at the factory, not the usual circumstance. Steve Huber was exceedingly gracious to my wife and I. Though busy at the factory, he took a great deal of time with us--never making us feel rushed or unwanted.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The components are well made. I looked closely at the tailpiece, a part that is sometimes flimsily made. It is not. That's a benchmark.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo. The price of my Roanoke was higher because of the gold hardware and Keith tuners all around (features that I chose). Someone who loves the sound and look of a Walnut banjo could purchase a standard Roanoke for much less. I knew exactly what I wanted. I really like the playability of the neck. I have owned pre and post-war Gibsons, Epiphones (Kalamazoo manufactured), and a beautiful Richelieu with a standard tone ring. I have extensively played Deerings, Stellings, Vegas and some nameless brands. This Huber is their equal or better. I have never heard a banjo sound so good right out-of-the-box.

Overall Rating: 10

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