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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Finding my way into tenor banjo ;)


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/142053

HitherElysium - Posted - 03/06/2009:  15:31:43


Hail! Greetings from the sunny Greece!
Well, i was recently struck by the strong desire to learn to play the tenor banjo!
I've been palying the classical, acoustic and electric guitar for the last 7 years now, though, obviously, i have had no previous experience in banjo playing. :) So, it would be helpful if someone could give me some sound advice as to where to start of, what instrument to pick and so on. Keep in mind that here in Greece there are no such things as banjos in music stores, so i'm going to rely solely on your advice and pick an instrument through the internet ;) I have quite a low budget, so i'm in particular looking for something between 200 and 250 euros.
Thanks in advance!
ps. a wannabe player of irish folk :D



Edited by - HitherElysium on 03/06/2009 22:49:27

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 03/07/2009:  03:37:10


Hi HitherElysium,

If you´re serious about your desire for playing Irish Style - my recommandation will be - go for a professional banjo.

However that means that you´ll have to double og tripple your budget.

As a beginner don´t go for a vintage banjo at f.ex. eBay - you´ll for sure have problems getting this refinished and set up etc. - do go for a brandnew top-quality banjo.

I´ll for your use recommend a Gold Tone IT250F:
http://www.goldtone.com/products/de...-Irish-Tenor

Due to the present financiel crises etc. the cheapest way for you will be to purchase an example of this banjo from Sweden - f.ex. from Sture Svarén
http://www.svarenmusik.se

The total costs for the banjo, inclusive of an original hard case, and shipment will be appr. EUR 800.

Kindly regards

Polle

Compass56 - Posted - 03/08/2009:  08:30:33


I totally agree with Polle. So many banjoists get frustrated and quit because they start out on the wrong instruments. Get something new and decent and then proceed to work your butt off for the rest of your happy, tenor-filled life.

Banjoed - Posted - 03/08/2009:  09:08:41


Check out www.banjo.ie. Tom has a beginner banjo the Clarinbridge which is not hugely expensive and will do a perfect job as a starter banjo and will hold it's value well in resale too. Ships from Ireland.
He also has a vintage range.

Enda Scahill
http://www.endascahill.com

HitherElysium - Posted - 03/08/2009:  13:57:21


Thanks for the responses ;)
I ve done a little search and i ve discovered that as far as the tenors are concerned i'm not propably going to find something that could suit my above stated budget, so i decided to raise it up a bit :D Again though, as much as i may want an 800 and above banjo i can't. Two essential reasons for this:
-First and foremost, since i'm a begginer i don't have a feel of what a banjo plays like, what i particularly like and dislike and what i demand from the instrument, so it seems to me that it's quite a folly to spend so much money on something that later -when i would have formed a more round view- won't suit my playing. I remember, a few years ago, when the right time came to buy a new classical guitar i played with nearly every guitar the music stores had to offer before concluding to my current instrument! At least that's what i think ;)
-Secondly, the budget. It's quite a strict one -it's not mine that's why :D
In conclusion, from the little search that i did there are two -at least that's what i found- instruments that could meet both my budget and my demands.
This one: http://www.deeringbanjos.com/Mercha...Code=4STRING


And this one: http://www.goldtone.com/products/de...-Irish-Tenor

What do you think? Do you have anything else to suggest?
Thanks again in advance
Greetings!


Edited by - HitherElysium on 03/08/2009 13:58:39

diarmaid - Posted - 03/08/2009:  14:59:58


hi there, I would also recommend Tommy Cussen in Ireland too, or also well within your budget theres often framus tenor banjos and also sometimes levin banjos on ebay.de and used banjos will generally hold their resale value much better than new ones.

http://shop.ebay.de/items/_W0QQ_nkw...mZR40QQ_mdoZ

i would personally steer clear of the 17 fret tenor banjos which are often mis-sold as "Irish tenors", contrary to popular belief, theres hardly anyone in Ireland playing a 17 fret tenor, 19 fret tenors are much more common and they sound better (to me anyway) too.

Shamrock - Posted - 03/08/2009:  16:36:12


Hello and welcome

Are you aware of http://banjoworld.de/ ?
Lot's of tenors in every price range.
Given the choice, for a good first one, I would go for the Tom Cussen banjo.

Juup

Excuse my English, I think in Dutch

NYCJazz - Posted - 03/08/2009:  17:23:49


Gunter Amendt!

Can't go wrong with him!



"The only difference between myself and a madman is that I am not mad."

- Salvador Dali

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 03/09/2009:  00:51:47


Hi again HitherElysium,

I did suddenly get another thought. I´m Mr. Banjo in Denmark - I do supply most players in DK with vintage, used or new banjos plus spare parts etc. on a non-profit basis (!). My web site (pardon my Danish):

http://www.acoustudio.dk/index.html

I went through my stock in order to maybe find a suitable banjo for you. I found this - not an entry level - neither a professional banjo - it´s somewhere between this:

http://www.acoustudio.dk/Epiphone.htm

It´s an early 90s Epiphone 19 fret tenor banjo in absolutely mint/near mint condition. Head, strings, bridge plus ABM 2-Band planet gear tuners are new. There´s no wear, scratches etc. at all. The original hard case - also in mint/near mint condition - is included.

A shipment to Greece is a little costly, but being a member of EU you´ll not have to pay Customs Duty Fee or local sales tax.

I´ll gladly set this banjo up to Irish Style in a professional manner and ship it to you. You´ll have to pay for it in advance, but I´ll give you 2 weeks to test it and send it back, if you don´t like it. In this case you´ll have to cover both shipments.

I can offer you a purchase of the banjo, case and 2 sets of extra strings for EUR 590 plus shipment appr. EUR 75.

I do think, that this banjo will be a good choice for you.

Please comment this - kindly regards

Polle







banjopocolypse - Posted - 03/09/2009:  08:34:52


I have the deering tenor (except 19 fret) and I love it. I think it sounds great and the price was right too. maybe other people would disagree but I love playing mine, and I don't feel like I'm playing a cheap instrument at all.

Compass56 - Posted - 03/09/2009:  13:10:24


banjopocolypse is right. The Deering budget models are classy, interesting instruments that aren't expensive. They sound good, are easy to play, and stay in tune.

banjopocolypse - Posted - 03/09/2009:  13:56:30


I'm glad you think so. I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if I'm happy with my goodtime because I've never played a fancy banjo before and don't know what I'm missing. And then I think "who cares?"

HitherElysium - Posted - 03/10/2009:  13:24:47


quote:
Originally posted by Polle Flaunoe

Hi again HitherElysium,

I did suddenly get another thought. I´m Mr. Banjo in Denmark - I do supply most players in DK with vintage, used or new banjos plus spare parts etc. on a non-profit basis (!). My web site (pardon my Danish):

http://www.acoustudio.dk/index.html

I went through my stock in order to maybe find a suitable banjo for you. I found this - not an entry level - neither a professional banjo - it´s somewhere between this:

http://www.acoustudio.dk/Epiphone.htm

It´s an early 90s Epiphone 19 fret tenor banjo in absolutely mint/near mint condition. Head, strings, bridge plus ABM 2-Band planet gear tuners are new. There´s no wear, scratches etc. at all. The original hard case - also in mint/near mint condition - is included.

A shipment to Greece is a little costly, but being a member of EU you´ll not have to pay Customs Duty Fee or local sales tax.

I´ll gladly set this banjo up to Irish Style in a professional manner and ship it to you. You´ll have to pay for it in advance, but I´ll give you 2 weeks to test it and send it back, if you don´t like it. In this case you´ll have to cover both shipments.

I can offer you a purchase of the banjo, case and 2 sets of extra strings for EUR 590 plus shipment appr. EUR 75.

I do think, that this banjo will be a good choice for you.

Please comment this - kindly regards

Polle


Well, that's tempting!! Thank you for your offer ;) There's really no place for testing if i'm to pay 150 euros in shipments :D So, i would be glad if you could give me your oppinion on the pros and cons of that instrument. How does it play like? How's in comparison with other instruments? Would it be suitable for any short of gigs and how much would the sound be compromised if i were to put a pickup on this?
Also, i would have to go on a quest in order to amass money, so if i'm to conclude to that, do you mind waiting a bit? If not, it would be helpful to have your e-mail :)
Hope i'm not a pain in the...well you know where :D
Greetings

ps. I would also be glad to hear a differnt asessment on this particular instrument from somebody else that might had (or had not!) a previous experience of this instrument. I just want to hear quite a few views before concluding on something as costly.

Thanks again Polle ;)




Edited by - HitherElysium on 03/10/2009 13:25:57

baileboy - Posted - 03/10/2009:  19:13:23


Hi HitherElysium,

I went through the same thing as you at the end of last year. Except I'd no stringed instrument experience, so I really didn't want to spend a lot of money at the start.

I bought this banjo in the US for $300 http://www.goldtone.com/products/de...-Irish-Tenor
It sounds really good once the resonator is off, I've been told it sounds better with a new head and bridge, but i havnt bothered because I'm perfectly happy with it at the moment.

This banjo should be within your budget, it you can find a seller in the EU.

http://www.goldtone.com/company/dea...e&country=GR


Edited by - baileboy on 03/10/2009 19:15:14

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 03/11/2009:  02:03:05


Hi HitherElysium,

As a "to-be" banjo-player living in lovely Greece gives you the same problem like f.ex. a person living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

It´s to expensive for you to go, where the angles are singing - it´s also to expensive having the angles brought to your home in order to present their singing.

I do fully understand your point regarding the payment for two shipments - but do you in fact have any other choices?

I´ve in the past 4-5 years purchased appr. 70 vintage banjos and 10 new banjos from foreign countries. Denmark is a little like Greece - you can´t find fine/good banjos in music stores etc. here.

So I had to pay a lot of costs for shipments, Customs fees, sales tax etc. in order to bring these banjos to my house.

My advice for you will be - do at first hand put away the funds for such extra costs - secondly save up or get/loan the funds for the purchase itself of a particular banjo. It seems, that you for now are not ready for a serious purchase.

Kindly regards and the best of lucks

Polle





scotty22 - Posted - 03/11/2009:  09:35:13


HitherE-

Baileboy is correct--the Gold Tone is a good banjo for the money--can't go wrong. You'll be satisfied.

______________________________
"...fat-arsed, beer-gutted, grey-beared, balding Morris dancers with the little bent pipes clamped in their teeth and scraggly ponytails ... (and the men, too.)"

HitherElysium - Posted - 03/11/2009:  11:02:59


Well, i can now see how my last letter could turn out misinterpreted :) Polle, don't get me wrong. Judging from what you ve writen it seems that you have not understanded the point of my previous letter. Let me clarify things a bit. Regarding shipments, i was trying to say that i understand that they are not to my advantage and i would prefer to avoid that costly procedure by making the right choise from the start thus i won't need to have to send the instrument back ;) Regarding money, what i meant was that i am currently in the middle of some selling and i will sooner or later have them, so i asked you if your offer would be still up for when i find them. That's why i asked for your email, in order to be able to contact you when i would have found the money and so you would be able to start the shipping procedure. I have no problem paying for both shipments even though i would prefer to avoid being placed in such a position. That's why i asked for yours and the others point of view regarding that instrument. So as to eradicate more chances of making the wrong choise.
If that wasn't what you were reffering to, i'm glad that i have pointed it out, elsewhere...i think that i have not fully understanded the point of your letter.

Furthermore, thanks for all the other responses. At the begining i was really looking at such instruments like Gold Tone's creeple creek and the like 300 to 400 euros instruments, then, though, i gave it some deeper though and it felt to me like that was not the most sound choise to go along with. Keeping in mind the fact that i play the classical guitar for the last 7 years i hope that i have sufficiently developed my fingers so as not to have a problem playing the banjo. Likewise, my experience with the electric guitar's pick i think would be also to my advantage (it's been one year since i stopped playing death, speed metal and stuff ;))! In addition, even if i don't already have the required skills to play the banjo sometime in the future i will and propably my demand of the instrument would be bigger, so i would be placed again in the position of picking an instrument and i won't be less blindfolded than what i am now for the simple fact that i would have to buy through the internet again. A total waste of both time and money. So, in my point of view i think i should go along with something more 'decent'.
I would really like to hear what do you guys think on this.
Greetings
Thanos




Edited by - HitherElysium on 03/11/2009 11:11:48

scotty22 - Posted - 03/11/2009:  11:57:34


Gold Tone. I'm not certain that I understand you, but it sounds to me that you're saying you want something more than the entry-level CC. If so, get the IT-250; I would be surprised if you could get a better new instrument for the money. Otherwise, if you can afford it, the Deering models like the Sierra, etc. (other than the "Goodtime," which is probably more like the GT-CC).

Otherwise, if you have faith in buying used, this one listed here in the classifeids: http://www.banjohangout.org/classif...asp?cid=8861 would probably be great for the money. NFI


______________________________
"...fat-arsed, beer-gutted, grey-beared, balding Morris dancers with the little bent pipes clamped in their teeth and scraggly ponytails ... (and the men, too.)"


Edited by - scotty22 on 03/11/2009 12:21:17

diarmaid - Posted - 03/11/2009:  14:32:29


quote:
Originally posted by scotty22

Gold Tone. I'm not certain that I understand you, but it sounds to me that you're saying you want something more than the entry-level CC. If so, get the IT-250; I would be surprised if you could get a better new instrument for the money. Otherwise, if you can afford it, the Deering models like the Sierra, etc. (other than the "Goodtime," which is probably more like the GT-CC).

Otherwise, if you have faith in buying used, this one listed here in the classifeids: http://www.banjohangout.org/classif...asp?cid=8861 would probably be great for the money. NFI


______________________________
"...fat-arsed, beer-gutted, grey-beared, balding Morris dancers with the little bent pipes clamped in their teeth and scraggly ponytails ... (and the men, too.)"



excellent find Scotty, that sounds like brilliant value...i find that shipping from the US is actually really cheap a lot of the time, my father had a really heavy banjo shipped for about $80 and the exchange rate between Euros and Dollars makes that come in at about the right price.

www.banjomafia.com check it out!

scotty22 - Posted - 03/11/2009:  14:57:06


I, myself, scored a 60s Aria masterclone on the bay last year for just a couple of hundred bucks. It is a very heavy banjo with a flathead tone ring, and has nice replacement planet tuners. The one thing I HATE about those MIJ masterclones is those nasty all-metal tuners they used on those things. That Ibanez for sale, above, may be one of those nice MIJ MCs--just need to shed those nasty tuners.

______________________________
"...fat-arsed, beer-gutted, grey-beared, balding Morris dancers with the little bent pipes clamped in their teeth and scraggly ponytails ... (and the men, too.)"

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 03/11/2009:  15:33:38


Hi again HitherElysium,

Yes - I did misunderstand you - sorry.

I´ve just now seen, that there´s in fact a Gold Tone dealer in Greece:

Omikron Control SA
20 Solomou Street
Athens
Phone: 302103302095

My advice for you will be - ask this dealer about prices and availability for these 2 banjos, inclusive of hardcase and set up with REMO Renaissance head and "irish" strings:

http://www.goldtone.com/products/de...-Irish-Tenor

http://www.goldtone.com/products/de...r-Special-AT

Both these banjos (17-fret and 19-fret) will be excellent for tenor and/or Irish Style playing. You´ll not be disappointed.

I do have brand new Gold Tone´s in my display - a TS-250 (a flattop version, not so suited for irish) and a TS-250 AT+ (the DeLuxe version with the Tree-of-Life inlays). They are for sale, but if you can buy one in Greece, it will be cheaper for you, I guess.

Do contact this dealer - in case of problems, do return to me.

Kindly regards

Polle

HitherElysium - Posted - 03/16/2009:  13:52:55


Well guys, i just wanted to say many thanks to everybody:)
I've concluded to gold tone.
It will be either the TS-250AT or the TS-250 (with resonator), it depends on how much money i'm going to amass ;)
When i get it i'll propably come back to bomb you with more questions :Dl
Many thanks once more ;)
Thanos

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