Jameson 5-String Banjo Review

Last Updated on

The 5-String Jameson Banjo with a closed back is a quality banjo that comes from a company that loves to provide customers with affordable musical instruments. This 5 string is a classic instrument that looks incredibly expensive. It’s made from some of the best, quality materials and has a sheen that will make you want to admire the banjo instead of playing it.

Jameson Guitars 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket With Closed Solid Back And Geared 5Th Tuner

Buy On Amazon


  • 3-ply maple rim
  • Mahogany resonator
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Nickel-plated armrest
  • Geared 5th tuner

First Impressions

This beauty of a banjo has the traditional 5 strings that are the essence of what people expect when they purchase or play a banjo. The closed back is made of rich, deep mahogany that makes this a showpiece as well as a playing instrument. You’d expect to pay hundreds of dollars for a banjo this stunning, but it’s actually very reasonably priced. It’s part of what makes Jameson/Davison Guitar such an amazing company for musical instruments. Even the beginning or starter instruments are built with care, precision, and pride.

R. W. Jameson Guitar Co

The company believes in making musical instruments accessible for anyone who wants to learn to play. Whether you have a passion for music or just a passing curiosity, Jameson wants you to be able to find an instrument that fits your needs. They have a range of affordable instruments from starter ones to those that professionals would love to play.

Required Setup Out of the Box

New players don’t often understand that the banjo will arrive with loose connections. The bridge will have to be adjusted and the strings will need to be tuned. Some manufacturers will send their instruments fully deconstructed and will make the customer put the instrument together. The only assembly required for the banjo from Jameson is the bridge adjustment for the most part. If the company were to leave the strings tight and the bridge in place, you’d end up with broken strings during the shipping process. If you don’t know how to tune it yourself, don’t be afraid to spend a little money and have a professional tune it for you.

Banjo Materials

There’s a maple bridge and a 7-ply maple neck on this 5-string banjo. The shell and resonator are made out of a beautiful mahogany wood with a delicious high-gloss look. The brackets and armrest are a chrome that really shines next to the glossed wood. If you wanted to hang this on the wall in plain view as a decoration, nobody would blame you at all.

Closed Back with 24 Brackets

The resonator on the back is meant to thrust the sound of the banjo forward. It gives the instrument a bigger sound than if it were to be played without the back. In some instruments, the resonator can’t be taken off the banjo. This banjo’s resonator has 4 thumbscrews on the back that allow it to be removed from the banjo to give it more variety than other 5-string banjos. You could easily remove the resonator and replace it to get the distinct sound you want with each song played.

Geared 5th Tuner

Inexpensive 5 string banjos will often have a friction tuner. This is what really shows the Jameson 5-String Banjo as superior to the competitors in the same price range. The inexpensive banjos from others will have a friction tuner, which relies on pressure to hold the tune. The geared 5th tuner has a peg that won’t slip and cause the 5th string to lose its tune. The 5th tuner is much like what you’d expect of a tuner on a more expensive banjo or guitar.

Includes Banjo Chord Chart

The banjo comes with a chord chart, so you can get started with your banjo immediately. It’s the chords that you need to learn to play in G tuning for your banjo. It’s another way that Jameson cares about its customers. It wants you to successfully learn how to play the banjo, so you’ll have the best time learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a spot on this banjo to attach a strap?
There are two spots where you can attach the straps that will allow you to wear this instrument while playing.

Where do I find information about the manufacturer’s warranty?
You can go to mdwsupport.com to register your new purchase and learn what kind of warranty you’ll get with the banjo.

How wide are the nuts on the banjo?
The Jameson 5-String Banjo has a 1.25” nut.

Is this good enough to play for events?
This is a lightweight banjo that has a stunning sound. The volume and tone are perfect for events with an audience.

This Jameson 5-String Banjo is a reasonably price instrument with a beautiful sound to match its stunning look. You might even be tempted to keep this on the wall instead of playing it, but that would be a mistake. It’s even better when you’re ready to play it. It needs minimal setup out of the box and comes with a chord chart, so you can get started right away.

7 thoughts on “Jameson 5-String Banjo Review”

  1. Thank you for your time reviewing the Jameson Banjo. I kind of put the horse before the cart and bought it not really knowing a lot about banjos. Its everything you said and more. I’m loving it.

  2. When I got it tuned at guitar center the guy who did it said that the strings were kind of high of the fret board I couldn’t tell if that was true or not seeing as it’s my first banjo and I got it second hand from someone who rarely used it. Still looking forward to learning how to play it




  4. I decided I wanted to learn to play the banjo and ordered one of these from Amazon. I must admit for the price I think it would be hard to find a banjo for less that are as “playable” as these are. I received mine fairly quickly and in good shape after shipment and found little to criticize for the price. Mine came with a small chip in the bridge and there is some major fret sprout (fairly sharp fret ends along both the top and bottom of the neck) that really need some attention if you want to make it playable. The tuning pegs are guitar style which are fine but low quality and can be a little tricky to tune and keep in tune. The heavy strings that come with it can be replaced with lighter ones that will make the action a lot easier for new players. The action can be adjusted and the manufacturers support web site has instructions. I emailed support immediately when I noted the chipped bridge and never received a response. This may or may not be the norm as we are in the middle of the corona virus as this was written so gotta give leeway to the support branch. Overall the look, sound and quality is good at this price point and you could certainly learn the basics on it. I decided to return mine and buy a Deering instead simply because I really want to put the dedication, time and effort into learning the banjo. The nature of musical instruments is that learning on a lower quality instrument is harder overall because it’s simply harder to play. This upgrade comes with a substantial price difference which may not be an option for everyone. If you just want to see if you have a real interest in playing or want a low cost initiation into the world of banjos this may be a great banjo for a small investment even if you decide it’s not for you or want to move up to a better instrument down the road. Good luck and happy pickin’

  5. I bought this banjo to use when I teach, as it is so much lighter to tote, than a more expensive banjo. I put on a Prucha clamshell tailpiece, a Tim Purcell bridge, Steve Huber strings, put a 1/4″ diameter round brass ring under the 11″ head as a tone ring, and tuned the head to G#. The way this banjo sounds and plays, now with these additions it is well worth many, many hundreds of dollars more than the original purchase price. The additions cost around $90

  6. I bought this banjo to use at teaching as it is lighter to tote. I added a Prucha clamshell tailpiece $26, a Tim Purcell bridge $20, a set of Steve Huber strings $5, and a $40 brass 1/4″ round 11″ tone ring. The new sound makes this banjo worth many, many hundreds of dollars more than the purchase price.


Leave a Reply to Young Coconut Cancel reply