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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!

6840 reviews in the archive.

Second Life Banjo - Carl Arcand: 5-string open back

Submitted by plossrw on 7/19/2012

Where Purchased: Second Life Banjo

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 1450 ($US)

Sound

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

Setup

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

Appearance

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

Reliability

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

Customer Service

Carl was great to correspond with. He has a great website, and responds quickly to inquiries.

Customer Service: 10

Components

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

Overall Comments

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

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