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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!

6721 reviews in the archive.

Head Tension Gauges: Steve Davis's DHTG

Submitted by dcraft on 12/11/2015

Where Purchased: Direct Purchase

Overall Comments

This gage works as advertised.  I confirmed by using a drum dial, which measured out the head tension at 89.  The aspect of the gage I liked is that it quick and easy to use.    The heads that it was used on were of the  Remo make and model.  Anyway, for the price, and ease of use, I would have no hesitation recommending it's use.

Overall Rating: 10

Richie Dotson

Submitted by dcraft on 3/30/2014

Overall Comments

Richie has been working with me since May of 2013.  Wasn't sure what to expect, being I haven't had any formal musical training since my high school days.  Anyway, I had sort of plateau out trying to teach myself, and was in need of that one-on-one instruction.  He agreed to take me on as a student knowing my work schedule would not allow a "same day" every week routine.  He is very good about answering my phone calls, and texts when it comes to scheduling, and or, questions concerning the previous lessons.  His method of teaching "music theory" has clicked with me.  It is simple, to the point, and sticks with me long after the lesson.  Yes, he is very attentive to my inability to maintain the required tempo, or maybe that eighth note ends up being a quarter note, or that fingering is not quite right.  He holds me to a high standard of performance without being overbearing.  If I end up having a tough time getting something right, he usually will find a different technique, practice pattern, or choice of words to get me to that end goal of learning a particular song, or exercise.  In other words, he has many techniques at his disposal to help me out.  I would not hesitate in recommending him as a teacher.  I have seen how he handles himself with other students, and the feedback he receives from them in regards to their performance. This in turn,  validates everything I have stated previously. 

As a caveat to his excellent teaching, he is also my main luthier.  On two occasions, he has installed a set of 5th string spikes on my RK35, and repaired spikes on my Bishline, which were done after the lessons.  He has done a setup, added two side markers on the 12th fret, and accomplished a setup on the Bishline, which took 5 days from drop off to pickup.  Not too shabby.

He is to me, a one stop shop.  Again, I highly recommend him.

Overall Rating: 9

Straps: Lakota Banjo strap

Submitted by dcraft on 8/12/2013

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

It is my second strap from Lakota. This one is the 3 inch version. It is very comfortable, and folds up easily when storing the banjo in the case. Kenny is very good to work with.

Overall Rating: 10

Bishline: Clermont

Submitted by dcraft on 8/5/2013

Where Purchased: Direct

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 4000 ($US)

Sound

It has a sound/voice that fits my ear. It has a powerful full sound.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The setup is perfect for me at this time. Not to say I won't tinker with it in the future, but for right now it is great.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Easy on the eyes? You bet it is. The Cremona finish is beautiful and flawless. I got the tortoise binding option and it just makes it pop. Got the laminated neck option also. Nice accent to the neck's finish.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Excellent hardware installed. Finish is bright and appears to be up to the task of lasting a long time.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Rob and Andy are the best. They sent emails, pictures during the process. I had a few questions along the way, and they were "johnny-on-the-spot" in communicating with me either by phone or email.

Customer Service: 9

Components

I supplied the Fults tailpiece, and Keith d- tuners. All other hardware was theirs.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

This banjo gives you alot of bang for your buck. This banjo is great, and will last a long time. I can only speak from my perspective, but I could have looked a long time and not found any better banjo than this Bishline Clermont. Couple that with a bunch of nice folks in Tulsa that like to make banjos, and you have a winning combination.

Overall Rating: 10

Capos: Perfect Pitch Capo

Submitted by dcraft on 2/23/2013

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

I recieved the capo in short order. It works as advertised. So far, I am very pleased with it.

Overall Rating: 9

Tailpieces: Fults 1934 Parallel

Submitted by dcraft on 2/7/2013

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

This is an excellent example of craftsmanship. Not only does it look good, it actually works for me. Took approximately 30 minutes to install. I used the XYZ mount. Couldn't be happier. It is expensive, but well worth the result.

Overall Rating: 10

Picks: Perfect Touch

Submitted by dcraft on 10/27/2012

Where Purchased: Angies Banjo

Overall Comments

I have been playing these picks for the past 3 months. Folks, they work. At first, the thumb pick design looked as if it would be awkward to use. Actually, it has been the most comfortable pick I have ever used. I am a rookie at banjo playing, and usually used only my nails for finger picking the guitar. These picks have given me the comfort that kept me away from using finger picks on a consistent basis, and of course I now get more volume from the instrument. Yep, I highly recommend them.

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Tim Purcell Banjo Bridge

Submitted by dcraft on 10/24/2012

Where Purchased: Direct from Tim

Overall Comments

Excellent craftsmanship. It produces a noticeable difference in the banjo's sound, for the better. It is installed on an RK35. I would recommend this bridge to all who are shopping for one.

Overall Rating: 10

Tuners: Keith D-Tuners

Submitted by dcraft on 10/24/2012

Where Purchased: Banjo Teacher.com

Overall Comments

Nice piece of work. Well designed, bullet proof, and very smooth in operation. Holds the string's tune solid. I bought 2 d-tuners for the 2 and 3 strings, and standard tuners for 1 and 4 strings.

Overall Rating: 10

Banjo Teacher.Com

Submitted by dcraft on 10/24/2012

Overall Comments

Very nice people to work with. Professional in every way.

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by dcraft on 10/9/2012

Where Purchased: Direct from Mike

Overall Comments

Nice piece of work. It works great. Now I can take the banjo on the road with me without fear of playing too loud in hotel rooms. Very easy to install, and I still can't believe how effective it is. I would and will recommend it to others.

Overall Rating: 10

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