I guess there is the gold tone one...however I’m going to be playing in a rock-ish band with drums and stuff. I’m thinking my stelling with a blend pickup is a nice ax to keep in the stable for this situation because I could blend pickup, condensor mic, and the banjo’s naturally LOUD acoustic tone.
Not an answer to your question (sorry) ... but just curious of you have considered something like the Audio Sprockets ToneDexter? It is mainly used for guitar. But Im pretty sure think it works well on other instruments as well. It might eliminate the need for a mic and reduce the potential for feedback and problems in a loud stage situation.
I have an OLD Fishman outboard blender (piezo + condenser) system installed in my Gallagher acoustic guitar. (BTW - I installed it back in the early 1990s after hearing Bela Fleck talk about developing the blender system he used back then on his banjo). The Fishman sounds great but is cumbersome. The mic can still feed-back if used close to a stage monitor.
When the ToneDexter was introduced, my friends at Carter Vintage in Nashville were really excited about it (still are I think). I seriously considered removing the condenser mic and swapping to this. I have not done so - because I just don't play guitar enough to justify it. But I'm still intrigued by the technology.
Schatten is the only company that makes a banjo-specific all in one blended system I believe. I used it for several years with good results, before switching to The ToneDexter as just mentioned by jbalch . The results I get with the AudioSprockets ToneDexter are pretty incredible. I use it with a Schatten piezo. I've performed with it in many different pro situations, and it just works and sounds almost as good as a mic. Once you get it set up (which can be tricky), it's very easy to use.
Hey, Frankie - a lot of this amplification business depends on your expectations. Playing with electric instruments and drums means volume and feedback control are more important than sounding 100% authentic.
I've had great success with the old-style Fishman pickup (mine is from before the Rare Earth, so no built-in preamp). I have a great floor preamp (Radial PZ-Deluxe), but two other things make a huge difference: a compressor (we have one built into the board, but I have a stompbox for other PAs) and cutting a little bit at 250Hz and, if needed 400Hz. I get plenty of volume without feedback as long as I don't crouch down in front of the floor monitors. Is it my ideal tone? Not for a record, but to a live audience, it sounds like a banjo.