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Nechville Testimonials

Here are some comments from our customers and friends...

Jonathan Finder Al - as far as I am concerned the Nechville is THE banjo to travel with. The neck can be removed in seconds for safety; my Classic with cocobola tone ring is light and much easier to carry around. Reassembling the banjo was a snap. A real game changer for me. Now I know why Noam Pikelny travels with one.

Joe McGuire I have been the proud owner of a Phantom for about 5 years and there is nothing like it.  I also play clawhammer and was thrilled to hear that you had an open back model (Atlas).  I met a lot of frustration trying to find one to play and finally decided to order an instrument without playing it based on the incredible quality of your products, listening in your on-line sound room and the recommendation of Dave Schenkman. Even with that I had high expectations.  Once again you have exceeded them.  The banjo has a sweeter tone that any instrument has a right to have and plays like a dream.... Thank you for making such incredible instruments and for your fantastic innovations.

Nathan Rigney
: Just wanted you to know that your people over there did a bang up job fixing up my six string electric! It had many great experiences this summer and I attached some pics on this email. First one with the band Wheeler Brothers (with cubs hat on) is from Lollapalooza, second is from playing on the Chicago morning news, third was at Newport Folk Festival during our second set acoustic show (my band mate AJ is playing it there), the last one is my old go to Meteor that I play in a side project called Ghosts & Rivers. It also made the trek out to Firefly Fest in Dover, DE, Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, Tx, and Forecastle in Louisville, KY.  Thank you for making such great banjos and the excellent customer service. I don't know that I'll play another banjo any time soon and I recommend them to all my musician friends.

Tim Francis: Just a quick note to express my gratitude and pleasure with the "Dragon" Meteor.  The sound is remarkable and the looks, well, defies imagination and is really an eye grabber.  At a recent performance I had someone remark they had never seen such an instrument.  They asked what kind of banjo it was and I said..."a one of a kind" !  Then of course I told them about you guys and what you had to offer in instruments...acoustic as well as electric. Anyway, thank you for an excellent instrument that will no doubt bring years of exciting music !

Greg Vickers:  My new Nechville XXV is everything I expected it to be and more.  Yesterday I re-strung the XXV for the first time, and took a closer look at how it's put together.  The Heli-Mount system, the Flex-Tone neck adjustment, the Cyclotronic tone ring support and the little roller at the fifth fret that guides the tunneled fifth string are really outstanding innovations... As a player, these Nechville features aren't just clever-for-the-sake-of-cleverness.  They really make the XXV the easiest to play and adjust banjo I've ever seen.  Plus, the sound is unparalleled. 

Chris Ward: I bought a Phantom w/cascade inlay and corona frame back in 2003. Shortly after getting the banjo, I took a break from playing music publicly. Long story short I started playing again with a bluegrass gospel group, the Far City Boys in 2010. January 23, 2010 was the first date to play with the new band. I had played my other banjo for the audition and practices just because it was the first case I picked up when walking out the door, but I decided to throw the Phantom in the car for the show that night. The band was absolutely blown away with the sound of the Nechville, and many people (not all musicians) after the show came up and asked about what kind of banjo it was and commented on how great it sounded and it looked. Our guitarist and lead vocalist made the comment to me that it was THE best sounding banjo that had been on stage with the band and to make sure that I used it from that night on. I have changed nothing but the strings and head tension on it since it was bought new, and this banjo just keeps getting better and better. All too often, credit is not given to where it is due for a job well done. Thanks for the excellent craftsmanship and quality in this amazing banjo!

Bob Van Putten: I am amazed at how the Nechville neck / flux capacitor has made my prewar flathead Gibson banjo come alive. To be honest, I had been very disappointed with the sound and playability of the 5-string neck previously on it. The addition of the Nechville neck/flux capacitor has brought out the sound, playability and feel, plus the workmanship is second to none.

Joel Garretson: The Atlas is great! It is a beautiful instrument, like an art piece that you wouldn't want to hide away in a case. I couldn't bear putting my old banjo strap on it. Just didn't seem to do it justice. The tone is out of this world. I wasn't sure how the radius neck was going to work with clawhammer but it doesn't take long to get used to it. It doesn't hinder my ability to switch back to my old flat fretboard banjo but the radius neck is more comfortable moving up and down the neck. With all the great banjos to choose from, I believe I made the right choice in the Atlas.

Kurby Hoffman: I am just so impressed with the Phantom. Seriously, I would run out of words to describe my satisfaction with what you do, most impressive. I have been to two weeknight practices and one Saturday night hoedown at our little practice garage out in the country. The boys are real impressed. Tim our lead singer/guitar player said the sound of it gave him goose bumps, how's that for a compliment?

Alan Forrest: I played my new Nechville Classic Deluxe at my usual Wednesday night jam and it was a bit hit. The folks at this jam are used to my bringing in banjos to try out and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The most common opinion was that the sound was perfect for the setting; warm, rich and full, but not overbearing. The volume was outstanding and the power of this banjo gives me the freedom to vary my attack depending on what I wanted to emphasize. I feel as if I'm better able to express myself musically. I'm sure the comfort with the lighter weigh and the super comfortable neck and the ability to adjust the action perfectly contributes too, but the tone and response is what really makes things for me. One of the most impressive things was the reaction of those at the jam. Being in the heart of North Carolina, there is a strong bias toward Gibson banjos as you can well imagine. 2 of the jam attendees asked me to get out my RB-75 and do an A/B test and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of my Classic Deluxe. The listeners used terms like "warm and inviting, made me want to listen closer since it was so musical, powerful and full without being tinny or piercing." I have 2 gigs coming up and will be taking my new Nechville without any hesitation.

Tony Arcurri: Audio Message left on the Nechville Phone.

Charles Pearson: I think your Banjo has the best playability by far of any Banjo I have ever played, and sounds as good as any Banjo I have ever heard! You have reinvented the Wheel, with your Banjo! It has been a pleasure working with you, and I want to wish you good health and happiness with much success!

Stu Turner: I want to reiterate how impressed I am with the fundamental engineering design of Nechville banjos. I’m an engineer working now in the manned space flight industry, and I’m a former Air Force pilot and research and test engineer. I appreciate fine engineering and design! That is what first attracted me to investigate Nechville’s product line, and I have not been disappointed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to set up this banjo.  ;)

George McKnight ( I’ve owned several banjos in the past and the Geo is the best ever. It has many outstanding features and is worth every penny of its value. Previous banjos I’ve owned were of inferior quality and did not leave me inspired to play. The Geo is such a treat and I find I’m on it much more than in the past.

Ross Fox: Let me say that I am very much impressed by my Nechville Classic. I suppose you would classify me as a perfectionist, and after examining my banjo very, very carefully, I have come to the conclusion that it is a perfectly built as is possible. The neck is fantastic and the tone is wonderful. Nechville certainly can be proud of their banjos. I am no banjo expert by no means, but I certainly recognize quality, and the banjo shows it. I can already tell that some of the songs that I was having trouble fingering with my left hand on my [other banjo], has become much easier with the Classic. As I become more proficient, I am sure that I will come to realize what an asset in learning to play my Nechville is. I would and will recommend your banjos to anyone that asks me. Thanks again... And you are right about I couldn't have found a better place to purchase my banjo. Very nice folks there indeed!

Kevin Donnelly: I've had my Vintage model that I bought from Canyon Music for almost two weeks... I love the wider fingerboard, and I will be completely used to it shortly. The radiused neck is awesome beyond belief! I also notice that I play with almost NO pick noise on the Vintage. I'm used to avoiding certain inversions with the (other) banjo. Not on the Vintage, as EVERY note on the neck is equally clear in tone and sound pressure level. The string-to-string balance is perfect. My aching back already loves the lighter weight. The design of, and user accessibility to this banjo is genius level thinking. Even head tension by design! My head came tuned to a G#, and it just sounds wonderful. I'm afraid to tinker with it as it sounds so good. The intonation is wonderful and tuning up seems easier.

Jim Borwick: If the allegations of a Heaven are true and the winged cherubs aren’t trombonists, then they just may be playing Tom’s Heli-Mount banjos up there. Unfortunately, I’ll probably never be able to verify my hunch first hand, but I did receive the banjo you guys sent me last week and it’s as close to divine as earthly things get. It’s a privilege to play it and too much fun. Thank you so much!

Eric Joel Brief: I just got my Maple Phantom with galaxy inlay! All I have to say is... Unbelievable. It is the most beautiful and tasteful instrument i have ever seen. I've never seen a Nechville in person and when I opened mine, everything about it just blew me away. The sound is awesome, its exactly what I am looking for in a banjo. I worked hard for 8 months for this and I will never regret a minute of work. It's everything I have always dreamed of. In addition to the specs I said I wanted, I noticed how great the bridge and tailpiece are as well as how it sings up the neck. All my friends knew I'd been getting this banjo, I'm the only banjo player they know, I told them it was coming today and they all came to my place to see it and were amazed. I feel like I've won the lottery. I'm a changed player/man. I'll let you know more when I discover more of the banjo's wonders. Thanks for being a part of the banjo.

Jim Pankey: Sounds great, just gets better!

The Lone Mountain Band

Avimaan Syam: I just wanted to say first off that I love my instrument, it is absolutely amazing. (I have the Meteorite with the added EMG pickup). I am super pleased with my tone both acoustically and plugged in--I can keep a little of that banjo twang and still get a jazzy clean tone, or I can switch to the Piezo pickup and rip up a bluegrass tune. The instrument's versatility, and ability to sound crisp at all settings, is what sets it apart. I am a Nechville user forever.

Bill Jenson: The neck is like butter. I didn't think I could find a neck that I liked as well as the Stelling, but the Dojo is fantastic. The Reno licks that I play are effortless on it. I love it.

Bob Everett (Raleigh, NC): I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful Banjovie. I recently took it to Alaska on a fishing trip. Everyone loved it, and I even got a job offer to play banjo, fish, and sleep. I'm only 15 and been playing the banjo for one year, too. But I love the Banjovie and how it lets me play anywhere at anytime (and all the girls find it cute, too). Thank you again for this wonderful invention, and I hope to bring it to Merlefest next year and play to my hearts content.

Bob Sexton:I just turned 50 and I live in Union Grove NC which is kind of a bluegrass Mecca in this area...I started a pilgrimage to find a new banjo. I tried a lot of instruments but was having a hard time finding one that sounded good but had some flash in the looks dept. I like my banjo different from the standard Gibson look alike. I found the Nextar locally, but it was a little out of my range. I did go play it to get a feel for your banjo's and loved it. And the kicker was that my wife also loved it... I went for the Nextar. I like dealing with a local guy. I love the looks and the fancy inlay... I love the banjo, And your local dealer, Counter Point Music was also great. Thanks for the email and for bringing some new ideas into the banjo world.

Bubba Hutch: Geez, I'm having fun with this thing!!! The Stealth Moonshine Geo arrived today. Lordy, what a hoot! I sat down in my office and played for an hour. You know, the sound of that thing was just covered up by all the noise and background at the exhibitor's area at MBA. This banjo, in addition to being impossible smooth and light, has a really unique sound that I hadn't heard before. I'm not sure how to describe it...maybe unencumbered would be a good term. It just sounds....and sounds...with a pleasing, traditional sound but with a 'liberty' about it. I am really surprised! I'm having a ball with this banjo.

David Peterson: I've been playing my new Walnut Phantom all day long - and love everything about it

DIXIE CHICKS: Greetings all, Keith Pilkington with Dixie Chicks here. how's everything? just to let you know, everyone (band/chicks and crew) is digging your product over the five Gibson's that we have out here. same electronics in all, and the Nechville is standing out big time. still need to take a look at the custom neck, but we are getting ready to take a break and as soon as we return we can set something up. if tom is still in Europe, please let him know that he's cutting the mustard so to speak. Thanks for everything and I'll be in touch soon...peace,

Gordon Woods: I am extremely happy with my new Moonshine. It took an hour or so of playing, and I loosened the head a wee bit, to get myself accustomed to the instrument and then its beautiful tone came out. It takes a little while to find the touch for any new instrument, and now it sings. I have always played old banjos - 1920 and earlier - and this is the first one with fat, modern frets, superb low action, and excellent intonation, that I've played. It is a pleasure, especially to play up the neck, as in a song like Snowdrop, which never plays well on old, high action traditional clawhammer type openback banjos.

Terry Douglas: I just wanted to thank you for setting up and working on my banjo at Merlefest. I didn't really have a chance to play it again til I got home, and I have to say it sounds and feels just great- the improvement is marked. I really like the bridge a lot.

Joe Customer: Who prefers not to be named says: Well I went to a small jam last night and got a really favorable response to the Phantom. There were 3 fiddles, a guitar, my Phantom and another guy with a Stelling Staghorn. The volume was there when I needed it and the tone was excellent. I usually play my Stelling Staghorn at this jam and everyone moves back to soften the strong volume and bright tone which is stronger than the other guy's Stelling. With the Nechville everyone moved closer to me, not because of a lack of volume, but because they wanted to follow my beat/timing. That is a first. They said that they usually don't have a clue what I am playing because of excessive volume and bright tone. Other comments were that the tone was very pleasant to play with for a change and really fit in with the fiddles, the volume I supplied was appropriate. Playing along with the other fellow's Stelling, I found my volume equal to his but I liked my tone better. Fascinating!

The Ball-bearing tone ring was a great idea. This instrument rings like MY Stelling but is not as bright which is now obviously a plus when jamming.

Just in case it is not a trade secret I am going to ask, what the heck did you do to get the sound? I know you work with Gibsons all the time and you must realize that you are getting a better tone. I owned a Scruggs Mastertone a while ago and dumped it for the Stellings which are overall superior to my ear. I also prefer the Phantom to the Gibson. A friend has a pre-war Gibson that is not equal to the Phantom!

Terry Mieger: After seeing Mark Epstein (Badly Bent), a week ago, and him letting me check out his Nechville, I was sold. I found one in Denver at Old Towne Music. Another Nechville player, Armando Zuppa sold it to me. They were both fantastic. Armando's price was unbeatable and he had me sit in with one of his students to play on it. What a way to check out a banjo with a pro. My New Custom Classic is everything I expected. Thank you for such a great instrument.

Scott McCluskey: I received the Classic a few days ago and have been playing it non stop since! Thank you and everyone else in the shop for building such a wonderful instrument! It sounds soooo good! I only wish I was a better player so I was able to hear what it can really do! I feel like a guy with a Ferrari that only knows how to make left turns….I know the banjo has so much more in it than I can pull out of it! It inspires me to work to get better and it will continue to amaze me for years to come. I feel blessed to have such a fine instrument. You were gentlemen to work with and I appreciate all you did. Thank you all again!

Bob McSeveney: Just reporting after one week. NO, the honeymoon is not over. I play this banjo all the time!! I absolutely love it. I love the way you set it up and the bright popping tone it produces. The radiused fingerboard and low action allow for some fast picking. I also like the narrow neck.

Laurence Anderson: I’ve been playing my Meteor almost non-stop since I got it on Friday. When I’m not playing it I just stare at it and admire its beauty. As I play the instrument, and study it, I can’t help but admire your design and engineering skills. Tom, you just nailed it all the way around. It’s the coolest looking banjo on the planet (people are knocked out when they see it); it has a wonderful warm bluesy sound when played acoustically; it sounds great when you plug it in (you can plug it into anything and it sounds wonderful); and it plays like an absolute dream (the radius neck is another engineering triumph). The electronics are really good too. I am blessed to know you as a friend - and to own, and treasure, one of your wonderful instruments (which are a work of art).

Jon Cornatzer: I received my Banjo Friday afternoon! I can only say, WOW! I played shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday and used it for all of them. It has a great ballsy tone, even, all the way across the board. My fellow musicians were impressed with the sound and I was extremely happy with the playability. Your care toward detail, innovation and craftsmanship are greatly appreciated. It is a beautiful instrument. The finish is gorgeous, and it really shows off the grain in this great looking neck. You have produced for me the instrument that I have wanted for a long time. Thank you.

Karl Lingwood: I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed playing my Nechville electric banjo. It's surprised and delighted many people now. Your craftsmanship is great, and it feels so good playing it.

Mike Pruitt: Hi Tom, received the banjo today. In a word, all I can say is: I LOVE IT! Thanks so much and you were right, it was worth the wait.

Steve Douglas: I just wanted to thank you for setting up and working on my banjo at Merlefest. I didn't really have a chance to play it again til I got home, and I have to say it sounds and feels just great - the improvement is marked. I really like the bridge a lot.

Alan Spears: Tom, Installed the ball bearings and it works great. Played with the band last night and everyone noticed the difference. Thanks.

Laurence Anderson: I thought the ball bearing banjo I tried was the best playing, best sounding banjo I've ever put my greasy paws on.

Hitoshi Imamura: I've been playing the banjo for 12 years. I bought the new Heli-Mount banjo (American Vintage model) at Kurama Instruments. It sounds clear and beautiful, I'm so satisfied with it. Thanx."

Rick Olivarez: Hello from central Virginia! Just wanted to say how pleased I am with your Enterprise bridge! It gives me a warm, full sound but it's not muddy or dull. It also seems to keep my banjo in tune a little better!! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!

Roger Chenery: I just got the Eclipse an hour ago and even with my novice quick setup, it's ringing beautifully! The tone is fabulous, best I've ever heard from any banjo I've owned. It's so versatile! It's as mellow as I could want and also louder and crisper than all my other banjos at the bridge. What a great banjo! I've had a Deering Calico, Wildwood Paragon, and a Gibson RB250 and this guy blows em all away! Thanks for making such a great product. The neck fits me perfect and is way easier to play than my Gibson was. I should be able to progress much faster now. You've got a fan for life!

Sal Demaio: Thanks again for setting up my arch top Mastertone at Banjo Camp North. It still sounds great. Even a friend with a new Huber commented on it. However, it doesn't sound as great as the Nechville Classic I just bought. It has a radiused fingerboard and the wide frets, just like the Meteor I played at your booth. It also has a pick-up. I am really thrilled. It is incredibly comfortable, like no other banjo I have played except that Meteor.

Tom Collins: I must admit, I was a bit skeptical about the Heli-Mount system on an old-time banjo but it certainly gave a very nice even tension across the head. The instrument sounded and played wonderfully and the skin head was a nice touch. I wouldn't have guessed that the Heli-Mount would have worked with real skin. The Nechville had lots of sustain, warmth and clarity. I think it's a very nice openback. One of the great features was it's weight (or lack thereof). It's a light and durable little banjo, which are real pluses for those who travel. Nice work!

Bryan Cox: Let me just say I just love the instrument. You have done a fantastic job of designing in all the factors that are important plus it looks incredible as well. It plays like a dream, as well as being comfortable and light. It may well be the only one of its kind in New Zealand but either way it has attracted admiring comments wherever I have taken it.

Wayne Jew (on his Nextar Turbo module): This unit rocks! Having a blast with it, also works great for late night practice sessions (unamplified or through headphones). Very cool...

John Dekeyser: No other banjo I have ever heard has such a clear tone. I think it compares very favorably with the very high priced pre-war banjos I have heard some performers use , and I have sat within 10 feet of the instruments being played by top players.

Bill Flanagan: My banjo arrived in perfect shape last Wednesday. I used it during band practice on Thursday, and... Wow! It sounds GREAT... even better than before! It's nice and bright, and the sound is very flavorful. It's perfect! I like the medium gauge strings, especially with the new set-up. Thanks for the attention to the set-up! This was definitely worth waiting for! And the custom truss rod cover looks fantastic! Now the choice is clear... the Nechville is my main axe, and the Gibson RB-250 is my backup. (Note: See Bill's custom banjo at

Larry Thompson: Tell Tom and everyone at the shop I love my maple Phantom, I'm more impressed with it every time i play it. It will be on stage with me at the Opry house in WV Saturday night. I have owned a lot of banjos in the 18 years I have been picking, and this Phantom is by far the best banjo i have played. The craftsmanship is flawless. Although this is my first Nechville, it will not be the last.

Daniel Fick: I just wanted to let you know that I really love the Meteor! Just got home after a couple of gigs where I´ve used it. We played on the biggest cruise ship in Scandinavia with lots and lots of volume and still I didn´t have any feedback problems and the banjo sounded great and was a pure joy to play! Everyone in the band thought it sounded great and had a very natural banjo sound. I run it through an Acoustasonic amp and a booster and it really sounds good. The neck is also super comfortable.