Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

468
Banjo Lovers Online


Banjo Reviews

Review Categories

Most Recent

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!

6880 reviews in the archive.

Recording King: RK-75 Elite

Submitted by Fretting Fingers on 2/10/2018

Where Purchased: Banjoteacher.com

Year Purchased: January 22,2018
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The RK-75 Elite suits my picking style (Scruggs) perfectly. When I unpacked the banjo I was blown away by the sound, rich/full. Close to the bridge it is bright and clean, closer to the neck deep and full. The 75 has a wide range and it tones out perfectly. I have really cracked down on the 75 and it just wants more. The 75 is loud and I do mean loud, it seems that when I play light, it is still loud. I am one of those who thinks a banjo can't be too loud lol, and the 75 comes through like a champ. The low end is exactly what I was wanting, that deep growl.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Ross Nickerson and his team set the banjo up perfectly. I am going to play it for a while to let it settle in and then see if it needs to be tweaked, but out of the case it sounds really really good. Intonation is spot on.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The looks, finish, inlay, plating everything is flawless. No complaints it is just a really nice looking instrument. I keep looking for inlay mistakes or finish mistakes and I can't find any at all, just a beautiful looking banjo. The 75 elite has the flying eagle inlay pattern which I love. I thought the Recording King block on the peg head would bother me. I thought it was going to have a "sticker" look but it doesn't at all, it is inlay and actually looks good.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Hardware is solid like the rest of the banjo. The plating is good no sign of bubbles anywhere. I can't see a reason the finish will not last. I would play this banjo in any situation. A very dependable banjo.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I have not had a reason to deal with Recording King so I can't comment on their service. BUT, I did deal with Ross Nickerson. A very impressive guy. I called him on a number of occasions to talk about the purchase. It is a very impressive thing to call a company and the owner answers the phone. You don't talk to "Roy" who has never played a banjo, you talk to a professional player who actually knows banjos. Ross was very patient, answering all the questions I asked with clear and honest answers. There was not "selling" involved, just plain upfront talk about the banjo. I talked to Ross about other banjos and he never ran them down, never tried to "push" the RK over other makes. I guess a couple of the things that most impressed me about Ross was that he will talk banjo with you, not just selling banjos but playing. Another thing that impressed me was Ross in just a nice guy to deal with, wants to get you the banjo you want and to help you in anyway he can, you can tell his heart is in helping banjo players play. I would encourage those who are looking for a RK, to contact Ross I promise you, you will not go wrong.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Everything stands out to me about the 75 Elite, it is a pretty instrument to look at. I had spikes put in at the 7th and 9th frets, the 5th slides in smoothly, no snags at all. Another compliment to Ross and his team. I have played other banjos where the 5th string would catch or not slide under the spikes easy.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

As you can tell, I am pretty pleased with the banjo. I intend this banjo to be handed down through the family. When I am gone it is to go to one of my girls and then handed down to one of the grand children, hopefully they will love bluegrass and the instrument as much as I do. This is the first and probably my last NEW banjo I will buy and I feel I made a great choice. Very pleased all the way around with the purchase. Dealing with Ross Nickerson was just a pleasure and would not hesitate to deal with him again. I purchased the banjo on January 22,2018 and on January 26, 2018 it was sitting in my house. Not sure of the sound you are looking for, we all have "that" sound, but the 75 Elite has that sound for me. 

Overall Rating: 10

Mike's Banjo Mute: 5-string Standard Model

Submitted by Fretting Fingers on 6/25/2015

Where Purchased: From Mike

Overall Comments

I tend to like to pick at odd hours, sometime very late and sometimes very early. Then there are the odd hours for my wife which is anything time between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm lol. Not really but there is the intrusion that my playing does have about anytime I do play, so I started out trying different things to mute the sound. Clothespins worked but changed the sound of the banjo and I didn't care much for it, tried putting a towel in the resonator and just didn't care much for taking the resonator off, putting the towel in and then having to take it back off to get the towel out, lazy I guess. Started looking for a mute and was surprised to find so many of them. After reading review after review, I decided to give one a try, just to see. I chose Mikes Banjo Mute. After going through several attempts to purchase the mute through his website, was not Mikes fault something about PayPal and the card I was using. I have to say that Mike was EXTREMELY helpful during this time. I sent him an email explaining what was taking place on the website and he emailed me back with in minutes, pretty personal if you ask me and would like to say Thank You Mike for the assistance!! I ordered the mute and in a week it showed up and in a nice bag, which I was not expecting but if I had read the description on his web site a little closer it does say it comes with a bag. Got the mute, put it on my banjo, takes all of maybe 15 seconds and WOW!! It so mutes the banjo and retains the sound that I could not be more pleased. It lowers the sound to what I would say is an electric guitar not plugged into an amp. The  construction of the mute will last for a long time, I will not have to purchase another one in my life time unless it would get run over by and train. Pleased? Oh yeah, very pleased. Would I or will I recommend Mikes Banjo Mute to others? No question about it, if there is another mute that does a better job then you would not be able to hear the banjo at all! Mike, you have done a great job with the mute, I thank you and  my wife thanks you!!

Overall Rating: 10

Morgan Monroe: MGB-1

Submitted by Fretting Fingers on 12/16/2012

Where Purchased: From a friend

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 300 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

This banjo is perfect for my style I try to play Scruggs style. The sound is loud and clear. It is about a 1000.00 banjo that I got for 300.00. It has only been played around the house and hasn't been carried all over the place so it hasn't been beat up or anything.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I was told the banjo came set up, I am going to take it and have it set up and checked over though the sound is very good.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very easy on the eyes. The pearl inlay in nice not the most fancy I have seen but has just the right amount. The gold has some tarnish but I expect that, it is quite then and doesn't make the banjo sound any better by being there or not.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

The hardware is very sturdy and I think it will last. The finish is very nice and was taken good care of. I would not be concerned using it on a gig at all, the sound is amazing of the banjo actually more than I expected

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Not sure who all will see this but I wanted to add a comment about the customer service of Morgan Monroe. I had a thumb screw that twisted off while I was removing the resonator. And a couple of the tunning buttons was cracked. So I contacted Morgan Monroe and explained what I needed. The salesman asked me if I had the original paperwork for the banjo and I said I didn't, I had bought it from a friend. He explained the lifetime warranty was only for the original owners and I said I understood that and it wasn't a problem. The salesman told me he would make an exception and was sending me everything at no cost. I don't know about other banjo makers or owners but this goes a long way toward being a loyal Morgan Monroe owner!! They are people who stand behind their product and I find it to be refreshing myself.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I love the tone ring (Gibson Mastertone) and all the parts seems to be top of the line to me. Of course there is only one Gibson but it is very close and for the price I don't think you could go wrong.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I love this banjo. The sound is right in all the playing positions. It will be the last banjo I will buy unless of course someone drops a Gibson in my lap for next to nothing. I think every banjo player puts a Gibson at the top of the line, but mortgaging the house to get one isn't something I would care to do. It is a shame Gibson has out priced themselves. The Morgan Monroe has the sound I have been looking for and I am very pleased with it.

Overall Rating: 10

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125