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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!

7131 reviews in the archive.

Mitchell: MBJ-200

Submitted by MongolTide on 12/30/2013

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sounds pretty good for a bluegrass style. Keep in mind that you can get a lot of flexibility depending on the strings you give it. The resonator provides it with plenty of amplitude and I can get a good loud sound from playing Scruggs-style without wearing any picks (my fingers have calices on calices). You can bend the strings to get an interesting sound and if you like it works well with Keith or Schaller "D" tuners for a unique sitaresque sound. Removing the geared tuners they provide is a matter of unscrewing a few washers. The only solid criticism of the sound is that the drone-string nut is made of plastic and causes 5th string notes to sound very faint if you don't find the right sweet spot when tuning it.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Some assembly was recqired as I recall. The only part that was difficult enough to make it into my long-term memory was setting up the bridge. I had never placed the bridge on a banjo before and there is actually a complex algorithm for placement. You can google it because it didn't come with instructions for the bridge.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

It has a gorgeous design. The resonator and head are both a beautiful sunlight-tobacco design with pleasing colors. The bridge has great inlays. The Banjo is all-in-all gorgeous to look out. As good as you'll get without going into custom-quality.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I've had it for a year now. I've dropped it, bumped it, done all sorts of havoc too it; I put it in its case and went mud riding with it in an old ford ranger. There is not a scratch on it. It is incredibly durable if you make any effort to take care of it. It would get a ten if not for the cheap plastic drone-string nut they gave it which broke after a few months of use. I had to replace it with a bone nut out of pocket because customer support for guitar center claimed they didn't have one.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I payed for the warranty and when their cheap plastic (probably Chinese) nut broke they wouldn't cough up a few bucks to replace it or send me a replacement part. They gave me an option to return it so they could send me a new banjo but that was it. (Talk about wasteful)

Customer Service: 5

Components

Tuners are of fine quality. The nut sucks. The resonator is strong and durable. The neck is strong and durable. The head is just about completely waterproof. If not for the nut, ten out of ten.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Its a good banjo after that first crappy starting banjo. If your looking for something you can be proud of with a typical sound thats pretty enough to show off this is it. Its not a custom-built banjo but its good none the less.

Overall Rating: 8

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