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  #1  
Old 09-03-2019, 10:25 AM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Default 5 String Banjo Question

Howdy everyone. My wonderful wife is thinking of learning the banjo. She wants to keep her budget at about 300 (new or used) for a beginner instrument. Can always upgrade later if she stays with it. Since we play classic country, I'm assuming a closed back ?????

What brand/model in your opinion would suggest ???

Since the closest music store that might carry a banjo is a couple hour drive, will prob order off the internet.

Thanks and looking forward to your advice

Bill
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:09 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill1962 View Post
...My wonderful wife is thinking of learning the banjo...Thanks and looking forward to your advice...
Sounds like a lovely lady - if you love her, talk her out of it NOW for her own good...
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:43 PM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Sounds like a lovely lady - if you love her, talk her out of it NOW for her own good...
LOL..... I've tried
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:45 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill1962 View Post
Howdy everyone. My wonderful wife is thinking of learning the banjo. She wants to keep her budget at about 300 (new or used) for a beginner instrument. Can always upgrade later if she stays with it. Since we play classic country, I'm assuming a closed back ?????

What brand/model in your opinion would suggest ???

Since the closest music store that might carry a banjo is a couple hour drive, will prob order off the internet.

Thanks and looking forward to your advice

Bill
Banjos of a given quality tend to be more expensive than guitars of the same quality.

I would strongly suggest a Goodtime, made by Deering (one of the top banjo makers) specifically as an entry-level instrument of high quality:

https://www.deeringbanjos.com/collec...oodtime-banjos

Street price circa $490.

Also, closed back models (called "resonator banjos" in the banjo world) are louder than openbacks, maybe something to consider when looking for a beginner's banjo. Resonator models are also more expensive. Go for an openback, they're 100% okay for classic country.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:57 PM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Thanks frankmcr ! I will take a look at the deering. Bet I can find a good deal on reverb

Thanks again
Bill
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:00 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmcr View Post
Banjos of a given quality tend to be more expensive than guitars of the same quality.

I would strongly suggest a Goodtime, made by Deering (one of the top banjo makers) specifically as an entry-level instrument of high quality:

https://www.deeringbanjos.com/collec...oodtime-banjos

Street price circa $490.

Also, closed back models (called "resonator banjos" in the banjo world) are louder than openbacks, maybe something to consider when looking for a beginner's banjo. Resonator models are also more expensive. Go for an openback, they're 100% okay for classic country.
I second the Deering Goodtime as a good banjo to start on and it's pretty much professional-grade too.

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Last edited by SpruceTop; 09-05-2019 at 03:35 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2019, 07:16 PM
Les Young Les Young is offline
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Default Goldtone ac 5 acoustic resonator banjo

I have one & it's a pretty good banjo for 300 or so bucks & it's loud too. I'd buy another.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:15 PM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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i have to believe there are lots of lightly used banjos available on Reverb....just sayin'
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:19 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Hi WB,

My wife is the banjo picker in our house, but I do all the setups, pickup installations, etc.

I would NOT buy a new $300 banjo. IMO, there's not much difference between them and a $150 banjo.

I would look at used Deering Goodtime first and Goldtone second.

In the used market a Goodtime resonator should be available for $300-350.

Deerings are American made and high quality - great bang for buck instruments.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:14 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill1962 View Post
Howdy everyone. My wonderful wife is thinking of learning the banjo. She wants to keep her budget at about 300 (new or used) for a beginner instrument. Can always upgrade later if she stays with it. Since we play classic country, I'm assuming a closed back ?????

What brand/model in your opinion would suggest ???

Since the closest music store that might carry a banjo is a couple hour drive, will prob order off the internet.

Thanks and looking forward to your advice

Bill
The Goodtime is often suggested as a good instrument to purchase as a starter banjo. They will be a higher-priced option, being American made.

There are a lot of satisfied Goodtime players, but do be aware that they do not have a truss rod. If you purchase a used one make sure the neck doesn't exhibit excessive forward bow. That's the single most often cited problem that you might find with the Goodtime, anything else can be taken care of easily.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:55 AM
H165 H165 is offline
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First off - BEWARE - there are FAKE Deering Goodtime banjos aout there for about $100 on eBay - READ THIS: https://blog.deeringbanjos.com/ebay-...o-buying-blues

Here's a fake: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Deering-Goo...wAAOSwWhZc98KL




Quote:
Goodtime resonator
+1

The Goodtime comes in a few versions. One advantage of the original Goodtime is that it is fairly light weight. There are much heavier Goodtime models as well.

If I recall correctly, there is a resonator add-on kit for the Goodtime open-back model.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:35 PM
cu4life7 cu4life7 is offline
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Another vote for the Goodtime in either open back or resonator. It's the perfect starter and a great kick around once you upgrade.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2019, 08:40 PM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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Default How About Recording King?

Here's one on Reverb:
https://reverb.com/item/27107008-rec...resonator-back
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2019, 06:48 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Originally Posted by guitararmy View Post
Morgan Monroe and Recording King make some decent banjos. I would not recommend an 8-9 lb banjo for a beginner. A beginner will likely find one that weight uncomfortable both in the lap or on a strap.They are LOUD. To achieve LOUD means more brackets, added hardware and a tone ring - all of which make them quite heavy.

Thats the beauty of a Goodtime. 80% of the volume and 1/2 the weight. My .02
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  #15  
Old 09-08-2019, 03:57 PM
CaptRedbeard CaptRedbeard is offline
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My Dad gave me an old Healy and Lyon 5 string open back many years ago Yet being so wrapped up in career stuff, and the guitar, that I never learned how to play it. Once retired I thought it would give it a go but was leery of playing that old instrument. So I looked around, checked it all out, and found a Jameson Guitars 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket, resonator for about $150. It is easy to play and for me to learn on. It is well built from my perspective with no sharp edges on the fret ends or brackets. For my first modern made banjo it will be fine until I decide if I will move up. It looks great by the way and is available on Amazon.
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