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Old 06-01-2010, 05:55 PM
Weird Snake Joe Weird Snake Joe is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: philly burbs!
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I'm a bit hesitant to make a list of "the best" when it comes to banjo manufacturing. It's just that the differences between open-backs and bluegrass/resonator models are so vastly different, with people placing standards for one style onto the other and vice versa to the point of ridiculousness.

Even the biggest cheap-*** PoS five stringer can be converted into a pretty smokin' open-back. Sure, sure, you want something fantastic out of the box and whatnot, but unlike a guitar, banjos can be modified and adapted so freely and easily (or not so) from the ground up, that to put one company on a pedestal despite people's incessant need to tweak and modify seems silly. "Well, I like Stelling, but I prefer 'x' tone ring, so I changed it and placed a 11/16 heartwood bridge instead of a maple 5/8..." Well, now you have a different instrument.

What I will put forward is that this country (USA) has got one hopping banjo market going on right now, and it's a shame I couldn't own a thousand instruments just to get a taste of everything that's out there, from the home-grown cigar box banjos to the top of the line "bling is king" models. Go nuts, because it's all good.
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