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!
6617 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Amazon
Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 139 ($US)
Sound is surprisingly good after a complete instrument setup. There's no tone ring so it isn't Mastertone loud but it's loud enough for a beginner banjo. It tended to be on the bright side.
Sound Rating: 7
Banjo was received poorly setup with lots of loose hardware and misaligned components. An hour of adjusting and tightening turned it into a completely different sounding instrument.
Setup Rating: 5
It's a very nice looking banjo
Appearance Rating: 8
Construction is cheap but it could be reasonably durable if cared for.
Reliability Rating: 6
Was able to return the banjo for a refund through Amazon painlessly
Customer Service: 8
The rim is only about .375 in. thick and made of multiple layers of laminated ply. A lamination void was seen on my banjo. One of the hooks had to be bent to engage the rim. The single worst feature is the slim neck - I measured less than 1.156 in. at the nut, making the strings difficult to fret individually. The neck wasn't solidly fastened to the rim and I was able to twist it a bit from side to side - There's probably only 1 bolt which attaches it to the rim. The coordinating rod was bent into a bow shape. The guitar style tuners did stay in tune.
Components Rating: 5
This is a cheap banjo intended for beginners. After a complete setup with considerable head tuning the banjo came alive and the sound was surprisingly good for bluegrass picking. If not for the too thin neck I probably would have kept it to learn on, but I returned it and bought a more robust Recording King at more than twice the price of the Jameson. It could be an adequate beginner banjo for those who can fret the thin neck.
Overall Rating: 6