Review of John Bowlin 1865 Fretless

Review for John Bowlin 1865 Fretless Where Purchased John Bowlin Year Purchased 2008 Price Paid 795.00 ($US) Sound Big booming sound with gut strings, skin head--very robust and fun to play. Sound Rating 10 Setup Sounded wonderful right out of the box. John marked where to put the bridge very well --easy set up. Setup Rating 10 Appearance Lovely with elegant dark wood, dark fingerboard, hardware is antiqued. Looks like a vintage 19th century banjo, but with new parts and construction that make it so easy to play. I particularly love it that the fingerboard is glossy. Appearance Rating 10 Reliability Everything quality. In fact, I plan to take it in June on a tour from Tallahassee to Pasadena to Albuquerque to Brasstown, then back to Tally again. This is the first minstrel type of banjo that I have felt comfortable with on the road in changing climates. I took it festival camping last weekend and it played quite well around the campfire at night. In fact, the folks camped next door who we didn't know, came over the next morning and said "What was that big banjo you were playing last night? My husband and I think that is the most beautiful banjo we have ever heard. " Reliability Rating 10 Customer Service I love John Bowlin. He is such a gentlemen and I enjoyed every communication with him. :) I hope there will be John Bowlin Society gatherings in the future--I would love to meet him and his lovely wife in the future. (She is a wonderful quilter) Customer Service 10 Components I love the little period tuning wrench he slipped into the case. I'm really tempted to wear it as a necklace. :) Also, the bridge is heavy duty and carved like a heart. The whole banjo is very elegant with a romantic, yet boisterous personality. Components Rating 10 Overall Comments Sure--this banjo was a wonderful value. I'd cry if someone stole it. Please don't steal it because it would not fit your hand or play nicely at all for you. It was made especially for me and would not sound as good for anyone else. Also, my sons would hunt you down and take it away from you and they may even use violence--so it's best to not even think about taking my banjo. Overall Rating 10

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