Customer Reviews

Reviews are from Stone Banjo customers. Entries are linked to the banjo details in SOLD and CUSTOM GALLERY menus. Those entries with an EMAIL address have offered to be contacted as a reference.

Banjo #20014 (click link)

Mandy Tyner from Banjo Lemonade www.banjolemonade.com (click link)

Mandy is a Clawhammer banjo instructor from North Georgia - Mandy recently purchased banjo #20014 from a student, friend, and Stone Banjo customer.

Check out Mandys website - Mandy offers on-line instruction/lessons and has a variety of books for the Clawhammer Banjo, Dulcimer, and Merlin.

Below is an Email response AND a video banjo review posted to her website. I am honored...

#20014 BANJO LEMONADE REVIEW (Click link)

Hey Steve,

I got the banjo and put my goat skin head on it and let it stretch out and a couple other things. I’ve just done review video of it which will be up on Tuesday (11/10/20) on my youtube channel Banjo Lemonade if you’d like to see it.

I suspect you will get some contacts from it! I love the banjo. You build a fine banjo indeed. The neck, the fretwork, the action, love them all. The wonderful curve in your armrest! I would expect to pay more for this level of banjo (based on the price you listed on your site for this one). WOW. First time I’d ever played a wood tone ring banjo also and I was pleasantly surprised, and the weight is wonderful as well.

Not too soon, but I may have to get you to build me a custom someday!

Thank you,

Mandy Tyner

Proverbs 16:24 - Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Banjo #21060 (click link) - Tunneled 5th string

Mandy at Banjo Lemonade


In response to Banjo #20014 above, Mandy ordered a special custom banjo. Banjo turned out beautiful, but I will leave the review to Mandy herself at the Youtube link below:

Stone Banjo Company is very grateful for support from Banjo Lemonade. Hearing Mandy's review and those of others presented below is very humbling and a big motivator to build the best banjos for my customers.

To Mandy all my customers, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TRUST.

Banjo #21045-X (click link) - Tunneled 5th string

Jason in Lafayette, TN


Late in 2020 I contacted Steve and asked him if he thought he might be able to make a banjo with a tunneled 5th string; folks he knocked it out of the park! After countless calls and Steve putting up with my ever changing mind, we came up with this beauty:

I've owned banjos made by Zach Hoyt, Bart Reiter, Ken LeVan, Deering; none are better than Steve's. Very easy to talk to and goes above and beyond to get you the banjo YOU want. #3 for me(although I passed one along to a good friend) and already thinking about #4...

Thanks again for a great banjo

SEE JASON'S REVIEW and AUDIO FILE - Click Here

Jason also prepared an expanded video to your enjoyment - Click Here

Banjo #21064 (click link)

Leslie from Washington with the "Royston Special" - Ziricote fretboard is beautiful.


I love this banjo. I am totally enamored with its tone and playability: photos just don’t show how silky smooth this instrument is—just a pleasure to handle, to touch. And it is just so darned gorgeous! It really is above and beyond what I expected when I opened the case, and I was expecting something pretty wonderful. I love the simplicity of design, the colors and grains of the woods, the splash of blue from the turquoise, even the translucency of the head contribute to a very elegant look. Your craftsmanship is superb, but moreover, you have such an eye for small detail, for matching grain of different woods, for making everything flow together. Maybe things that people don’t notice outright, but just sense an overall visual flow. Your work ventures into the realm of art...


You really do offer something special in having the customers personalize their own instrument, and involving them in the process of its construction. It was so gratifying to present my ideas and have you put them into three dimensions. I got everything I wanted, and beautifully.…


Thanks so much for the new member of my musical family,

—Leslie

Banjo #21044-X (click link)

Gary from the Great State of Nevada

Gary input the first Stone Banjo Co. review into Banjo Hangout. Click link below to read.

www.banjohangout.org/reviews/search.asp?m=s&v=9808&redir=true

Thank You Gary

Banjo #21042 (click link)

Mark from the SCOTLAND

The custom made Stone Banjo that Steve has made and sent to me over here in Scotland is awesome, it takes pride of place in my living room . Steve's craftsmanship is a real eye catcher, everyone who sees it just loves the look of it.

It plays absolutely beautifully with an amazing tone I've not had in any other of the Banjos I've had in the past.

Fully recommend Stone Banjo if someone is looking for a fantastic upgrade. Steve will deal with you personally which is priceless.

Thank you Steve, your new friend across the pond.

Banjo #21058 (click link)

I am supremely pleased with everything about my custom Stone Banjo. I play 3 finger Scruggs style banjo. And now I am picking up clawhammer / old time banjo playing. I have always wanted to learn old time banjo. I have been looking at purchasing a nice old time banjo for some time. I wanted someone who would listen and understand where I am at musically and what I want from an old time banjo. And make me a good banjo that will sound good, look good and make me want to pick it up and play it.


Fortunately I came across Stone Banjo. After deliberation of different makers and also talking and consulting with Steve, I decided to have Steve make me a custom walnut / cherry open back banjo. The whole experience has been great. Steve worked with me through my questions and choices and provided feedback. He was always immediately available for my questions and for when I made changes in my specifications.


Boy, did Steve / Stone Banjo deliver! Such attention to detail and fine craftsmanship went into this banjo. Everything about this banjo is quality. The action is just like I like it. The bridge has a compensated third string. The intonation up the neck is spot on. The neck is comfortable playing. The design is just as I specified. And the sound is wonderful to me. I am glad that I happened upon Stone Banjo and commissioned Steve to make a banjo specifically for me.


Steve truly is a craftsman and his work shines through his great sounding, high quality, custom built banjos.


Banjo #20035-X (click link) - LEFTY

Columbus, Ohio


Steve,

The banjo - left handed fretless you sent is wonderful! It was well packaged for shipping. Nothing was damaged in transit. When I opened the box- wow! What a banjo! I love the attention to detail on the headstock. The neck volute is really cool, and I hadn't noticed that detail on your website. I like the simple wooden tailpiece on the banjo as well, it looks very warm, with the black walnut finish (flawless) the beautiful brass hardware and tension hoop, and the ebony headstock and heel cap. Right out of the box, it played excellent, with an action that was none-too-high and a nice warm sound (which is what I wanted with a fretless, nylon-strung, 12" banjo). You can hardly tear me away from this banjo! Working with you throughout the custom-instrument process has been a pleasure. I appreciate how responsive you were, and how much additional time you put into sourcing that troublesome lefty 5th string tuner. The resulting instrument is awesome!!!


I hope you have a happy holiday, and if I ever need another banjo, you'll be hearing from me!

Reference - michaelkash5@gmail.com

Banjo #20021X (click link)

Indianapolis, IN


On the day I received my first Stone Banjo I fell in love with the rich warm sound and the wonderful feel and playability of this instrument. The neck is sweet and has an "old friend" feel to it that makes me play for hours and enjoy it more every minute. It is so light compared to all my other instruments. The Cameron Tone Ring is my first and favorite use of this wood. Clean and sweet sounding. I can stare at it steadily when not playing it due to the beautiful woods and Inlaid Petoskey Stone. The aged brass hardware finishes off the look of quality that is clearly the mark of Stone Banjos. Steve is a brilliant woodworker and gets better with each production. I love it so much I just bought another instrument from this amazing craftsman.

Keep em coming Steve

Banjo #21041 (click link)

Dave in Newark, Ohio


Absolutely loving my Stone banjo.

Everyone has been "wowed", not only by how great it looks but how sweet it sounds.

If you want a one of kind banjo that has the organic look, feel, and playability of a professionally handcrafted banjo, look no further.

The craftsmanship and quality that Steve puts in his banjos make it evident that he's not just building banjos, he's building a legacy.

Banjo #21038X (click link)

Pittsburgh, PA


Hi Steve,

I’ve had my awesome new Stone banjo for about two weeks now and I’m loving it! It is handsome, light, and plays beautifully. I had a great banjo (Pisgah) already, but, like bikes, it’s always best to have at least two. From seeing your work on the website and in person when I checked out your shop, I knew my banjo would be great looking and sounding. But what I did not expect was how easy it is to play. Tunes just spill out naturally with minimal effort. Just pure fun. And I really appreciate your showing me the process of your builds. I learned a lot.

Thanks for your careful craftsmanship!


Banjo #20026X (click link)

Lititz, PA


Long story short, I know that I haven’t been playing on a banjo fit for old-time clawhammering, and have had a bear of a time deciding on what open-back banjo to pick up. Figuring that Mac (Mac Traynham, a Virginia cabinet maker and legendary banjo maker ) was retiring soon and his price point was out of my range for now, I started looking at Deering and Gold Tone. I’m glad I never pulled the trigger because the banjo you crafted exceeded my hopes. The craftsmanship was spectacular, and I am a huge fan of the woody tone and staccato vibe of the drone string. Finally, I have a banjo that fits my style of playing! It’s not only the first open-back I’ve owned, but it is the first one I’ve ever played. So thank you! I honestly can’t believe that you’ve only recently gotten started. I wish you only the best as you continue in this endeavor and would LOVE to visit your workshop whenever I’m in your side of the state. Keep it up!

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#inbox?projector=1 - Cold Frosty Morning

Steven created a very nice You Tube message listed above....... Enjoy and Thank You Steven

Banjo #20020 (click link)

TEXAS


It’s been a while since last we talked. I am still playing my stone banjo and I love it. I have looked at other banjos but my stone banjo is like an old friend. It sounds great and I am still delighted by how nice it looks and feels.

Thank you for making such great instruments.

Banjo #20029X (click link)

Lisle, Illinois


I’ve had the #20029-X about 2 weeks now and couldn’t be happier with my purchase. It has the deeper old time sound I wanted. It looks great and really like the way the spalted maple neck makes it unique. I’m really enjoying playing the my Stone Banjo and based on the workmanship, when I’m up for having one custom built, I would definitely be returning. I will highly recommend Stone Banjo Company when and where I can.

Banjo #20031-X (click link)

Ann Arbor, MI


This is my fifth custom build banjo and I’m impressed. I really appreciate the attention to detail.

A knot on the peg head was part of the design we had agreed on. When I received my banjo, a small knot on the heel cap was an additional nice touch. Most builders cut their fret wire at ninety degrees and press the wire into the fretboard. Changes in humidity can expose the tangs and cut fingers sliding up and down the neck. Steve takes the time to bind the edges of the fretboard with matching pieces of wood, preventing exposed sharp tangs. Another nice touch. The arm rest on most banjos is simply a slice of wood uniform in thickness; it’s a place to put your arm. Steve’s arm rest is thinner at the upper section and thickens out moving toward the tailpiece. To use a popular term, it is “ergonomically engineered.” The arm rest “holds” your arm. Yet another nice touch.

Fit and finish are superb. The neck is a “Goldilocks” neck, not too wide, not too narrow, not too fat or too thin from the fretboard to the back of the neck. It’s “just right.” I also appreciate the volute; many makers don’t bother with that time consuming detail.

Finally, most makers produce several models with standard configurations, similar woods, peg head shapes, tone hoops, pot woods, etc. Each of Steve’s banjos is different. They are truly one-off, custom instruments. They only share one attribute; they are all drop-dead gorgeous.

Banjo #20013 (click link)

Zane, Cookville, TN

Steve,

Been getting some more time behind this new banjo. The more I play it the more I like it. I'm still relatively new to banjos but have played Gibson and Fender electrics as well as Taylor acoustics, your banjo compares nicely to these other fine instruments in terms of fit and finish. Your pricing is great, I'm sure when the word continues to circulate you'll get even busier and be able to charge a premium.


Thanks again for the fine banjo

Banjo #20015-X (click link)

Dave, Bethel Park, PA

The banjo has a unique spalted maple neck & fingerboard which immediately draw attention. Beautiful wood. Construction is solid. The banjo has excellent volume, and I would describe the tone as bright and ringing. Will definitely stand out in ensemble playing. I own banjos from Pisgah, Bart Reiter, GoldTone and others. The Stone banjo compares quite favorably with these other high-quality instruments, and does so at a lower price. I don't think you can beat Stone Banjos in the bang-for-the-buck category. And Steve is very customer oriented and easy to deal with.

Reference - davidbchandler@comcast.net

Banjo #20018 (click link)

JT, New Hampshire

Love the banjo awesome hand made American instrument. Looks great sounds great. Steve is always in contact ever step of the build. I can't wait for my next one to be built.

NOTE: JT loved his first Stone Banjo so much, he designed a second - #21039X - 1/2 fret, Nugut strings. Check it out......

Banjo #20012-18 (click link)

Brad B./ CALIFORNIA

I’m very PROUD to claim to be the first owner of Steve’s 1880’s Tribute Banjos! STONE Banjo is a fitting name, and describes it all! “A stone is created by combined minerals and determined by it’s origins. And takes time.....” Has a stone ever caught your eye, you pick it up and keep it forever?! I did, and I will !

John/Virginia

I was drawn to Stone Banjo Company because Steve said he could build me a banjo using only Appalachian hardwoods, which interested me from a sustainability standpoint. There are other well-known companies who do this, but they are not as customizable as Steve's. Additionally, the value he provides is an obvious highlight. He sent me photos along the way and even allowed me to choose from a picture of about seven pieces of wood that I could choose for my fretboard. The sound is exactly what I was looking for and an enormous step up from the old Deering Goodtime that I had. Aesthetically, I feel like I have a piece of art hanging on my wall. I highly recommend Stone Banjo Company.

Jim/Florida

I received my new Stone Banjo this week and can’t stop playing it. Obviously, I’m thrilled with my new banjo. Nobody can beat this quality at this price. The workmanship is outstanding. The sound is bright and exciting. Steve was a delight to work with through the process. I couldn’t recommend Stone Banjo more strongly.

Zach/Ohio

I couldn't be more happy with the banjo Steve built. This custom banjo is a work of art and he totally nailed the look and sound I wanted. The cherry wood he selected for the neck has the prettiest grain pattern I've ever seen. Steve kept in touch with pictures throughout the build and it was nice to see the process. His prices and custom options exceed other companies. If you're looking for a custom banjo look no further.