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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!

6882 reviews in the archive.

Other: BanjoMate Thinline Armrest

Submitted by countrydirt on 2/27/2009

Where Purchased: Little Mountain Music

Overall Comments

This little armrest is very nice. It helps make my banjo so much more comfortable. First off, it was simple to install. Secondly, it is wider where your arm rests, so it does not dig into your arm. Third, it is adjustable as to height so I can push it down closer to the banjo rim.
It appears to be well manufactured and has a fine finish.

Well, after playing with this armrest on my Rover for about a week - I took it off and put back the factory rest. After about 9 seconds of playing with the factory armrest, I had to put the thinline armrest back on. It is so much better than a thin piece of metal. The ebony looks good on the banjo and simply is much more comfortable. It is so easily adjusted. I think this armrest is worth every penny.

Overall Rating: 10

Morgan Monroe: Cascade MFB-5DX

Submitted by countrydirt on 3/29/2006

Where Purchased: Denver Folklore Center

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 695 ($US)


I bought this to replace a Deering Goodtime Special. I needed something with more bite to cut through the sound of guitar and mandolin. I have not been disappointed.

Sound Rating: 9


It was set up well, but after playing for a few days, I have noticed some loosening of the head. Rich at the Denver Folklore Center walked me through what he was doing on the set up.

Took it in to a picker and luthier after about 6 months of playing. He thought the set up was still good.

Setup Rating: 10


Fantastic appearance for my first bluegrass banjo. It does have a bit of a "bleach" stain on the fingerboard at the 16th fret, but it is not seem distracting. The resonator has some chips in the finish near where the resonator meets the soundholes. But, it has nothing to do with the functionality.

Oiled the fretboard and the bleach stain went away.

Appearance Rating: 8


Bridge seems a little rough and not finished as well as I might like, but I intend to replace the factory bridge soon anyway.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Only had 1 issue with some chipping on resonator binding. They indicated this was not covered, so I will just deal with it. Besides, now the inside of the resonator is signed by Pete Wernick!

Customer Service: not rated


The tuners can be a little balky at times. Tailpiece seems very functional.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

So far I love this instrument. It sounds great and looks like a bluegrass banjo - in other words, traditional with a bit of flash (MOP and Chrome). After playing this for almost 6 months, my impressions have been born out. This is a pretty good banjo. I really like the low profile neck, it is smooth and fast (at least for me). It remains to be seen what the life of the banjo will be - I play about 1 hour per day. Will the fret wire hold up?

Overall Rating: 9

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