Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

1019
Banjo Lovers Online


Jul 25, 2021 - 12:49:35 PM
212 posts since 9/14/2019

I'm not going to buy right away, but am saving my money for a possible purchase within the year. I enjoy playing bluegrass, but also like to branch out with some other styles. The Nechville is attractive to me because it seems to fit well across those boundaries. However, most of them are $3000+ which is a lot for me.

If you own a Nechville do you think it is worth the price?

Jul 25, 2021 - 1:15:07 PM
like this

193 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by watercarving

I'm not going to buy right away, but am saving my money for a possible purchase within the year. I enjoy playing bluegrass, but also like to branch out with some other styles. The Nechville is attractive to me because it seems to fit well across those boundaries. However, most of them are $3000+ which is a lot for me.

If you own a Nechville do you think it is worth the price?


I guess you could ask that question of any banjo. It's all down to personal choice and how much you are willing to pay.  I don't own a Nechville but I have played one and I thought it was a great banjo. I own a Stelling a Goldtone and a Fender I think all three banjos are great, they all play nicely and well worth what I paid for them.  My advice would be go try out lots of different banjos rather than making choices from the feedback you'll receive here. Everyone has their own favorites so there will be a certain amount of  built in bias

Edited by - FenderFred on 07/25/2021 13:17:14

Jul 25, 2021 - 2:17:39 PM

47 posts since 2/25/2020

I second FenderFred. It's all about what you're looking for! Nechville's have great features and playability, but don't pack the punch of a banjo like a Deering, or especially a Gibson. They also have a cool system for tightening the head and changing the neck angle, which once again, loses a bit of the tone you might be used too from a banjo. I have an Ome, and it does really well on both sides of the spectrum (lots of drive and power to a nice gentle sound like Jens Kruger's banjo). It's also really nice to play. What kind of sound are you looking for?

Jul 25, 2021 - 3:31:53 PM
likes this

360 posts since 11/17/2015

They are great banjo's, excellent build and components, have their own sound, not the Gibson sound.

Jul 25, 2021 - 5:23:46 PM
like this

131 posts since 2/15/2018

I own 2 Nechvilles (the Classic and the Vintage). Given enough effort towards setup, you could make a Nechville sound very close to a Deering or, I presume, other traditional sounding banjos, although Nechvilles tend to be on the mellow side and possess greater sustain. They are absolute works of art, beautifully crafted instruments, and have easy playability, if that makes sense. I own more banjos than I have talent, but if I were forced to thin the herd, I would still hold on to my Nechvilles. I don't regret buying them, even though they were by far my most expensive banjos.

Edited by - glosardo on 07/25/2021 17:25:40

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:22:07 PM

11042 posts since 6/17/2003

Great banjos; comfortable to play, easy to adjust.  The sound is a result of the setup of which Nechvilles have more adjustment options than other brands.  I particularly like the radius fretboard, armrest, and string spacing.

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:23:26 PM

Bill H

USA

1693 posts since 11/7/2010

I am all in on Nechville banjos. I got a Midnight Phantom about a year ago and loved it so much that I ordered a Moonshine which I have been playing for several months now. I sold some pretty nice vintage banjos to pull the whole deal off.

The Phantom has a 20 hole bronze ring and I have a hybrid ring in the Moonshine. These banjos are beautifully made and are incredibly easy to make adjustments to. You can change heads without removing the strings, adjust tension in seconds and the tension is always perfectly even. The feel and playability is perfection.

As for sound, the Phantom has the cleanest sound (no overtones, buzzes, rattles) and a clear, deep tone. I keep the head moderately tight. The hybrid ring sounds great playing claw hammer. It reminds e a bit of a Tubaphone sound, but cleaner and deeper. It also sound good with picks.

And I love that they have no hooks and nut to fuss with. Changing a head on an old fashioned banjo is like a half day project compared to 15 minutes for a Nechville.

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:49:03 PM

Alex Z

USA

4479 posts since 12/7/2006
Online Now

"I'm not going to buy right away, but am saving my money for a possible purchase within the year. I enjoy playing bluegrass, but also like to branch out with some other styles. The Nechville is attractive to me because it seems to fit well across those boundaries. However, most of them are $3000+ which is a lot for me."

"If you own a Nechville do you think it is worth the price?"

The answer -- by those who have decided to buy --  is always going to be "yes."  Otherwise, they wouldn't have bought. smiley  

Maybe the question should be, "If you've played a Nechville and compared it to other banjos but purchased something else, which banjos might come reasonably close to the Nechville but for significantly less money?"

If nothing fits, then the Nechville is worth the money, and the poster will have to decide whether or not to spend the money.

Jul 26, 2021 - 4:11:29 AM

2859 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

I was at a Jack Hatfield banjo workshop. Bela Fleck was there. Another banjoist was featured. At the end, Jack, Bela, and he played in the jam. The stage had three types. A pre-war, a custom builder (All American), and a Nechville. As each player soloed, their banjos would be voiced. The good news is that they all sounded like banjos. Each owner had their reasons to own their instruments.

As for intensity, the Custom and Nechville were comparable. The pre-war struggled to shine. RB-75 are cool banjos. By themselves, they shine. In a crowd, maybe or maybe not.

Earl said that his banjo needed to have at least three modes of voices. Loud is just one. He wanted subtle and sweet. I agree with his assessment. I bought an RB-12 from the BHO. It was untouched and unsold inventory. From the start, I was confident in the purchase. I have tricked it out to my needs.

This was true for every banjoist which played that day. Banjos are like white sheet of paper. Ownership brings either improvements or a mess. Earl’s bread-n-butter banjo was a mess.

Jul 26, 2021 - 4:27:21 AM

banjoy

USA

9795 posts since 7/1/2006

I own a Nechville Athena model which was customized to my specifications by Tom Nechville when he put it together for me in 2010. Tom cut me some slack $$ as he knew I had been eyeing his banjos for about 20 years and I had spoken with him a few times over the years. I finally pulled the trigger in late 2009...

Six months later, Tom met me in Asheville, NC right after MerleFest in 2010, to hand-deliver my banjo to me. Talk about service!!

Still, it was a major cash outlay for me, but I can truthfully report that there was zero buyer's remorse from the instant I put my hands on it. As others have stated already, it's very playable, plays like butter, and has a wide range of tones you can pull out of it with little effort. This banjo practically plays itself.

I get TONS and I mean TONS of compliments about the tone of my banjo, mostly how smooth and pleasant a sound it is. Not every banjo has to peel paint off walls. Most people, in fact, don't like that harshness when they finally hear a banjo not being so harsh for the first time.

And in jam situations, the Nechville definitely holds its own.

So, that's my Nechville experience. To each his own. But you asked some fair questions, all I can say is, if you buy one, you probably won't regret it.

Finally, if price is an obstacle, you might consider a used Nechville (advice I would give for ANY banjo brand being considered.)

Good luck and choose wisely. Above all else, enjoy the trip.

Jul 26, 2021 - 5:00:22 AM

212 posts since 9/14/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

"I'm not going to buy right away, but am saving my money for a possible purchase within the year. I enjoy playing bluegrass, but also like to branch out with some other styles. The Nechville is attractive to me because it seems to fit well across those boundaries. However, most of them are $3000+ which is a lot for me."

"If you own a Nechville do you think it is worth the price?"

The answer -- by those who have decided to buy --  is always going to be "yes."  Otherwise, they wouldn't have bought. smiley  

Maybe the question should be, "If you've played a Nechville and compared it to other banjos but purchased something else, which banjos might come reasonably close to the Nechville but for significantly less money?"

If nothing fits, then the Nechville is worth the money, and the poster will have to decide whether or not to spend the money.

 


I think buying something doesn't mean you like it long-term. It means you like it when you bought it. I'm looking for folks who have experience with them to see if they like them. I've bought many things I ended up not keeping.

Jul 26, 2021 - 5:04:07 AM

212 posts since 9/14/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H

I am all in on Nechville banjos. I got a Midnight Phantom about a year ago and loved it so much that I ordered a Moonshine which I have been playing for several months now. I sold some pretty nice vintage banjos to pull the whole deal off.

The Phantom has a 20 hole bronze ring and I have a hybrid ring in the Moonshine. These banjos are beautifully made and are incredibly easy to make adjustments to. You can change heads without removing the strings, adjust tension in seconds and the tension is always perfectly even. The feel and playability is perfection.

As for sound, the Phantom has the cleanest sound (no overtones, buzzes, rattles) and a clear, deep tone. I keep the head moderately tight. The hybrid ring sounds great playing claw hammer. It reminds e a bit of a Tubaphone sound, but cleaner and deeper. It also sound good with picks.

And I love that they have no hooks and nut to fuss with. Changing a head on an old fashioned banjo is like a half day project compared to 15 minutes for a Nechville.


That's really what's attractive to me about them....the clearer tone that isn't overpowering. I also hate overtones and for some reason my ears seem to be extra sensitive to them.

I would want to play bluegrass but I also like to branch out into more melodic things and jam-band stuff.  I'm not good at those things yet but am learning and can tell I need a little different sound to get what I want.

Jul 26, 2021 - 5:45:11 AM

Bill H

USA

1693 posts since 11/7/2010

I found my Phantom used, but only slightly, and saved a bit over the cost of a new Nechville. I sold a 1924 Whyte Laydie to help fund it. I think most of the Nechville dealers post here in the Hangout classifieds, so keep your eye on them for something you like. I love the more contemporary style of the Geo peghead shape, but some prefer a more traditional look. I watched a ton of their videos when I was shopping and have been thrilled with what I purchased. Until I was strictly a vintage banjo geek with a bunch of Vegas and Fairbanks.

Jul 26, 2021 - 6:47:09 AM

Alex Z

USA

4479 posts since 12/7/2006
Online Now

"I'm looking for folks who have experience with them to see if they like them."

That's a fair question -- but a different question from "worth the price."

Jul 26, 2021 - 8:41:11 AM

1048 posts since 10/5/2008

I do not own a Nechville, but I have played them plenty, and I love them! I got the chance to hang out with Tom at a banjo festival in Ireland a good 15 years ago, and since then I've loved his banjos. You can make them sound like just about any kind of banjo you'd like, because they're so easy to change around. One of these days I'm going to be in a position to buy a Nechville and I can't wait! If you're concerned about price, I would check the classified ads here on the hangout. You can find some great deals on used Nechvilles vs. the price of a new one.

Jul 26, 2021 - 10:20:45 AM
likes this

65 posts since 3/3/2014

Great thread; I've enjoyed reading this so far.

I have two Nechvilles: a classic deluxe with a full tone ring and a turtle hill custom with their hybrid ring.

As far as banjos go, i own a Gibson and another Mastertone-style. I almost always (90% of the time) play my nechville. The varying timbres you can get from one of toms banjos far surpasses any banjo I own. The tonal differences that can be achieved are endless and suitable to multiple styles.

When I gig I always play my nechville. For some reason, it mics better than any of my others. I think this may have to do with no overtones typically associated with a mastertoe style banjo. I've received several comments regarding the sound (and brand) of my nechville when playing out.

If I had to choose one banjo, it'd be a nechville simply due to the versatility, clarity, and comfortability!

Jul 26, 2021 - 10:51:34 AM

5610 posts since 6/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JustinK927

As far as banjos go, i own a Gibson and another Mastertone-style. I almost always (90% of the time) play my nechville. The varying timbres you can get from one of toms banjos far surpasses any banjo I own. The tonal differences that can be achieved are endless and suitable to multiple styles.

When I gig I always play my nechville. For some reason, it mics better than any of my others. I think this may have to do with no overtones typically associated with a mastertoe style banjo. I've received several comments regarding the sound (and brand) of my nechville when playing out.

If I had to choose one banjo, it'd be a nechville simply due to the versatility, clarity, and comfortability!


Well said Justin. 
I agree 100%. 
I have a Mastertone style banjo and a Nechville Classic Deluxe. The majority of my playing is on the Nechville.
I love the radiused fingerboard and the build quality and finish is among the best in the industry. One reason I purchased a Nechville is for the versatility and ease of changing the tone ring should I desire a lighter weight. Neck angle and head tension are very easy to adjust as the whole banjo has been brilliantly engineered for this purpose. 
The full tone ring Nechville banjo is several pounds lighter than a Mastertone so it's much easier on the shoulder and back. 
I love my Nechville and consider it a lifetime banjo. 

Jul 27, 2021 - 11:55:09 AM
Players Union Member

mud400

USA

64 posts since 5/30/2016

Good thread.
I own a walnut phantom. I ended up putting a prucha 20 hole tone ring in it. I like it a little better than the 40 hole that came in it. I purchased mine used. I tend to play melodic and classical. I don’t really play full bluegrass much. I have mine set up for a very even tone across all the strings (no big 4th string here). I really like how it plays and is very comfortable for my big mitts. I would like to get some more banjos to try, but I can’t imagine getting rid of this one. It is a keeper for sure. Would I pay full price for a new one? I have been toying around with picking up a moonshine, so yes, I probably would.

Jul 27, 2021 - 2:31:58 PM
Players Union Member

mud400

USA

64 posts since 5/30/2016

I will add.
Definitely check out the other manufactures (I would say contemporary) in the style of banjo.
There are a lot of top notch builders out there.

Jul 28, 2021 - 9:06:40 AM

957 posts since 6/25/2006

I've played a Saturn and a Zeus (I used to own the latter but sold it on) - they have a balanced sound but perhaps don't have the bright 'pop' of a traditional mastertone banjo but there are other Nechville models. They tend to appeal to players who want to make their own adjustments and feel confident in doing - check out all the mellow, deep tones Benji Flaming gets on his Nechville - so mellow its almost guitar-like but he has adjusted the banjo to get that sound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lybyXlPntR4

Edited by - hobogal on 07/28/2021 09:07:53

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.375