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!
6942 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: instrument alley
Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 950 ($US)
I`m still in the learning stages of the banjo game with about 9 months under my belt, so really to me it sounds pretty good. I just picked it up from the post office today so I`m still in the process of setting it up.
Sound Rating: 8
This banjo was supposedly set up at instrument alley, but of course I had to monkey with it and change the head tension to my liking. The action as it comes is really quite playable, I have played a goldstar 100 and and 85 and I`d say the action is comparable to the 100 or better.
Setup Rating: 8
Now supposedly these Flint hill banjos are knock offs or seconds of the RK line of banjos, I have found 2 small flaws, one in the finish on the side of the neck near the 22 fret about the size of a match head ( looks nicked) the other is hard to explane, but the fret board looks rough or maybe un finished after the last fret and before the tension ring. The banjo is definitely nice to look at, really highly figured maple on the resonator and neck, gold plating looks like it could maybe be a bit thin, mother of pearl on the fret board looks as though it could use a bit more polishing.
Appearance Rating: 8
hardware seems good and heavy except for the arm rest, it seems a bit thing as well as the gold plating seems thing and like it may wear off.
Reliability Rating: 8
instrument alley comes across to me as a little shady..lol it took a month to get this banjo to my door, and when I started inquiring where it was about a week after I ordered it, I got the ole " the order is still being processed. a few different excuses between the online tec guy you talk to and Ben the guy you e-mail. multiple e-mails later he seemed to be trying to satisfy me by saying he`ll take $25 off the shipping, have the banjo set up, add a 2 year warrantee, but I see no evidence of any of this stuff being done....not impressed with that at all!
Customer Service: 6
The arm rest, is about the only thing that could be a little heavier in my opinion.
Components Rating: 7
over all its a nice banjo and once I get the setup tweaked to my liking I`m sure it`ll be great. My initial thoughts when I opened it up is wow, thats nice looking but hey is that mother of pearl on the fret board or a cheap imitation? on further inspection I believe it may be mother of pearl but it needs more polishing. Banjo sounds like a banjo, the finish is 98% perfect, set up is close. if this model is a representation or knock off of an RK97 which I think retailed for $2500 to $2800 it would not be worth that price, but at $950 i think it is a reasonable price for what you get. the Case is a really nice hard case which hugs the banjo securely and should protect it nicely.
I`m a little afraid of ordering again from instrument alley, though I did get what I ordered, it took nearly a month. I placed the order on the 18th of oct 2013, and received it in the mail nov 13 2013. they kept telling me it will ship soon, then the next time they told me they were waiting on a bridge to come in that I ordered. so actually I still haven`t received one of the bridges I ordered. instrument alley comes across as a little on the sketchy side, but I did get my order and the prices were darn good.
Overall Rating: 8
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