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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.

Hatfield: Special

Submitted by hopemi on 1/26/2004

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 2,300 ($US)


The Special has a clear mellow tone all the way up the neck. I am totally satisfied with its sound and am inspired everytime I pick it up.

Sound Rating: 10


The banjo was setup very well. In fact, there are riffs and notes I can play on this banjo, that I had trouble with on other banjos. I told Arthur to take his time with it and I believe he did just that. I don't foresee making any changes.

Setup Rating: 10


Beautiful burl walnut resonator-glad I paid the extra 50 for it. I went with the rosewood fretboard and Arthur's standard inlay pattern. I really like how it all fits together, the shape of the neck is very appealing. All tastefully done.

Appearance Rating: 10


I look forward to playing this banjo well into old age. With proper care I have no doubts that it will be my trusty ol' banjo as long as I'm able to play.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I honestly don't think it gets any better. Arthur will build your banjo just the way you want it. He is there to answer your questions at any time literally day or night. I was stationed in Japan at a USCG Loran station and now live here permanently. Arthur and his wife, Beverly always were there or got right back to me when I contacted them.

Customer Service: 10


Top notch components. Someone in another review mentioned tuning machines. Arthur and I discussed this as he uses Gotoh machines. I have no problem with their appearance or mechanical quality.Again it only takes mentioning it to Arthur and he'll install whatever hardwear you desire. The Cox rim and Huber tone ring are a great combo.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I WOULD recommend this banjo and am so glad I waited and got this one instead of some of the others I was considering. Noone better try stealing my special. My frech mastiff loves lying at my feet while I play it. She is the best of security systems. After reading these reviews, if you still aren't sure, contact some owners of these fine banjos before going elsewhere.

Overall Rating: 10

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