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Old 09-08-2019, 03:02 PM
CaptRedbeard CaptRedbeard is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Nevada High Desert
Posts: 199

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 got to learn 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 the 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 at a major online retailer.
Always remember "Fins Up"

Last edited by CaptRedbeard; 09-09-2019 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:05 PM
wildbill1962 wildbill1962 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Victoria, Texas
Posts: 838

Hey everyone, sorry for the delay in my replies. Was in the hospital with some heart problems. Will read thru all of your great advice and reply soon

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Old 09-21-2019, 01:18 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 174

Hi Bill

I suggest the newish Gold Tone AC1 ($200) or AC1-R ($306) available from most dealers or direct at

I bought the similar AC4 four string version. I liked it so much that I bought another to play in different tuning.

AC1 won best of show at the 2018 Summer NAMM.

AC1 weighs only 3.75 pounds because the lovely polycarbonate (?) rim weighs less than maple and its sculpted design requires less metal hardware.

My AC4s sound loud and clear as a banjo should. I got two of the Gold Tone mutes (folded brass strip that slides onto the bridge piece under the strings) for practising without annoying others in the house.

The zero fret feature is much nicer than expected. The string spacing is 1 inch at the nut (the same as my Deering Good Time).

The neck is sleek and easy to play. The neck has an adjustable truss rod and the sculpted heel is nice. The strings were set up perfectly.

I use electric guitar gig bags instead of banjo gig bags - light weight, perfect fit, proper size pockets, accommodates a foldable music stand, and many good. choices.

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Old 09-23-2019, 05:50 AM
Parlorman Parlorman is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,724

Another supporter of the Deering Goodtime. They’re a lot of banjo for the money.

One thing to keep in mind - Banjo’s have more adjustments than a guitar and can be very sensitive to proper setup. An instrument bought online may need a setup which could wipe out any savings.

Check out The Banjo Hangout. I’m a longtime member there and it’s a great resource for everything Banjo related. Good classified selection and most of the folks who frequent the site are nice people.


1910's Larson/Stetson 1 size guitar
1920's Larson/Stahl 00 size guitar
1920 Martin 1-28
1963 Gibson Hummingbird
1987 Martin Schoenberg Soloist
2014 Froggy Bottom L Deluxe Koa
2015 Rainsong P12
2017 Probett Rocket III
1993 Fender Stratocaster

Banjo: Stelling Golden Cross
Mandolin: Weber Bitterroot
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