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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!

7189 reviews in the archive.

Gold Star: GF-100FE

Submitted by Chris Herring on 4/7/2017

Where Purchased: Transaction on Banjo Hangout

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 1100 ($US) (bought USED)


Good sound throughout the range of the neck. Lighter weight strings seem to be the best fit from a sound perspective. Ive compared the sound to many and it holds it's own in a jam setting, not quite the voume of a few, but equal to some, of the Gibsons I played with but close.

Sound Rating: 8


A setup had recently been performed by a luthier when I got it, therefore it was set up great with excellent action. I can't speak for how it was set up from the factory.
The banjo seems to respond better with light strings, mediums caused a distinct loss in tone that was noted by myself and a few regulars I play with. The professional set up included a bridge change to a Snuffy Smith and it very likely makes a nice improvement as well.

Setup Rating: 9


Great looking banjo, the wood is flawless, the armrest has a bit of rough feel at the lower curve, the flange has some imperfections that you only notice if you are studying the banjo well. Casual observers don't notice.

Appearance Rating: 8


The armrest is tarnished after 2 years of playing, despite being wiped after each use. The wood and finish still look great. The tuners (Gotoh) look good and function well.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Did not deal with SAGA. Which is good, if I had to contact them this likely would have been a negative review as something would have been wrong.

Customer Service: 10


I'm really happy with the wood appearance, the GOTOH tuner performance, and the sound (it was professionally set up) of the banjo.
The armrest and flange have some slight imperfections which casual observers likely do not see. They don't affect the sound so no big deal for me.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

The banjo is a 2013 model - I'd choose this banjo again; after 2 years I'm a happy customer. It has weaknesses (armrest/flange) but nothing that is detrimental. It's a darn good sounding banjo and looks good to boot. I receive compliments from other banjo players who play it and see it. I believe it's a quality banjo and I also think having it properly set up brought out it's true potential.

Overall Rating: 9

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