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!
7067 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: glenncronkhite.com
I've owned a Reunion Blues canvas gig bag for about 15 years and always wanted a leather version of it. I recently discovered that Glenn Cronkhite, the original maker of Reunion Blues, sold the company to an established maker of gig bags called Torpedo, who makes gig bags for guitars, and now banjos, using Glenn's patterns under the company name Glenn Cronkhite. I called these folks and they could not have been nicer or more professional folks. They were not yet making banjo gig bags when I called, but they hunted down the pattern for the old Reunion Blues bag and made one for me anyway. The bag is an option for sale on their website in a nice variety of canvas and leather options and sizes. The pics in this review are for the Canyon leather bag sized for a 12"pot and 26" scale neck. I use it for both 11" and 12" banjos and both feel very snug and secure in the bag.
I've had the bag for a few weeks now and am totally impressed with the craftsmanship and the fidelity to the original design. This is, for all intents and purposes, a Reunion Blues bag. The hardware and zippers are top notch and the leather is beautiful. The foam padding and the fabric feel very sturdy and I have no doubt this bag will outlast me.
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Ron's shop in AZ
My Sholo has an Indian rosewood tonering and a partial internal resonator. It has a rich bottom end and clear mid-tones and treble all the way up the neck. I like a bit more sustain (but do not like overly ringy tones) and this banjo nails it.
Sound Rating: 10
Ron set the instrument up perfectly, but I have tweaked it a great deal to get the sound I wanted. Liking lower action, I filed the nut down a bit to suit my bridge height prefs. I also replaced the no knot with an Ome Sweettone.
Setup Rating: 10
The quality of wood and skill in the finishing are really stunning on this instrument. I get compliments on it wherever I go. Ron is a real artist.
Appearance Rating: 10
The hardware is top notch (Rickard?) I travel with my instrument and re-tune when I play a great deal and have found this instrument to be the most consistent and reliable I own.
Reliability Rating: 10
I had the great pleasure of meeting Ron and Dorlea in Arizona while there on business and to play some 15 banjos he had there, all very solid and beautiful instruments. Ron listened to me play, swapped out bridges, and even gave me a back up tail piece in case the one installed was not to my liking over time. Since then, I have asked Ron for various banjo bits for other projects and he has always gone the extra mile to do right by me. Top marks.
Customer Service: 10
All components on this banjo were top grade, in my opinion.
Components Rating: 10
In addition to the Sholo, I've played a number of WMBs and really liked all of them. The Sholo is particularly flexible in the sounds I can get out of it, from very plunky to very bright, depending on the bridge, strings, tailpiece, etc. I put on there (and I have played with a good variety). I also own a Reiter Bacophone and an Ome North Star, but the Sholo remains my main daily player.
Overall Rating: 10
'Keith D Tuners' 57 min
'Hardwick Banjo' 2 hrs
'Mystery tone ring' 3 hrs