ORDERING INFORMATION Arthur Smith banjos can be purchased directly from us. We custom make many banjos and are happy to make any banjo you want. In addition we usually have a small number of new and used instruments, as shown in this catalog, and various old banjos for sale at the shop. Feel free to write, call, or stop in and visit. We are available most of the time, including weekends, but it is advisable to make an appointment in advance.

Custom orders can usually be delivered in one to three months, depending on the production schedule when the order is placed. Good work takes time and care; we have found through experience that patience on the part of the customer produces the best banjo.

For prices, please see the enclosed price list. We reserve the right to change prices at any time; a 25% deposit on all orders and full payment is required before the banjo is delivered.

We can extend a full return policy on any standard instrument, realizing that buying an instrument sight unseen involves a risk on the part of the customer. If you order a banjo from us and are for any reason dissatisfied, send it back undamaged and unaltered within 10 days of receiving it. Contact us first for shipping instructions and authorization. We cannot extend this policy to highly personalized or left-handed banjos; they would be just too difficult to resell.


The warranty covers any defects in workmanship and/or materials the original owner for an unlimited time. This warranty is not transferable to subsequent owners. It does not apply to “expendable parts” including the head, bridge, or strings. It does not covert normal wear the tear or damage or misuse. We assume no liability other than the repair of defects in materials of workmanship, and all repairs must be done by us or by an authorized repair person.


Because of the nature of the banjo, it needs care to maintain its integrity and sound. Banjos should have new strings every three months, or more often if played a lot. The plastic head may need tightening a few times when it is new, then it should stabilize and need only occasional tightening. To ensure that great Arthur Smith sound the head must be tight. So if your banjo sounds dull, tighten each nut 1/4 turn; if that’s not enough do it again but remember that a head can break if you tighten it too much. Heads can be cleaned with mild soap and water on a cloth. Bridges wear out and sag over the years; just keep an eye on it and replace when needed.

The metal parts can be taken off and polished clean with silver polish, fine grade automobile polish, or 0000 steel wool. We strongly discourage the removal of the Maple Leaf or Shelburne tone system from the rim. They are very tightly fit and it takes a special method to remove it without damage to both either rim and tone system. Also getting it back on properly can be difficult.

The fingerboard can be cleaned with 0000 steel wool and should be oiled regularly with light mineral oil or lemon oil furniture polish to prevent drying and cracking.

For the best care of any fine instrument, keep it in a hard shell case at all times when not being played. Do not expose it to extremes in temperature as this will cause the lacquer finish to crack or craze. Finally, keep the fingernails on the left hand short; even moderately long nails will dig the wood out of a hard ebony board in a surprisingly short time. If these simple suggestions are followed, a banjo will last a lifetime and beyond.