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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!

6772 reviews in the archive.

Huber: Berkshire

Submitted by cjernst on 9/14/2011

Where Purchased: Steve Huber

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 5000 ($US)

Sound

I ordered my Huber Berkshire with the new Truetone HR-30 tonering and engineered rim and I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. I ordered the Berkshire because I wanted a maple banjo with a bit more bite than my current mahogany Prucha. All I can say is WOW! The sound is crystal clear all up and down the neck with great separation of notes. The fingerboard is radiused just enough and the speed neck feels great. The banjo has both good highs and lows and the overall sound is perfection. I wasn't sure whether there would be a huge difference in sound, but this one really slays the competition. The sound has improved over the first week of playing as everything settles in and I am more impressed every day.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was perfect (it was even perfectly in tune when I opened the package from UPS). I haven't had to change anything. I will be tightening the head in the near future as it loosens with age (Steve even included a torque wrench with recommended settings so I could maintain the current sound).

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Gorgeous finish. I was a little worried about how the speed neck finish would look, but it really looks great. The darker stain on the maple is absolutely beautiful and the inlay work is to die for.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

No question that it is built to last. Everything is solid.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Jim was great with the ordering process and the banjo was completed in the quoted time frame (6 months). It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so I'm not concerned about any future needs (it is built to last).

Customer Service: 10

Components

Every piece looks and works great. I wouldn't change a thing.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The look and sound are definitely worth the money. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade to a high quality banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by cjernst on 9/14/2011

Where Purchased: Online

Overall Comments

I had a Fielding-Cutler mute that I lost and was looking for a replacement. I found Mike's mute and had to get it. I was a little worried at first when I saw the plastic screw adjustments, but can honestly say they work as well (or better) than the adjustments on my former FC banjo mute. The brass on the mute looks great and it attaches to the bridge much more easily than my old mute. It works just as advertised and I'm sure my upstairs neighbor appreciates it (I like the idea that I can practice into the night). My only comment for improvement is that the radius on the radius model is a bit much. It doesn't seem to affect the sound, but it seems like it is a bit too much of a curve. I actually ordered a second (non-radius) to use on one of my banjos that has a much smaller curve. Overall, a great product and great service.

Overall Rating: 9

Picks: Blue Chip Thumb Pick

Submitted by cjernst on 9/14/2011

Where Purchased: bluechippick.net

Overall Comments

Expensive, yes. But worth every penny. They fit like a glove (you hardly know you are wearing a pick), wear like iron, and play smooth as silk. I used to occasionally catch my pick band on a string, not with BlueChip. Pick noise is a problem of the past as these picks hit the string cleanly and produce a nice clean tone. Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10

Prucha: Inspiration

Submitted by cjernst on 12/28/2002

Where Purchased: Greg Boyd House of Fine Instruments

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 2600 ($US)

Sound

Totally awesome sound. Good highs and lows with a really sweet sound.

Update 9/11: the banjo still sounds GREAT and the mahogany assures a sweet even tone. It can still hold its own in a jam session and I always get great comments on the tone. Not quite the "bite" and "growl" of my new Huber Truetone, but the Prucha is still a versatile killer banjo.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Banjo was set up just fine when I received it. Action was perfect. The only thing I needed to do was to put a little graphite on the nut so my keith tuners would work (Prucha really does tight work).

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Gorgeous instrument. The woods are all first class premium grade and everything down to the tuning pegs is top notch. The inlay is absolutely flawless (as everything else Prucha is doing).

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Only had it a week, but I would definitely say it will last. It was built right.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Bought through Greg Boyd who has great customer service. Visit his site at http://www.gregboyd.com if you want to see the Prucha banjos. Prucha gives a lifetime warranty and Greg is always ready to lend a hand if needed.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Can't find any flaws or second class parts. Everything fits together like a glove.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Absolutely love it. The price was very reasonable for a banjo of this quality. My last banjo was an Alvarez and I can't bear to pick it up after playing this gem. You can bet I would replace it with another Prucha if anything ever happened to it.

Overall Rating: 10

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