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Need opinions on inexpensive banjos

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Jon W. 05 Sep 03 - 07:50 PM
Steve Latimer 06 Sep 03 - 12:04 AM
open mike 06 Sep 03 - 12:20 AM
Jon W. 06 Sep 03 - 01:54 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Sep 03 - 03:55 PM
harpgirl 08 Sep 03 - 04:10 PM
TIA 08 Sep 03 - 04:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Sep 03 - 04:21 PM
JedMarum 08 Sep 03 - 06:04 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Sep 03 - 06:59 PM
Neighmond 08 Sep 03 - 07:08 PM
Guy Wolff 08 Sep 03 - 07:16 PM
leprechaun 09 Sep 03 - 12:31 AM
harpgirl 09 Sep 03 - 08:56 AM
wilco 09 Sep 03 - 09:59 AM
TIA 09 Sep 03 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Just me 22 Aug 16 - 03:08 PM
Leadfingers 22 Aug 16 - 04:56 PM
Mark Ross 22 Aug 16 - 08:44 PM
matt milton 23 Aug 16 - 04:55 AM
The Sandman 23 Aug 16 - 01:20 PM
gillymor 23 Aug 16 - 01:49 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 16 - 05:24 AM
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Subject: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Jon W.
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 07:50 PM

Hello everyone,

Occasionally I get asked my opinion on what banjo to get for a beginner. I've heard the Deering Goodtime banjos are pretty solid but I've noticed over the last year or so some really inexpensive banjos being imported from China or who knows where else with brands like Johnson and Rover being among the cheapest, Saga and Tyler Mountain being a little more. Has anyone had any experience, good or bad, with any of these brands?


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 12:04 AM

Jon W.,

The Rover just got a good review in the current Banjo Newsletter. The fellow I bought my Resonator banjo from sold it to buy a Saga (SS10?)Open Back as he is a frailer, not a Bluegrasser. The last report that I got from him he was very happy with it.

I have heard good and bad things about the Goodtime. The majority has been good, but there was one member here who bought one and ended up trading it for something else in that price range, I believe it was a Saga and was much happier with the replacement banjo.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: open mike
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 12:20 AM

I have a very inexpensive sears silvertone i would love to
find a new home for.   I have not touched it for years and
it might make a starter instrument for a beginner. Anyone
interested?


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Jon W.
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 01:54 AM

open mike, I'll PM you about the silvertone - Jon


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 03:55 PM

I went on a music store jaunt today and tried out a bunch of banjos and guitars. One brand that I was very impressed with is "Morgan Monroe". I wasn't able to Google up much about them, but I assume they are Korean made (which probably means they are identical to one or two other brands out there but with a different label). They may just be yet another Saga or Samick-made brand. Or they may be made by the Canadian folks that make Simon & Patrick, Art & Luthery etc. Anyway, he banjos seem to be of about the same quality as Goldtones and the guitars that I tried reminded me of Deans. There were also a bunch of Morgan Monroe mandolins, but I don't play mando well enough to even pick one up if somebody's listening.

By the way, I tried a Gibson Earl Scruggs model banjo in one store and would give it a definite thumbs down. It may have just needed some setup work, but right of the rack the Morgan Monroe sounded better at 20% of the price.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 04:10 PM

After my son stepped on my old Harmony banjo and broke it, I ordered a Rover for $139.95, which included the case and shipping. It's not a bad little instrument. It is a bit challenging to keep it in tune, however.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: TIA
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 04:17 PM

Harpgirl hit the key issue there (IMO). A number of cheap banjos can sound and feel pretty good, but keepin' 'em tuned (especially in a group) is a bear. Here's been my experience with entry-level banjos (relative to keeping them in tune only...)

Goldtone - not good
Deering - good
Saga - good
Old beat up no-name that felt great in the shop - infuriating

I recommend the plastic ones (horrors!) if your gonna be taking it travelling.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 04:21 PM

Cheapest Morgan Monroe Banjo I could find on the net was nearly $750 - does that really count as inexpensive? (Yes, I know there are lots of far pricier banjos around, but even so...)


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: JedMarum
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 06:04 PM

best bet I know of, for mass produced low end banjos is Deering Good Time. It's an amazing little instrument, gerat sound, good neck - well built. Deering doesn't make a bad banjo!

Of course if Deering can make a real banjo for cheap, others will too - so keep looking. But you cannot go wrong with a Deering.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 06:59 PM

And if you're ever in a pawn shop and see a "Dixon" brand banjo at a decent price, grab it! I've got one that I paid around $125 USD for and I play it a lot more than my much more expensive Alvarez. It may have an aluminum pot, but so what? For my mostly non-bluegrass banjo style I like the way it sounds just fine.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Neighmond
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 07:08 PM

If someone has a nice cheeeeeeeep banjo kindly IM me, as I want one for my brother.

Thanks

Chaz


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 07:16 PM

I played on a studends Good time last year and liked it vry much.. i see they have started making a scooped vertion for clawhammer.. great.. i still think the Ransey is so much more for not that much more.. A profesional instument for $500.00 is great ,.. All the best to all here. Yours Guy


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: leprechaun
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 12:31 AM

Would a banjo be a good instrument for a grey-haired beginner who never played a musical instrument before? Or should he stick to a tambourine?


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: harpgirl
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:56 AM

I like the Deering Good Time banjo as well. However, I didn't want to spend $300 on a BANJO!!! I think the DGT stays in tune pretty well, is easy to play, and is a very good buy for the money...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: wilco
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 09:59 AM

I've seen the Deering Good Time sold for $160.00, with bag, at various times in the past year or so. Try on-line merchants.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: TIA
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:42 AM

Currently $250 at Folk of the Wood.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: GUEST,Just me
Date: 22 Aug 16 - 03:08 PM

I have a dixon banjo for sale....


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Aug 16 - 04:56 PM

Watch out for light weight banjos - but as Bee Dub said earlier , the aluminium pot gives a better sound than a light wooden pot . Tuning is more than likely to be down to machine heads


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Aug 16 - 08:44 PM

Recording King is a pretty good instrument for beginners;

http://www.recordingking.com/banjos


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: matt milton
Date: 23 Aug 16 - 04:55 AM

Yes to Recording King.

The cheapest Blue Moon open-back is a fantastic instrument and I don't find it any worse or better than the Deering Goodtime. Frankly the open-back banjo is such a simple design that you can't really go wrong. I've never played an expensive banjo that sounded better than my Blue Moon. Different, yes. Better, no. The playing/touch of the player alters the tone way way more than the instrument. Much more so than with guitars, say.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Aug 16 - 01:20 PM

i suggest from my limited experience, open back ozark or gold tone, it might be pot luck best just to keep trying in music shopsand till you get a good one


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: gillymor
Date: 23 Aug 16 - 01:49 PM

I've picked up several good used ones online from The Banjo Hangout classifeds. Caveat emptor though.


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Subject: RE: Need opinions on inexpensive banjos
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 16 - 05:24 AM

expensive/inexpensive, same opinion


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