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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!

6617 reviews in the archive.

Davison/Jameson 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket with Closed Solid Back Review

View all reviews for Davison/Jameson

Submitted by Crusty (see all reviews from this person) on 11/16/2012

Where Purchased: Amazon

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 139 ($US)

Sound

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

Setup

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

Appearance

It's a very nice looking banjo

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Construction is cheap but it could be reasonably durable if cared for.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Was able to return the banjo for a refund through Amazon painlessly

Customer Service: 8

Components

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

Overall Comments

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

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