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!
7076 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: local classified ad
Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 400 ($US) (bought USED)
I am pleasantly surprised by the sound. It had a mesh head for silent practice when purchased. I installed a new 8 inch remo coated ambassador drum head. With head tension of 89 on the drum dial and a Bart Veerman Archie bridge it has a very bluegrassy tone, especially when played close to the bridge. Quite adequate for a lightweight instrument made for practicing/travelling.
Sound Rating: 7
I completely disassembled it when I changed the head. The parts are very well made and materials are of high quality. The 4th string was buzzing but a little tweak on the truss rod took care of that. When reinstalling the neck I noticed a slight amount of lateral play in the neck slot on the body but it stays in place where you need it when the bolt is tightened.
Setup Rating: 9
The banjo looks really nice and you can feel the quality when you pick it up. The lack of a peg head seems a little wierd at first but it's easy to get over. I clip a snark tuner on the wooden string hold down block that is stored under the neck.
Appearance Rating: 9
This thing seems to be built like a tank. I really don't think it will ever break. The wooden string roller assembly was a little sticky when I bought it. I disassembled it and used graphite powder to lubricate between the wheels and on the shaft. It is tuning nicely now.
Reliability Rating: 10
Customer Service: not rated
The body is very solid and well built. The guitar style tuners are smooth. The maple neck has a nice looking strip of walnut down the center. The rosewood fretboard looks very nice, especially after being oiled.
Components Rating: 10
I bought this mainly for practicing around the house. For that purpose I am extremely pleased with the sound and playability. I have it within reach when relaxing in the living room and I find myself reaching for it a lot. I practice a lot more since I bought it. It is so much easier than than picking up my Sierra or OB-275. It was well worth the used price I paid but, In my opinion, the new price is a little steep. But you know what they say about opinions.......I'm sure anyone who acquires one will not be disappointed.
Overall Rating: 9
Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music Center
I put the Archie on my Gold Tone MC150RP and couldn't stop smiling! If you are considering a bridge upgrade you will not be disappointed. I wish I could put into words how it sounds but you just have to hear it. Probably the best 30 bucks I ever spent.
Overall Rating: 10
'What happened to Acutab?' 14 min
'Time to leave BHO.' 2 hrs