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Ozark banjos

Auxiris 10 Dec 08 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 10 Dec 08 - 06:00 AM
Brian Hoskin 10 Dec 08 - 07:30 AM
banjoman 10 Dec 08 - 07:37 AM
Leadfingers 10 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM
Banjo-Flower 10 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM
Auxiris 10 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM
Auxiris 10 Dec 08 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 10 Dec 08 - 08:21 PM
Dickmac 12 Dec 08 - 05:52 AM
Bernard 12 Dec 08 - 06:47 AM
GUEST 12 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Dickie 123 06 Sep 11 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Jon 06 Sep 11 - 09:43 AM
Stringsinger 06 Sep 11 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Jon 06 Sep 11 - 03:22 PM
BanjoRay 06 Sep 11 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Bruno guest 06 Sep 11 - 08:09 PM
Crowhugger 06 Sep 11 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Picker 07 Sep 11 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Jon 07 Sep 11 - 12:39 PM
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Subject: Ozark banjos
From: Auxiris
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:58 AM

Hello everyone. . . may I ask if any of you have ever had the occasion to play a banjo made by Ozark and can offer an informed opinion of the quality of their instruments? Thanks in advance for any information.

best,

Aux


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:00 AM

There are many different sorts of banjo from Ozark. Most are not particularly good, but the Ozark Californian is a sort of a copy of the Deering Goodtime and is an excellent banjo for the not very high price, with a maple body and neck, a geared fifth string peg, a wrist guard and a good sound. I've played two or three and I love them.
I believe Ozarks are made in the far east somewhere - probably Korea.
I wouldn't touch one of their other models with a barge pole.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:30 AM

My understanding is that Ozark don't actually make instruments they 'badge' them, so they are putting their name to all manner of different instruments made in various pacific rim factories. In general I would agree with BanjoRay; they tend to be rubbish and not a good starting point for someone who doesn't know what to look for in a good banjo. However, there are some that, if available at a good price, could provide a reasonable instrument after being properly set-up.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: banjoman
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:37 AM

I agree with most of what has already been said. However, I have owned and played a few Ozarks in my time and some of them have been fairly good. A lot depends on what you wanr - if its a beginers banjo then look for a reasonably priced one but steer clear of anything offered at less than about £150 Some Ozarks are sold for several hundred pounds but I personally wouldn't buy one. If you are starting out have a look at other options, depending on budget I would recomend a Gold Tone as the best "Cheapie" around
Good luck
Pete


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

Only Ozark I own is a Banjola (5 String neck on Mandola body) and I love it ! A 'gentleman's' banjo- Quieter than my Maya Resonator or my Alvey Turner openback .


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM

My tenor is an Ozark and I've no complaints and no intention of changing it(I've had it 25+years)

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Auxiris
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM

Hello again and first of all, thank you all very much for your advice. What I forgot to say iin the original post was that the sought-after banjo must be a lefty one. I seem to remember that I saw Goldtone ones during my search this afternoon for lefty players. The instrument isn't for me, I am doing a bit of research for someone else; I had the great good luck to find an Ome single X some years ago that I wouldn't part with! Ray, the Ozark that I saw on the Net looks to be the Californian model that you mention, at least the specs are the same. I will contact the place that's selling them for more information. I'll also have a closer look at lefty Goldtone instruments being offered for sale.

Once again, thanks to all!

best,

Aux


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Auxiris
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 12:25 PM

Just went back to the site where I saw the Ozark banjo, but it just gives a model number: Ozark Banjo 2106GL ; don't know if that rings any bells for anyone?

best,

Aux


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:21 PM

I don't know the model number, but the Californian looks just like a Deering Goodtime, with a not very pretty peghead with guitar tuners. It's made of maple and is very pale, like the Goodtime. Ah, I've found one here at the Eagle Music shop and the number is 2109G.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Dickmac
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 05:52 AM

I bought a new Ozark two years ago for around £500, sorry I don't have the model number. It has a gold finish with "proper" banjo tuning pegs and a clear head. At the same time I considered buying a Deering that was referred to,I think, as a "starter" banjo at around £600. The Deering was no better than Korean made instruments selling for under £200. I looked at another Deering retailing at £1800 but this was outwith my budget. The £500 Ozark looks, sounds and plays like the £1800 Deering. A number of professional musicians who are used to playing bespoke instuments have commented very positively on my Ozark and were amazed the it cost only £500.

I understand that the Ozarks are modelled on Gibsons, Derrings etc but retailed at around one third the price.
Great value


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Bernard
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 06:47 AM

In general I've found Ozarks to be good for the money, and will improve with some careful setting up. Unfortunately I can't be model-specific...

About the only thing you can't do much about is the way the neck on some feels fat and clumsy. But if you want perfection, you have to pay the price!

The fixable faults I've come across include uneven frets, which can usually be dressed okay, and rather high action.

Sorting the action can usually be done by fiddling about with the neck fixings and truss rod, but be careful not to overdo it and make the rim go oval! If you're not sure what you are doing, find someone who does!

If you want to talk to a UK maker who is also an ex All Ireland Banjo Champion, try Sully at Halshaw Music in Macclesfield!


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM

Hi dickmack
I am concidering a 5st ozark maybe around the 5-6 hundred mark.Could you tell me a little about the one you bought, like was it gold plated and if so has that stayed on ok, and where was it made??I would appreciate any info on the ozarks.Also do you know anything about the countryman mid 5range banjos
                                     regards
                                              Shauny


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,Dickie 123
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 09:24 AM

I bought a Ozark California 2109 G from eagle music, whilst in the shop , had a go on a Deering Goodtime, much preffered the Ozark, as good as the Deering, at half the price.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 09:43 AM

Ozark is one of Stentor's brands. I believe their banjos are imported from Asia. They offer a number of different banjo types. See see here

Personally, I wouldn't have their basic wooden shell single co-ordinator rod model and am not fond of the diecast designs I've tried a few over the years that play well but I have not liked the sound).

I would consider the others although unlike the previous poster's preference, I suspect if I did choose one, it would be a "masterclone" type rather than a "goodtime" type.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 01:49 PM

The Ozark Californian? Is that like the Massachusetts Alabamian?

Somebody ought to talk to someone there in marketing.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:22 PM

I don't think Ozark branded instruments are sold in the US?

And we in the UK are unlikely to care about or notice such a detail.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: BanjoRay
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 04:28 PM

The "masterclone" type as mentioned by Guest Jon would be more suitable for three finger bluegrass picking, while the Californian is great for Old Time styles like clawhammer or two finger picking without picks. He's right about the basic single coordinator rod versions - terrible.

Ray


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,Bruno guest
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 08:09 PM

It amazes me how much has to be paid for absolute bottom of the line banjos. The same amount can buy you a good banjo as well.

If you want something decent (both playability & sound), go look for a Recording King RK-35 or 37.
Or even simpler, a RK-25, many times better still than the toy banjos that are found in general music shops.

Forget Ozark, Epiphone, Fender, Tennesee, Johnson, etc.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: Crowhugger
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 08:25 PM

Stringsinger, well said, LOL!


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,Picker
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 12:10 PM

I just don't understand this instrument snobbery - I teach Bluegrass Banjo and MOST of my students turn up with a Korean or Chinese made instrument.

Usually 'cos they're skint!

After the first lesson I will lend him/her one of my Banjos to practice on while I set their instrument up and replace the usual "friction" 5th string tuner with a geared one.

If it's set up properly there isn't really that much difference in sound between an Ozark and a Gibson Granada -

Other than irritating smugness.


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Subject: RE: Ozark banjos
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 12:39 PM

That would depend on the Ozark model...


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