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!
6840 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Second Life Banjo
Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 1450 ($US)
Nice warm mahogany tones tempering a tubaphone style tonering, even tone up and down the neck. Lots of volume for an open back, and great clarity in individual notes. Sounds particularly good in double-c tuning!
Sound Rating: 10
Carl set this instrument up perfectly, in my opinion. Head tension was great, neck action perfectly suits the instrument. Nice job on the nut slots and bridge.
Setup Rating: 10
This is a satin-finish mahogany instrument, with ebony and maple accents. Fretboard is nicely done in understated MOP dots, star at the 5th. Really good workmanship, incorporating Bill Rickard parts with a couple of vintage Vega pieces.
Appearance Rating: 10
See above. Hardware is solid as it comes. Playing my first gig with it next Sunday - a wedding, doing a duet with my wife playing guitar. I don't foresee any problems at all.
Reliability Rating: 10
Carl was great to correspond with. He has a great website, and responds quickly to inquiries.
Customer Service: 10
All the hardware is first-rate, from the new Rickard stuff to the Waverly planetary's with ebony tuner knobs (wow!) to the vintage Vega head hoop.
Components Rating: 10
This is a very nicely built one-off. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another banjo from Carl. He runs a nice shop, and deals with the highest quality materials and components. Obviously a very skilled craftsman.
Overall Rating: 10
'Gold Star 1982' 46 min
'Capos make it sharp' 2 hrs
'DEERING CALICO' 3 hrs