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Slim Jim Banjos

Reviews

Andy Qulech  - 12/03/2018 - So here's a wee review of my Slim Jim slot head :) "As a luthier I was immediately struck by the workmanship of Slim Jim’s banjos. Jim’s obvious experience and skills in using hand tools comes across in every aspect of the build and the finish. Not only are they handsome instruments, more importantly they have a rich and clear quality of sound. My 12" pot, slot head antiqued banjo sounds warm and full as a solo instrument, cuts through in a session and just gets better and better the more I play it!" Andy Quelch A&E Old Time String Band, Ragged Out String Band


Jim Brown – 5 star - 28 November 2017 Mountain Banjo #13 arrived a day earlier than scheduled, which was a most pleasant surprise. It is stunningly beautiful and the craftsmanship is superb. If it weren’t for an afternoon meeting at work that I couldn’t miss, I’m sure I would have come down with something and had to go home to tune it up and give it a go.

Finally got off the hamster wheel and got it tuned up and WOW it blew me away! The tone is out of this world and it plays effortlessly, which is saying a lot for a hack like me on a fretless. I couldn’t be happier with MT 13, and am already discussing the design of my next Slim Jim Banjo! Jim is a super guy to work with and I highly recommended him! Thanks M8!


Phil Longden22/10/2016 - Early last year at Gainsborough, I became the proud owner of a Slim Jim banjo. Jim and I meet fairly regularly at a monthly session at Ewshot near Farnham in Surrey and he spent some time preparing to set up his banjo business, working on the designs and occasionally bringing his experimental instruments along to the session for people to try out. 

Jim has previously worked as a boat builder and I was tremendously impressed with his expert skill in working with wood and the build quality of all his instruments. I was looking for a nice plunky-sounding open back banjo to play old time music with a small group and I was initially particularly interested in a type of banjo Jim was building with a wooden tone ring which evolved into his “Hampshire” model. 

We discussed some ideas about the design and Jim was extremely helpful; he is prepared to build custom banjos for anyone with special requirements.  As it turned out, Jim had already finalized the design of his “Duroc” model which has a brass tone ring. When this was finished, I was amazed by the superb tone quality and playability – I immediately decided this was the banjo for me! 

It has been fascinating to observe how Jim has carefully crafted a range of wonderful banjos. The “Duroc” gives me much pleasure and it’s the banjo in the corner of my room I pick up & play most often.


Graham Luetchford reviewed Slim Jim Banjos – 5 star - 15 March 2016 · I came across Slim Jim banjos at the FOAOTMAD festival at Gainsborough a few weeks ago and was taken by the small size and lightness of his mountain banjos and impressed by the quality of his workmanship. I wanted a small travel banjo to take in my camper van and thought paying a little more for unique, handmade instrument was worth it. I was also keen to try playing a good fretless.

I phoned Jim a week before I was due to go off to Cornwall in my van and luckily he still had one in stock. I wanted a brass fretboard as I had seen on one Gainsborough and he agreed to fit one to the instrument you can see on his FB page and courier it to me within the week.

Well I have been playing it now for a week, in the van, and I am totally sold. It is beautiful to look at and lovely to play. Not as loud as a full sized banjo but very sweet in tone. I would definitely recommend anyone who wants one to pay a little extra to have the aged brass fretboard as it looks fantastic with the overall colour scheme and as well as making slides smoother, it adds a brightness to the tone. Mine came with Aquila red strings, which added to visual effect.

I am really pleased that Jim makes these instruments out of recycled timber as it means you get well seasoned, dense grained woods that should not move and it probably helps keep the price low. The thought that it may contain parts of an old oak sideboard gives me great pleasure! All told a lovely and unique instrument at a good price and Jim put himself out to get it to me on time, which I appreciate. Thanks Jim.


Richard Clements reviewed Slim Jim Banjos – 5 star - 9 April 2016
Jim has made me a fantastic mountain banjo all in walnut, it is a work of art and plays beautifully. Jim himself is a great bloke, really welcoming, his work is top notch and his attention to detail is spot on. All in all i'm a very happy customer!


Andy Quelch reviewed Slim Jim Banjos – 5 star18 February 2016 · Put one of Jim's "round" bridges on Emily's goldtone and boom! Intonation & tuning spot on. Watch this space, Slim Jim Banjos is going places! Great craftsmanship & lovely guy!


Paul Toomey reviewed Slim Jim Banjos – 5 star - 20 November 2016 · Jim made me a mountain banjo (MT No 8) which is a thing of beauty! Could not be happier. Thanks Jim.


Cara Luftreviewed Slim Jim Banjos – 5 star - 3 September 2016 - Met this gem of a guy at the #didmartonbluegrassfestival in the #cotswolds this past weekend. Slim Jim Banjos, some of the finest banjos I've had the pleasure of playing. Reminded me of @romerobanjos -- Jim told me Jason was one of his inspirations. Banjo craftsmen unite!