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  #1  
Old 12-28-2016, 07:26 PM
midwinter midwinter is online now
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Default Plectrum Banjo Recommendations?

Hi all.

I'm looking to do one of the following:

1) Pick up a cheap, but decent and giggable, plectrum banjo to keep in my home town for gigs (I live ~2000 miles away and keep instruments there so I don't have to travel with them). Vintage is fine. I'm fine with working on them and will install my own pickups. Maybe in the $500-700 range?

or

2) Replacing my current Gold Tone plectrum with something better and then shipping the Gold Tone home. This is what I've already done with my mandolin (replacing an Eastman with a Weber and shipping the Eastman home). I'm fine with upgrading this one, even though I'm very happy with it.

So...

Recommendations? I'm poking around on Ebay for vintage banjos, but I honestly don't know a whole lot about them; I just play the things.

Any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:55 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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In no particular order:
  • Since you already own a Gold Tone Cripple Creek, I'd suggest shipping it home and upgrading to something better as you said; apparently you've put the work into it to make it sound/play the way you prefer, so you know you'll have a reliable instrument waiting for you...
  • You're going to have a harder time locating a good original vintage plectrum banjo than you might think - the late Stan Jay (of Mandolin Brothers fame) once said that Gibson made as many as 250 tenor banjos for each plectrum back in the Mastertone era - which IMO leaves two options:
    • buy a player-grade tenor and have it re-necked
    • buy a new built-to-order plectrum from the maker of your choice
    If it were me, I'd go with the latter - I'd be paying as much as I would for a non-collector-grade vintage piece (possibly less), I could have it customized to my specs (finish, plating, engraving, etc.), I have the security of a factory/builder's warranty, and it's replaceable when/if crap happens. In terms of recommendations, although I'm not a banjoist by trade I've been very successful with Deerings (owned three, still have two); they seem to have the greatest variety/best bang-for-the-buck among the major manufacturers, and last I checked there was no upcharge (unlike some other makers) for plectrum versions of their standard lineup...
Hope this helps...
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:07 PM
midwinter midwinter is online now
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Thanks, Steve. I'm watching n Deering Good Time on Ebay....
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:55 AM
TwinandTwang TwinandTwang is offline
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Maybe a Paramount Type A.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:44 AM
midwinter midwinter is online now
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Is the Paramount Type A not a tenor banjo? It looks like it is.
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