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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!

7185 reviews in the archive.

Josh Turner: Fire and Rain Banjo cover

Submitted by Lester M on 2/5/2015

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

Just saw this on you tube. This guy never ceases to impress. Beautiful playing and strong vocals...check it out!!

Overall Rating: 10

Dan Levenson: Old-Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo

Submitted by Lester M on 6/6/2014

Where Purchased: Chapters/Indigo

Overall Comments

I have been playing for about 18 months. I am self taught..Books, You tube etc. I started my journey with Wayne Erbsen's excellent "Ignoramus" book. I have been grabbing tab off Mike Iverson's great site or BHO. What I have discovered in Levenson's  book are old time songs that are played in a beautiful style. Just what I have had in mind but didn't know it. The use of drop thumb is extensive which, I feel really fills out the tunes. Tabs, written in an "Easy " and "Advanced" format together with regular notation are clear and easy to read. Book comes with two accompanying c.d's. Each song is given a fairly accurate rendition. This is a large spiral bound treasure of 117 songs!! I will be at it for a while.

Highly recommended for the practiced beginner.

Playing these songs actually make me feel like a banjo player :))



Overall Rating: 8

Rickard: Maple Ridge

Submitted by Lester M on 11/11/2013

Where Purchased: Merriweather Records Ltd.

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 1485.00(Canadian) historic exchange rates / currency converter


Clawhammer guy. The sound of this instrument is wonderful. Nice deep base notes and bright highs. Sustain is not overly long. The overall sound is soft and old time.

Sound Rating: 9


Banjo arrived loosley strung with the bridge seperate. The Renaissance head I chose ( Fibreskin also offered), did not need adjusting. Nut was not a problem. I set the bridge up and started playing within the hour! Extremely easy set -up.

Setup Rating: 10


It is a beauty! I selected the 3 ply maple neck. Which I have to say is teriffic in your hand. I especially like the shape in my hand down to the 5th. fret.The finish is excellent.
The pot ( 11") is a 3/8" maple ply. Painted black with a satin finish. Looks great when combined with the antiqued hardware I chose.

Appearance Rating: 10


Hardware is antiqued brass. Bill's built his reputation on his hardware. Nuff' said.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Arnie at Merriweather was easy to deal with and always prompt in returning any calls or e-mails.

Customer Service: 9


The Tension hooks, ball shoes and rim bolts are substantial! The bridge is a Maple Rickard, a bit too long for my taste. The Gotoh tuners work well and are also antiqued.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Honestly, I am extremely happy with this banjo. I waited 3-1/2 weeks from ordering to delivery. They kept me informed all the way through the process. I have studied the instrument...when I put it down....and can find no flaws. I did see a previous post make mention of the tailpiece screw being too long. This is not my experience. I look forward to playing this instrument for years to come.

Overall Rating: 10

Bridges: Bart Veerman Mystery Wood Bridge

Submitted by Lester M on 5/22/2013

Where Purchased: Direct from Bart

Overall Comments

A thing of beauty. Bart is a craftsman. Smartened up the old Gold tone like you wouldn't believe.

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by Lester M on 5/10/2013

Where Purchased: Direct from Mike

Overall Comments

Just adding my approval of this great tool to the long list preceding me. Works great, nice solid piece, reasonably priced and fast shipping. A pleasure any way ya look at it.
I have had Mikes mute for 6 months now. I had to replace the plastic screws about a month ago ( one broke) with steel ones.

Overall Rating: 9

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