Thanks in advance for your help. So I'm used to an acoustic or classical guitar (not good, just used to : ) I'm working on a few songs that are kind of Indian, folk, soul fusion. I want a different sound - like some of the banjo twang, but more bassy, more finger pick/chord strumming mix. All kinds are welcome, as well as string ideas, material, etc. But has to be 6 strings, and under $1000 US. I'd prefer quality over bells and whistles (ie. signature, exotic mtls, etc) that make it more pricey. Used or new is ok but I need to be able to find it within a month or so. And less interested in members pushing their guitars for sale (but still open to ones that fit the criteria)
This is probably your best option for a 6 string banjo, unless you buy a Deering, but a Deering will cost more than a grand. These Recording Kings are excellent, well-built instruments for the money...they're made in China under American guidance, and the guy that started RK is an ex-Gibson luthier.
And available used models aside for a moment, what are other brands/models/strings/materials that could provide that woodier, rounder, bassier kind of sound that still has some banjo twang but can venture into more guitar-like picking and strumming too?
Could be new or used and/or general comments about what kind of banjo setup could work well for this project sound.
Well aside from the Deerings and RKs I've mentioned....I'm not sure.
The RK I posted above has a wooden rim/ tone ring, so I imagine it has "woody" sound to it.
The 6 string Asian made cheapo banjitar things you see all over ebay and Musicians Friends, etc...normally have an aluminum rim, so they'll be "twangier", but the necks on them are damn near unplayable, with some sort of weird scale length that isnt banjo and aint guitar!
With the one above, you have a solid instrument that is sturdy and well built enough to try different head tensions, different strings, set-up, etc......which is where and how you'll find the sound/sounds you're after.
This custom built neck, converted Gibson Mastertone (that I assembled) would "fill the bill" for you....but I've got a lot more than 1 thousand in it!