Customer Review - James Burke, Green Valley, AZ

The banjola arrived yesterday afternoon in good condition. It is all I had hoped it would be. As I expected, the workmanship is excellent but it is the tone that is totally outstanding. I know I will enjoy playing this instrument for many years. If you ever have any inquiries from this region I would be happy to show off this instrument to anyone contemplating a purchase. In fact, you are welcome to pass on my contact information to anyone who may be interested in your instruments. Thank you very much for creating these wonderful banjolas and for your excellent customer service. Perhaps a bit of background may interest you. I’m 65 yrs old and have been trying various instruments most of my life with very limited success-not a professioanl musician by any means. 20 years or ago I got interested in banjo- tried bluegrass, clawhammer ( took a Ken Perlman workshop) etc. Pretty much lost interest after a while and moved on to bagpipes for the last ten years or ( better success). Last year one of the pipers I practice with every week announced that his wife wanted him to learn banjo so I loaned him one of mine and we would work on that a bit each week. To get him started I found an instruction book by Tim Jumper in which the author starts with basic chords etc and them moves into a single finger up-picking old time style that I found fit my needs. I made what I think was very good progress,(for me). Sometime last year I ( independently) got the idea that this style would fit very nicely on an instrument with a standard five string type neck but a guitar body . Nobody I talked to ( including a young luthier) had ever heard of such a thing. One day I was in a local music store that specializes in “folk” instruments and low and behold there was a Gold Tone Banjola. I tried it out and it was exactly the sound I was looking for to complement my banjo. I bought the instrument and found myself playing it most of the time and really enjoying the sound. One day I happened to do an internet search and found your website. After a bit of angonizing over the cost I decide to take the plunge and buy the one listed as slightly used. Now at this time I was very satisfied with my Gold Tone ( remember, I’m no professional) and sort of expected a fancier banjola that would give me just as good a sound as my Gold Tone. I was very surprised at the vast difference between what I thought was pretty good( the Gold Tone) and what quality in workmanship and sound was possible ( my new Victor banjola). ( I’m not totally ignorant about instrument quality- I have a cheap guitar and a Maritn D-28, and cheap banjos and a Deering, so I do have some experience in comparing quality). So now I’ll keep working on the bagpipes and my banjo technique but 99% of the banjo time will be on the new Victor banjola. Anyway, thats my story and I’m sticking to it.

-- James Burke, Green Valley, AZ