Saturday, July 26, 2008

Manufacturing Defects & Making Reputable Purchases

I just couldn't resist posting this... We bought this banjo from the dealer with a factory setup. The manufacturing defects are so severe, it cannot be repaired, which also leads me to saying that it could not have possibly been setup. (Unless a factory setup means that all the parts are put together irregardless of fit!!!) This is why you don't want to purchase that "bargain" from just anyone. I've posted a few pictures and also a video clip (video clip isn't available today, but check back tomorrow. It is uploading currently on YouTube).

The major issues:
1. Tension hoop is too high
2. Wood putty was used on the rim to fill in a hole made by an improperly fitted lower coordinator rod.
3. Large hole behind upper coordinator rod.
4. Opposite end of coordinator rod is not fitted to the rim; therefore, the washer is loose and the neck will become loose.
5. The tone ring is fitted on the outside of the banjo, but not fitted at all to the inside. There is a gap that is two quarters wide that runs around the entire rim. There should be no gap here at all!!!
6. The tension hoop cannot be tightened anymore because it already lays on the neck cut-out.
7. Notch in the bridge for one string is too large, which may cause a buzz or the string to come out.
8. Coordinator rods should be directly one over the other. They are slightly cock-eyed.

Cost of repairs? More than the cost of the banjo. Price of banjo? This particular banjo boasts a full rim and tone ring, so would cost you around $600. That's a lot of money to spend on something that cannot be reasonably repaired, and especially since it is BRAND NEW!!!!

You might be asking if this is rare. Well, this is the worst I've ever seen, but I have to say that other than real high-end instruments, we do see things of this sort fairly regularly. Most of them are setup issues that I can fix myself. It is quite frustrating because as a dealer I have to make sure I notice these things right away so that I can send them back right away if they are manufacturing defects and not just setup issues. Otherwise, I get stuck with them. Would you like to be stuck with this?

Click on the pictures so that you can view the text that goes with each one.

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