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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!

7048 reviews in the archive.

Traynham: Recent Maple

Submitted by Malcolm on 4/24/2012

Where Purchased: From Mac Traynham

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Perfect sounding clawhammer banjo from one of the great players!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

This banjo has both the low boogie and the "pop" that many old time clawhammer players seek. I have owned many open backs but this is bomb.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Since Mac is a player, he sets it up to play. Mine is all curly maple and has no flaws, just great wood with great sound.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is the most beautiful banjo I have ever owned. It stays in tune in the dramatic changes in the North East weather in New Hampshire.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Mac is a good guy, honorable, reputable and a great player.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Mac uses the best quality tuners, and parts availabel

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is the best open back on the planet.

Overall Rating: 10

Ramsey: Woody

Submitted by Malcolm on 12/18/2006

Where Purchased: Maker

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This is a 12" boomer. The sound is clear and very powerful in the low range. Great old-timey sound.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Mike Ramsey sets his banjos up very playable. The action, the care taken in the fretwork, and the overall feel of the banjo is wonderul.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is one of the finest looking open-backs of the new breed. Mike does an incredible tree inlay with acorns and leaves down the kneck. It is an eye catcher. This has an extra deep pot of beautiful wood. The neck piece is a very nicely flamed maple.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This banjo should last a lifetime.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

The Chantarelle banjo operation is first-class. Mike stands by his incredible products. This is nearly the 1,900th banjo he has hand produced and he's got it down. He is proud of his work and makes sure it is right.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I may change the head to a skin head, but it was nicely set up with high quality all the way around.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have owned 20 open back banjos, made by all the current well-known makers as well as some high dollar antique banjos. This banjo plays better and sounds better than any other wood tone ring banjo on the market. I would be heartbroken if it were stolen, but Mike personalized it for me, so it would be easy to find. I would buy another Chantarelle banjo built by Mike Ramsey in a minute if I could afford it.

Overall Rating: 10

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