Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Making A Banjo Better

My current banjo is a 40-year old Epiphone of questionable background, but it’s mine. And lately it’s been buzzing horribly. So much so I almost decided to buy a new one. But I recently learned of a reputable banjo store 90 minutes away, so I set an appointment and went for a visit today. I wandered into the shop of a 75 year old guy who has been playing & repairing banjos for decades. The shop is cluttered with Deering banjos of all kinds, Huber banjos and pretty much all the great banjos I’ve been staring at in the Banjo Ben’s General Store. But these were real!
We talked as he set-up my banjo properly. I after about 2 hours of wonderful chat as he tinkered with my banjos (store bought & an old home-made one). When he was finished, he cleaned off a chair and invited me to try out my 5-string. Nervously I started playing, first a little Cripple Creek, the Bile them Cabbages, the usual warm-up routine. after a couple minutes, he brought me a Deering Sierra and said “Try this.”

Days like this don’t come around very often.
No, i didn’t buy it. I will someday, after I learn “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”

The moral of the story is: If you can find somebody like Jake to professionally set-up your banjo, don’t even think about it. Just do it.


That’s a very cool story and getting harder to find that kind of personal service. I agree with you when you say ,Don’t even think about it just do it! I contacted the BBCGS and sent them my money and didn’t look back! Jake did the set-up for my new gold tone and it’s the best money spent this year. I am so happy with the end result and the service was spot on( except for the sit down jam session,I’m in NorCal so that don’t work to good) I’m only just starting on my Banjo journey but even my music teacher is jealous and she has a few nice instruments. So bite the bullet and lay down your cash if you can it’s worth it.:sunglasses: