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Author Topic: Bantar, guitjo advice  (Read 2959 times)

Offline Dreadman

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Bantar, guitjo advice
« on: August 15, 2006, 11:44:47 PM »
Hi all,

I'm visiting from the acoustic guitar section and hoping you guys can help me out. I've had an irresistable urge lately to own a 6 string banjo. Ya know, the kind that's strung like a guitar but has that way cool banjo sound. The problem is that I don't know banjo's at all or one brand from another and I'd hate to guess at quality.

I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and own over 20 guitars (acoustic and electric). My acoustics usually range in cost from $300 - $700 and some are all solid wood. That quality level is okay with me. I like to play folk, blues, rock & metal and Neil Young's Old King and Reno's Bluegrass (on TV) got me interested in the guitjo and the banjo sound in general.

Can you guys give me an idea of what brands (that make 6 string banjos) are considered great and what are crap? Can you tell me what brands/models you think might satisfy an entry level budget ($200-$300) but still satisfy a long time guitarist that can be picky about instrument quality?

Thanks a bunch.

Dreadman
Dreadman

The easiest way to make people believe you are a good man is to be a good man.

Offline wingsdad

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Bantar, guitjo advice
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 08:35:11 AM »
Yo, Dread,
I've looked at these (checked them out in-person) as I stick with learning the 'jo and think of making it easier on myself[:I], and basically there's 3 choices on the market:
Rolls Royce: Deering (just the best, and big bucks.)
http://www.deeringbanjos.com/

Best Bang for Buck: Gold Tone (several models, even purely electric, others more 'normal'with pickup)
http://www.goldtone.com/
This one, I tried, and it's really nice.
http://www.goldtone.com/products/details.asp?subarea=banjitars&subarea2=cc-banjitar

Avoid: Dean ('Backwoods' model. Cheap. Cheap)Least expensive, but crap. Waste of money.

You can check out reviews on any of these here:
http://www.banjohangout.org/

A decent online place to shop, if need be (not my thing, but know people who hve here and like em)is here, to find a decent used GoldTone in your budget range, as new would be closer to $400 at least. :
http://www.elderly.com/
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 08:44:46 AM by wingsdad »
 

Offline Dreadman

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Bantar, guitjo advice
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2006, 07:57:13 PM »
Thanks a ton wings. Those links were great and I'm learning a lot. I called a banjo dealer about an hour away and he really praised the Backwoods, said it was perfect for me. Turns out it was the only 6 string banjo he had in the store. You may have saved me there. LOL

Dreadman
Dreadman

The easiest way to make people believe you are a good man is to be a good man.

Offline wingsdad

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Bantar, guitjo advice
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 12:28:14 AM »
Dread,
Yeah, for while, the Dean Backwoods was the 'budget' alternative to a Deering. But Dean's a guitar company, a long way removed from its Dean Zalinsky originals. Gold Tone's stuff is import-made, of course. But they are known for their banjos as quite decent. Dean? Not.

A mark of Gold Tone's quality is their alliance with Paul Beard on an import line of resonators, and the license to make Weissenborn reissues. Neither of those would happen if they were a crappy outfit. They're carried out here by a few bigger, yet indy, dealers, the closest to me being Buffalo Bros, pretty close to the Taylor HQ, actually. About 2 hours away, and that's where I tried them out.

Do you play any guitar Open G tuning? If so, you might think about going 'straight' banjo. My problem is the disciplined fingerpicking and right hand a banjo needs. Real Fingerpicking has never been my thing. So I took up banjo to back into it, applying my familiarity with Open G from the guitar.