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Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?

Sing-Along Steve 29 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM
Dave Hanson 30 Dec 08 - 03:19 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 30 Dec 08 - 07:10 AM
Dan Schatz 30 Dec 08 - 07:19 AM
Dave Hanson 30 Dec 08 - 08:08 AM
Guy Wolff 30 Dec 08 - 10:31 AM
Sing-Along Steve 30 Dec 08 - 06:28 PM
Mark Ross 30 Dec 08 - 06:33 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 30 Dec 08 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Sing-Along Steve 30 Dec 08 - 09:23 PM
Dan Schatz 30 Dec 08 - 09:37 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 30 Dec 08 - 09:56 PM
bald headed step child 31 Dec 08 - 01:04 AM
Patrick_Costello 31 Dec 08 - 07:25 AM
bald headed step child 31 Dec 08 - 10:10 AM
Guy Wolff 31 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM
Guy Wolff 31 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM
Dan Schatz 31 Dec 08 - 11:24 AM
Guy Wolff 31 Dec 08 - 11:25 AM
banjoman 01 Jan 09 - 07:20 AM
Guy Wolff 01 Jan 09 - 12:20 PM
Patrick-Costello 23 Jan 09 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Mr Indelicate 23 Jan 09 - 11:59 PM
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Subject: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Sing-Along Steve
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM

Hello, everyone... I am in the market for an open-back banjo (thanks to all the comments in the 'long neck' thread I started, I have decided to go with a standard neck). I have $300, shipping included, to spend. Anyone have a good banjer they want to unload? Alternately, can anyone give me a basic idea of the best 'entry-level' banjos out there in that price range?

BTW, I used to own a Deering Goodtime... nice enough, but there's no rod in the neck and I wasn't crazy about the super-bright tone.

Feel free to respond here or PM me. I look forward to the info you all have to share.

Oh, and I DO play a bit, so I do want something that is going to be mostly gig-worthy if it's either used or a cheap import.

Sing along,

Steve


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 03:19 AM

Try eBay, hundreds of 'em.

eric


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 07:10 AM

Or here:

http://elderly.com/departments/banjo

There's even a Wiki entry about Elderly.Com:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderly_Instruments


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 07:19 AM

There's any number of older no-name banjos, though of course they too lack rods in the neck. I like the Goodtime pretty well, and the superbright tone could be adjusted by using a fiber-skin or Renaissance head, or by lessening head tension.

But I'm not one to talk - I ended up with a Mike Ramsey Fairbanks Electric copy - and that's more than a $300 banjo.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 08:08 AM

I have Vega Whyte Laydie tenor with no truss rod, 94 years old and as good as the day it was made.

eric


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 10:31 AM

Hi I have a beautiful Mike Ramsey frettless that I will let go for $650.00.. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Sing-Along Steve
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 06:28 PM

Gee... thanks, Eric and Bonnie. This here danged 'puter thang done got me all bamboozled.

Actually, those responses from those people came off as more than a little condescending. No shit, eBay. I just don't feel like getting gouged on shipping and having to fight off snipers for an instrument that comes from deity-knows who and is in actual who-knows-what condition.

Elderly... really? Elderly INSTRUMENTS sells INSTRUMENTS? Get the heck outta here... I never would have guessed.

For those who were too busy getting all hot and bothered with their "Submit Message" button to actually READ the damned post, I am looking for a MEMBER here that might have a banjo to sell. Maybe one they've actually played. One that I can reasonably guess might belong to someone who knows what they're talking about.

After that, I was looking for ADVICE on banjos in the price range I specified. Maybe someone here has bouth one for themselves or someone else, or they have played them in a store and can tell from first-hand experience what some of the models are like. Here in northeast PA, USA, we ain't got too many banjos... mostly bluegrassy cheap imports or over-priced 'name' brands like Epiphone or Fender.

Really, what I didn't need was the stupid answers. I thought I'd ask here because I'm already registered and didn't want to have to sign up at, say, banjohangout.org for ONE question.

Thanks anyway to those that attempted to help.


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 06:33 PM

There's a turn-of-the-century Lyon & Healy for around $400 at George Gruhn. They made good banjos, and Gruhn is a reputable & honest dealer.

Lyon & Healy 5 string banjo/$400


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 07:42 PM

There's no way I was being condescending. My post was only meant as a straightforward piece of info. That website is just called elderly.com and doesn't mention instruments in its title so I thought it might be helpful. I had no idea my suggestion would upset you so much. You've read a lot more into it than I put there.

I did read your post. It said "I am in the market for an open-back banjo" and "I look forward to the info you all have to share". Really?

Sorry. And bye.


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: GUEST,Sing-Along Steve
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 09:23 PM

Reading your comments and seeing nothing but a link to a very well-known online store and to Wikipedia made me think I was being talked down to.

Hard to gauge intent when it's just words, innit?

Anyway, if I can scrape up the extra $150, I will go for the L&H that's on Gruhn's site. That's a nice one.


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 09:37 PM

Well, it's always easy to misunderstand internet posts. Like others, I thought you were asking for more general information, as well as making an inquiry into specific banjos being sold by Mudcatters. And of course, we don't know how much you already know about these things. I didn't know until someone told me how much of an impact head tension can have on the brightness of a banjo - and I'd been playing for several years before that!

I like to think it's only condescending if you have a pretty good idea that the person you're talking to ought to know what you're telling them. Otherwise it's just unhelpful helpfulness - well intentioned, but useless to you. (Which is not to say it wouldn't be useful to someone else.)

Besides, all these posts serve to keep the thread current, and if you're looking to buy a banjo, that's important.

In any case, you probably won't do wrong by following Mark Ross's lead - he really knows his stuff.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 09:56 PM

The other thing to bear in mind is that this is an international website. I live in Ireland, and what's well-known there isn't necessarily so here (and vice versa). I didn't realise that "Elderly" was so obvious - I only heard of it myself recently.


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: bald headed step child
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 01:04 AM

In your area you might try Guitar Center, if you just want a decent entry level open back. They carry the Goldtones which I believe are chinese made. The few I've seen don't appear to be too bad. I would place them above the Goodtime as far as playability. You would probably have to order off the web, or have them get it in to the store. They usually don't give too much trouble with that sort of thing, and don't get mad if you decide you don't like it.

I think if you're wanting to gig with it though, you should probably go with a higher quality used for the prices you mentioned.

I have the same problem in Kansas with trying to find good banjoes.
Nobody wants to stock them and I'm not paying upfront for a $1000-2000 instrument I haven't played.

Good luck hunting though, something good will turn up.

Try checking local pawnshops too. With hard economic times, especially in your area, people start cleaning out closets and you might find a really good deal.

BHSC


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 07:25 AM

Here are two video workshops I did a while back on buying and setting up cheap banjos & guitars:

Cheap Thrills:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=yQOx5ptHMRY

Banjo Setup:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=yiilZ-PD1uQ

First-time banjo shoppers may also want to read this: http://tangiersound.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/a-pig-in-a-poke-or-lifes-hard-lessons/

S101 banjos from Korea and Tyler Mountain openback banjos are really nice - the trick is finding them. Old Kay, Harmony and other "catalog" banjos from the 50's through 70's can be cheap and cool - but finding one in good shape can be a chore.

I don't have anything in that range here in the office right now. We were offering some inexpensive banjo starter packages, but they were so popular we cleared out our suppliers warehouses (more about that story here).

Right now our least expensive open back is the all American made Somerset S-5 Minuteman, but at $599.00 it is a little over your budget.

In Europe, I would post a note on UK Folkies. The group is primarily in the UK, but they have members from all over Europe.

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: bald headed step child
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 10:10 AM

Interesting videos, Patrick. You've been busy. It will take awhile to watch all 188 of them. I checked out several though and there seems to be a wealth of info to be mined there.

I tried to watch the video you had posted on the other thread a couple of days ago. The blues video. I couldn't get it to play on my machine. Video played but the audio was clipped. Any suggestions, or is this one also on the Youtube and I just didn't find it?

BHSC


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM

Mentioning YOUTUBE is a great idea . Don zepp at Zepmusic on YT has a bunch of banjos. Most not in your price range but if you call him he may have something interesting and will put a clip of it on YT so you can hear how well he makes it sound (remember that not you playing )) .. Good hunting . I did start a thread on our favorite banjo makers here at Mudcat but all of them are above your price category . Have a look for the fun of it sometime . Good luck , Guy


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM

Favorite banjo makers:

thread.cfm?threadid=85947


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 11:24 AM

I bought my banjo from Zepp. It was the first time I'd ever bought an instrument -particularly an expensive one - sight unseen (unless it was one I had built for me.) I felt comfortable because his description was so good and because he posted sound files of all the banjos for comparison.

However, he is almost certainly out of the price range in this thread.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 11:25 AM

Here is a banjo I would find interesting . I am sorry the dow is more . One thing to remember is if you save up just a bit more you can find something with real resale value . All the best Guy


http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/GTBC350.htm


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: banjoman
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 07:20 AM

Have a go at making one - its not that difficult, and for the money you have you could make a pretty decent instrument. If you can use a spanner and a screwdriver and one or two other simple tools its worth a go
good luck


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 12:20 PM

Hobo open back under $300.00

http://thebanjohut.com/morgan_monroe_bean_blossom_hobo.htm


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: Patrick-Costello
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:12 PM

We have two new options for affordable five-strings.

Our frailing banjo package is back. The package sells for $249.95 and includes:
- Tyler Mountain TM5-35 open back banjo
- adjustable strap
- padded gig bag
- book "The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo" by Patrick Costello
- companion CD to the book
- DVD "Frailing Banjo" with Patrick Costello
- DVD "Basic Frailing Practice Techniques" with Patrick Costello
- DVD "Frailing The Blues" with Patrick Costello
- electronic tuner

Call 410-968-3873 or email pat@funkyseagull.com to order

We also have recently launched the The Somerset S-5 Minuteman banjo. This is an American made five-string banjo handcrafted by Chris Via for only $599.00

http://somersetbanjo.com/s-5.html

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: Anyone have an open-back banjo for sale?
From: GUEST,Mr Indelicate
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:59 PM

You want to be careful buying well used open-back banjos,
just in case the previous owner was a Naturist.


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