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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!

7071 reviews in the archive.

Heads: JD Balch skin head

Submitted by darlo on 8/13/2016

Where Purchased: john balch

Overall Comments

just arrived home and there awaiting was my J D Balch skin head after opening i was amazed ,this was the first off john i had recieved dyed the colour was absolutely astounding,to say i am impressed is an understatement.upon receipt i sent an email to john thanking him and also received a reply ,i didnt expect anything less why simple you are dealing with a gentleman

they say you get what you pay for ,with john this is not quite true you get so much more

1) Artistry re coluring of head 10/10

2) Quality of head 10/10

3) Quality of craftsmanship 10/10

4) excellent value for money 10/10

5) Customer service exceptional 10/10

6) Recommend to friends definitely 10/10

once again john thank you

Overall Rating: 10

Rick Mckeon: natural banjo player

Submitted by darlo on 5/27/2016

Where Purchased: Amazon (Kindle)

Overall Comments

Why 10 for overall rating,for me i have noticed an improvement in my practicing ,normally i would say just playing or practicing chills me out and helps de-stress me after work,i am currently in Norway and the camp where we are is surrounded by trees,so instead of just looking at a piece of paper or laptop and practicing closed chords i started looking out the window, and watching what mother nature was up to and after a while realized i was not making as many mistakes,oh there were a few ,but i had been practicing quite slowly and granted noodling for over an hour without realizing,that in itself is a first ,every one says relax and you will play better ,rick has shown me a practical way of how to do just that ,so rick many thanks it is appreciated

 

 

Overall Rating: 10

Doc's Banjos: Internal Resonator

Submitted by darlo on 5/3/2016

Where Purchased: docs banjos

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

i asked doc to build me a scruggs style banjo with everythinginternal resonator slotted peghead etc 11" fine and on a whim asked him to build a sister for it 13" same as first doc set up the banjos they both have dyed skin heads the 11" is fabulous with a warm rich sound but the 13 inch is absolutely beutiful to listen to and play with having scalloped Radiused fretboards

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

regarding the set up doc asks what sound you like and even gets a and makes the bridge to assistin overall set up you just pick it up and play great

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

first off no inlays the wood is absolutely beutiful somethings dont need decoration and believe me docs banjos are a piece of art the wood is gorgeous walnut wenge plus the skin heads are awesome the quality is outstanding aged brass armrest with a wooden rest cover

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

the banjos are rock solid and built to last

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

this bit is wonderful i got to meet doc me going american banjo camp
arrive from uk get flight to oregon to pick up the banjos from docs house that is amazing met his wonderful family slight problem skin head for one was not quite ready , so doc kept the banjo and delivered it to me at the banjo camp set up beutifully

Customer Service: not rated

Components

waverley tuners ,the overall appearance ,dyed skin head the beuty of woods used

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

had an idea of what i wanted,as in i like the sound of walnut banjos slightly warmer sound , so ilooked on docs website whilst working in Africa "yep a brit working away" so i contacted doc via skype had a nice long chat 11" came to pass plenty of e mails and updates, then asked doc to build me the same banjo but 13" to which he agreed,so i have a unique pair of banjos i absolutely adore. so Doc ,Florisel,natalia,warner and jasper again thank you, and they love their new home

 

 

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Doc's Bluegrass "BlueBridge Cathedral™"

Submitted by darlo on 1/3/2014

Where Purchased: docs banjos

Overall Comments

well where to start purchased 2 of these bridges from doc ,why i wanted a warmer sound on both my RK70 and deering calico ,i explained this to doc and he did the business and they produce the warmer sound i required,and the beauty of this is i can swap and change bridges to my hearts content and get the sound i want at that given moment, thank you doc for all your help and advice it really has been  greatly appreciated 

Overall Rating: 10

Armrests: Ron Coleman

Submitted by darlo on 9/19/2012

Where Purchased: ron coleman direct

Overall Comments

bought a hatfield special banjo in burl walnut and wanted a wooden armrest cover (allergy to metal coating) Arthur hatfield recommended getting in touch with ron which i did what a beautiful piece of craftsmanship an inlaid walnut armrest very practical and smooth not bulky, the match to the walnut of the banjo is astounding
would have no qualms what so ever recommending this product to any body absolutely first rate.
to ron and Arthur thank you very much indeed it is greatly appreciated

Overall Rating: 10

Hatfield: Special

Submitted by darlo on 9/19/2012

Where Purchased: Arthur Hatfield

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

Sound

a very warm mellow sound it is beautiful to listen to

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

being a beginner left the decisions to mr hatfield and to me personally it was perfect .
nb at american banjo camp i attended the comments received by more advanced players re the set up were excellent

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

absolutely drop dead gorgeous ,words like classy ,and elegant come to mind,the walnut of the neck and resonator is beautiful and warm

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

dont really know a great deal about components all the materials and hardware look to be of exceptionally good quality ,and it will see me out that is a certainty,and still look good

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

tina turner could sum up mr and mrs hatfield "Simply the Best" you may ask why well i am english when mr hatfield found out i was going to the banjo camp he contacted members on this site to help and boy did they ,this saved me quite a substantial amount of money in postage to the UK ,and i collected my banjo from montana mike en route to the camp,regarding the rating for this section i am leaving blank because the afore mentioned people went way
beyond that,not only for a stranger but a foreigner as well ,these people really do restore your faith in human nature.
so once again to arthur,bev , and mike thank you so much

Customer Service: not rated

Components

i couldn't choose one component because they fit together and work in harmony perfectly

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

absolutely superb banjo,excellent value for money,made by a man that knows his craft inside out,mr and mrs hatfield great people with a brilliant customer service ,if and when i decide on another i already have mr hatfields number and e mail

Overall Rating: 10

Calico : calico

Submitted by darlo on 6/30/2012

Where Purchased: eaglemusic

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 2400 (gbp) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

at the moment being new to both music and the banjo it sounds superb ,but as was pointed out to me the fact that i use brass picks i prefer a slightly mellower sound ,but the deering owners site on the hangout have given me a few ideas regarding this

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

re set up it was perfect steve none at eagle was great ,because of my naivety should i require any changes in the future just pick up the phone and go see him ,the only thing i noticed was on the action it was far easier fretting the calico than my good time (3 guesses who sorted the good time out and it wasn't me)

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

re the appearance i think it has a beautiful and elegant finish ,it is not bold brash and in your face but still a stunner with the delicate inlays and complimentary purfling the only thing i have changed is the arm rest for curly maple wooden slimline one and it looks good (and got leather one for good time thanks for changing them steve)

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

for me this one should last ages because i use good time to travel and practice with. the finish on the calico looks superb and very well done ,this is one helluva a banjo,so now its up to me to do it proud and i will,
NB have given a 10 should there be any problems in the future will let the site know can't envisage any coz i have the lifetime warranty

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

eaglemusic in huddersfield if any of you good people get the chance go as soon as you go in you are asked if you would like a brew (sorry coffee)the staff can't do enough to help you and if they are not sure regarding what you want they get someone that can steve as well as setting up the calico he sorted out the good time for me re action and armrest ,its great going into a shop that cares can not rate them high enough

Customer Service: 10

Components

for me all makes of banjo should have a choice of armrest i.e. metal or wood

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

well made up

Overall Rating: 10

Armrests: armrest

Submitted by darlo on 6/30/2012

Where Purchased: little mountain music

Overall Comments

these armrests are great i purchased 2 one for a brand new calico and a leather covered one for my good time classic wish all banjos had these i personally can not thank little mountain music high enough for coming up with this item postage to uk was fast keep up the superb work and thank you

Overall Rating: 10

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