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Old 12-18-2017, 10:58 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woods; OC, CA
Posts: 2,148
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Many of the replies here concentrate on new banjos, while I've spent over 50 years with the old timers and they are affordable to most people. My favorite open back was a Gibson TB-2 Pyramid, but a bluegrasser finally got it away from me.

If you want something different in the coordinator-rod banjo class, try a Gibson ball bearing.

If you want something lighter, the Whyte Laydie has always been my favorite, but there are some great ones in the old Lange/Langstyle/Paramount/Rettberg lines. And there are also some fine old Maybells - my faves are the ones with the inner-flange tone ring. Completely different sound from all the rest. I have been missing mine ever since I was dumb enough or broke enough to let it go:
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