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!
7055 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music
Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 1399 ($US)
Sounds absolutely wonderful. I'd only been playing for 5 months when I decided to upgrade from my JB100. As expected, it destroyed my JB100 in comparison. So much easier to play, the sound was amazing, and looks beautiful. I know I'm only a beginner...having played now for 9 months but I think you'd be hard pressed to find any other banjo this nice in the same price range. I would recommend it to anyone. It's hard for me as a beginner to give a true "rating" for sound but it sounds great to me so I rated it as a 9.
Sound Rating: 9
The banjo was well setup as expected from Janet Davis. I did have the bridge and tailpiece changed by JDM before it was shipped to me. I went with a Snuffy Smith bridge and a Price tailpiece. Also, I had the railroad tacks installed at JDM prior to shipment. Upon receipt, all I had to do was tune the strings and I was done. JDM had already set the banjo to medium action prior to shipment. It can't get any easier than that.
Setup Rating: 10
The woodwork looks great to me. Again, I'm an ameature when it comes to things like wood work but I couldn't find any flaws. The GF-200 comes with mother of pearl which is beautiful. I've gotten some nice comments on the pearl...it really stands out nicely.
Appearance Rating: 10
Reliability Rating: not rated
JDM was wonderful to work with. They offered advice and explained everything to me in detail so that I felt comfortable with decisions. They had to delay my shipment by a couple of days due the tailpiece being on back-order. They actually contacted me via e-mail to let me know there would be a couple extra days. Most companies would have just put it asside and never let the customer know the order status.
Customer Service: 10
I didn't really care for the GF-200 standard tailpiece and replaced it with the Price tailpiece. I think this is a must. Also, it seems that the tuners loosened up during my first string change which is easily fixed but a minor annoyance none the less.
Components Rating: 8
I would absolutely recommend this banjo from beginners to advanced. A friend of mine plays banjo as a full-time job and has the GF-100. After 6 months of playing I don't think he'll ever buy anything but Gold Star from now on. If my banjo was stolen I would replace it with the exact same banjo.
Overall Rating: 10
'Olympics !!!' 6 hrs
'7 Years of Banjo' 7 hrs
'Waltz Time' 9 hrs