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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!

7170 reviews in the archive.

Zachary Hoyt: 19-3/4 Scale Open Back

Submitted by stanzukowski on 3/18/2015

Where Purchased: from maker

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 700 ($US)


The sound is wonderful. With the wood tone ring, it has a clear but "plunky" old-time sound. I've been playing it more than my full-size banjo.

Sound Rating: 10


The banjo was set up perfectly. The action is exactly as I requested it, and he even made a custom wood armrest for me that is the most comfortable armrest I've used.

Setup Rating: 10


The craftsmanship is superb. He made a minstrel-style peghead for me, which gives it a nice old style, but the blond wood gives it a modern appearance.

Appearance Rating: 10


I plan to use this banjo primarily for travel, not as my day-to-day practice and performance banjo. But I would definitely use it at a gig or a jam without a backup. I plan to put heavier strings on it so I can tune it to standar G / D for jams.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Zach was very communcative and friendly. We talked on the phone to kick off the project. Then he sent me several drawings to approve before he moved forward. I picked the wood, but he was quick to recommend improvements when needed. Finally, he sent numerous photos during the building process so I could see his progress firsthand.

Customer Service: 10


The entire banjo is beautiful, but I'm particularly happy with the minstrel-style peghead, and the custom wood armrest he created for it.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would strongly recommend working with Zach. He is fast, flexible, and very friendly. He also makes other instruments, and later this spring my wife and I plan to travel to his workshop at some point so she can try out one of his fiddles and maybe buy it.

Overall Rating: 10

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