Howdy, the question is pretty self-explanatory. I'm looking to upgrade from my awful mid-70s Korean made terrible junk banjo to a proper instrument without going broke. I play both old time and bluegrass. Is a good time 1 with an EZ resonator a good option or should I just go for the good time 2 and possibly remove the resonator for that frailing tone open-backs give you?
In my honest opinion, the whole open-back thing is merely a cosmetic thing, and resonators don't really affect the tone, just increase the volume. But as far as a resonator goes, the GT 2 would give much more projection that the EZ Resonator would because of the full wall design and the flange. Also, you might want to consider the Goodtime Special 2 as well, as it has a tone ring.
Nash is right as far as tone goes but if you want more volume the EZ-resonator is a great little ad on to a goodtime open back. it looks like it was made for it, or should I say it looks like it belongs on the banjo. I have one on the back of a goodtime open back that I own & if you did not know you would swear it was made by the Deerings.
Resonators on banjos do not amplify sound. Amplification takes power and lots of it. Resonators redirect sound. All wood colors sound when it is reflected. The same is true for the clothing we wear and our bodies. What does coloring mean? It means highs, mid ranges, and low frequencies are absorbed by the reflector. Hopefully, the tones we don't want to hear are the ones selected. That would be great. But, the reality is that both have equal opportunity to be absorbed. Some people see the resonator as making the banjo too bright by cancelling the lows. A sponge or sock placement can dampen high frequencies or filter the highs to allow the few lows to stand up.
Only so much sound (a collection of many frequencies) are produced. What filters we use give us the sound we will like.
As I was reading the thread a strange thought occurred to me( unfortunately not an infrequent event) . Since it is commonly suggested to put a towel in behind the head, why not simply cut a piece of towel to the same shape as the resonator and stick it to the inner surface of the resonator with some Velcro. Wouldn't that provide a more uniform dampening of the sound? Cheers.
So how well is your "awful mid-70s Korean made terrible junk banjo" set up? I wouldn't recommend spending very much money upgrading it, but setting it up doesn't cost much if you do it yourself. The sound difference between a well setup Korean banjo and a Goodtime may be minimal. Just my opinion.
Bill, I had it setup professionally a year or two ago and it made a noticeable difference. But tgmhe instrument is just in poor shape. It's beat up, the resonator is cracked, neck is not perfect due to many years of a loose truss rod, and before I oicked it up it had besn in my buddys basement for 30 years untouched.
The real reason I want a better banjo is Im moving to rural Wyoming soon. I expect I will lots of down time, Wyoming being so empty. I want to make practicing and playing as pleasant as possible. The banjo I have now just sounds bad,even when a really good picker has a hold of it.
I can recommend looking at the Recording King market for that money. Also what is available used in the classified ads. There is an Epiphone mastercraft for $500 that just listed today. That's a shoe and plate banjo where you could remove the plate to use the banjo with rez or without.