Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

332
Banjo Lovers Online


Banjo Reviews

Review Categories

Most Recent

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!

7185 reviews in the archive.

Tailpieces: Fults Blue Ridge Tailpiece

Submitted by ricksnapp on 2/20/2017

Where Purchased: Online

Overall Comments

Another GREAT tailpiece from Fults.  Increased the tone and clarity of the banjo on which it is mounted.  Makes a good sounding banjo sound great.  I was surprised the first time I mounted a Fults tailpiece on a banjo.  This is my third and I'm a believer!  Though they're pricey it's well worth the expense, IMHO.

Overall Rating: 10

Tailpieces: Fults Cumberland T/P

Submitted by ricksnapp on 2/8/2017

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

I've been curious about the Fults tailpiece for a while now.  They appear to be well engineered and very well built from the information on the web.  I recently bought a Cumberland tailpiece with F20 mount from another BHO member.  The F20 mount slips behind the hooks and was easier to install than I originally thought it would be.  I put it on a 1950 TB100 conversion, restrung and tuned it then put it back in the case.  I took it out of the case a couple of days later, tuned it up and proceeded to hit it a few licks.  All I can say is WOW!!!!  I never thought that a tailpiece could make such a difference in tone.  It is MUCH brighter, clearer, and louder than it was with previous Kerschner tailpiece.  The sustain lasts forever, note decay is almost instantaneous and overtones are virtually gone on this banjo.  IMHO this banjo rivals my 1927 TB2 conversion in terms of tone and volume.  I like the results so well that I'm going to replace the tailpiece on all of my banjos with a Fults.  It is a bit expensive but it transformed a good sounding banjo into a great sounding one!!!

Overall Rating: 10

Necks: Clancy Mullins

Submitted by ricksnapp on 2/8/2017

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

I recently purchased a 1927 TB2 conversion with an almost unplayable neck.  The price that I paid for it left me some room to have a new neck made for it so I contacted Clancy Mullins.  I have a couple of banjos that have necks that were made by Clancy and I really like his necks.  They're not too wide nor thick and thin out as you approach the heel.  For me, his necks are very playable.  Clancy did an excellent job making the neck.  The inlays are perfect and the finish excellent.  He even re-stained and re-finished the resonator to match the neck and added a piece of binding to the resonator to make it double bound.  His work is of the highest quality.  I now own a brand new pre-war Gibson banjo and couldn't be happier!!!

Overall Rating: 10

Clancy Mullins

Submitted by ricksnapp on 11/23/2016

Overall Comments

I asked Clancy to make a new neck for a 1927 TB conversion that had an unplayable neck on it.  The resonator was in pretty rough shape as well.  He make a gorgeous and very nice curly maple neck with gull-wing inlays and refinished the resonator as well.  The result exceeded my expectations and I really love it!  I really liked the sound of the banjo before putting a new neck on it.  I'm sure that the new neck will and refinished resonator make me love it even more.

Clancy is an excellent craftsman and a pleasure to deal with.  I really like the feel and profile of the necks he makes.  They fit my hand well and are very playable.  In fact, one of my other favorites is a 1950 TB conversion that has a Mullins neck on it.

Thanks so much for the great job....

Rick Snapp

Overall Rating: 10

Tone Rings: Huber No Hole Flathead Ring

Submitted by ricksnapp on 2/6/2016

Where Purchased: BHO member

Overall Comments

I'd never seen a no hole Huber tone ring before so I was a bit skeptical.  It is stamped on the underside with the Huber logo and has a serial number so I presume that it's authentic.  Regardless of authenticity, this is one GREAT tone ring.  I have a banjo with a Wyatt beech rim and a Kulesh tone ring that I thought was lacking tone and volume.  I bought this ring to replace the Kulesh on that banjo. Though it fit (very tightly) onto the rim I decided to dress the edge of the rim slightly to accommodate this tone ring.  This would likely be a problem once the humidity increases this summer. 

I have to admin that I'm quite surprised the difference this tone ring made in the sound of this banjo!  It now has great volume and sustain and the note separation is great as well.  Though I've only played this upgraded banjo for about an hour since changing the tone ring it's quickly becoming one of my favorites of the banjos that I own.

Overall Rating: 10

Tailpieces: Kershner Tailpiece - Heavy

Submitted by ricksnapp on 6/2/2015

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

I prefer a Kerschner over a Presto or any tailpiece that has a fold-over cover.  There will be NO vibration and hence no noise from this tailpiece.  I purchased 3 from Stewart-MacDonald then waited for several months for them to be delivered.  When I finally received them they looked great in the packaging.  Upon mounting them I noticed that I was unable to push the first and fifth strings into position through the slot in the tailpiece.  Further inspection revealed that there was an obstruction in the slots.  I believe that it is either from the casting or plating processes.  This does not make these tailpieces useless as I have been able to thread the strings through the holes.

I like an adjustable tailpiece.  The Kerschner is one that is a proven design and allows one to adjust both overall string tension and individual string tension.  I didn't notice any real tonal improvement when changing from the original Presto tailpieces once I got them properly adjusted.  I did notice that I can make the banjos sound real bad when adjusting the tailpieces to apply too much or too little tension on the strings. Fortunately, this tailpiece makes that adjustment easy.

Overall Rating: 7

Sullivan: Radcliff Radcliff

Submitted by ricksnapp on 2/17/2015

Where Purchased: BHO member

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound is rich and loud - not overly bright. Suits my playing style well. No complaints at all about the tone or sound of this banjo.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Everyone has their own preferences about setup. Unless you purchase a banjo from a store and take it home there will be setup necessary. I always check/adjust head tension and replace the strings whenever I get a new banjo that was shipped. It's hard to complain about the setup unless you don't know how to make minor adjustments by yourself.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

This banjo has a beautiful walnut burl resonator. The neck is gorgeous walnut as well. Inlays are gorgeous and very well done. Other than a real small ding on the top of the headstock there were imperfections on this banjo. VERY well made

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I can't imagine that this banjo would ever let me down. All the hardware is top notch and th finish is excellent. A very attractive and well made banjo, It'll probably outlast me.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't had to contact Sullivan for any issue. This is a sign of how well build Sullivan banjos are.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

All components are top notch. Tuners work well and hold tune well. Sullivan bridge is great as well!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Overall,  you can't get a better banjo for the money than a Sullivan.  This model isn't the top of the line but it is built as well as any banjo that I've ever seen.  You can't go wrong with a Sullivan!

Overall Rating: 10

Crafters of TN: Tennessee Flathead

Submitted by ricksnapp on 2/17/2015

Where Purchased: BHO member

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Suits me well. This is a hard driving bluegrass banjo. With new strings, a new bridge, and a head adjustment this banjo came to life.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup is personal. I replaced the bridge, tightened the head and replaced the strings when I got this banjo. I find that this kind of thing is necessary unless you purchase an instrument from a local store and take it directly home. There was nothing unusual or difficult about getting this banjo playable.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Gorgeous curly maple neck and resonator. Headstock inlays are both MOP and abalone and are beautiful to look at. Neck inlays are MOP. Both are very well done. No flaws that I can find in the fit and finish.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It will probably outlast me and look great as we both age. It's very well made and sturdy. I'd take it anywhere without a backup and not worry.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I haven't needed assistance with any issues with this banjo. I did try to contact them to get an idea of the age of this instrument without sucess. I've heard this about Crafters so I wasn't surprised.

Customer Service: 5

Components

All components are top notch. Tuners work well and keep tune. The frets are broader than the frets on my other banjos. The frets and neck remind me of a good electric guitar - low action and straight neck.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Though hard to contact, Crafters of Tennessee makes a great banjo.  It's a hard driving bluegrass machine.  If all banjos were built like this one, reviews would be unnecessary.....  Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10

Huss and Dalton: Owens Mill

Submitted by ricksnapp on 10/2/2014

Where Purchased: BHO Member

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound is great! Crisp and clear everywhere on the neck.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was as good as could be expected. Shipping always seems to mess up even the best setup. I put new strings on it, replaced the Snuffy Smith bridge for one made from 100+ year old maple, and verified the head tension. Good to go!!!!!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

A real good looking banjo. Dark stained mahogany with 2 concentric rings on the back of the resonator. Fingerboard and headstock inlays perfect and beautiful. There was some buckle rash on the resonator that was obvious from the pictures posted on BHO. The pictures made it look much worse than it actually is. It can probably be buffed out sometime in the future. I'm not willing to take it down to address the buckle rash right now.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

All hardware is first class. Fit and finish are top notch as well. I can't imagine needing another banjo though I own several. It'll probably outlast me....

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Warranty? What's that all about? I've not needed to contact Huss and Dalton about this banjo but they were very helpful when I had some questions about the H&D guitar that I own.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Everything about this banjo is the best. If I had any real complaint it would be that the 5th string doesn't have a nut - only a RR spike that holds the string down at the 5th fret.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

All Huss and Dalton products are extremely high quality professional instruments.  This banjo is no exception.  I wouldn't hesitate it to recommend this banjo to anyone wanting a great instrument.  Tone is great and it has lots of power without being too loud.  I'd take this banjo anywhere.  It plays as good as any instrument that I've owned and is looks better than most.  If it were stolen, I don't know what I'd do other than cry.....

Overall Rating: 10

Bishline: Heirloom Maple Custom

Submitted by ricksnapp on 10/2/2014

Where Purchased: BHO member

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Very articulate banjo. Plenty of volume and sustain. You gotta play very clean on this banjo. It exposes your mistakes for everyone to hear.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Surprisingly, this banjo was setup well when it arrived. Shipping had almost no affect on the setup. Once it got used to it's new environment I did needto retension the head - that's all. I've not even changed strings

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beauriful banjo. The curly maple resonator and neck are beautiful. Finish is great on all parts. I llike the torch (?) inlay way down the neck. Just my opinion but the MOP dot inlays kinda look out of place with the cool torch inlay. Headstock shape is way cool!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

All the hardware is top notch. Should outlast me....

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Contacting Bishline was a bit difficult. They were in the process of moving the shop so that's to be expected. Once I got in contact all comunication was been good.

Customer Service: 8

Components

All components are great. Wood and metal all fit well everywhere. No need to upgrade anything on this banjo. The neck is amazing! It's very thin and real fast.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is the first banjo that I've owned that has a block rim.  Perhaps it's the rim that gives it the articulate sound. Though different, I really like the sound of this banjo.  My challenge is playing up to the standard that this banjo sets.  I would recommend this banjo to anyone looking for a top quality professional instrument.  Fit and finish are wonderful.  Playability is incredible as well.  I can't say enough good things about this banjo.  You gotta play one to  understand....

 

Overall Rating: 10

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125