I received mine three weeks ago today and agree with JM, it is a lot of banjo for the money. I have owned several more expensive and made in USA banjos and am not claiming that this banjo is better. But will say the tone, fit, and finish of the instrument is a lot for the price. The simple cosmetics of the inlay plus nice brown finish, but light enough to let the wood grain shine through, is also a nice touch. Also, the bridge that came with the banjo is a good match to the banjo. I have tried several boutique bridges I have purchased through the years but the no-name band bridge that came on the banjo works just fine. In reviews on the net of this banjo, others have said the same thing regarding the bridge. If someone is looking to upgrade to a banjo and can manage $1200 I would suggest giving this one some consideration. If you look at different vendors, like I did, you will find one in particular that evens offers it with a hard shell case thrown in, should you decide to purchase one.
I can’t beat the drum loud enough for Recording King. I had an rk-36 that was flat out gorgeous. I have an rk-35 maple right now that is every bit as good as my Gibsons, and Davis. There is NO way any of my current flat heads are $ 2000-3000 dollars better that the Recording King. If you’re in the market do yourself a favor and at least give em a fair shake .
Without question the RK-R36 is the best import banjo out there right now, and it's not even close.
There are some others out there that get close, particularly a few new models from the competition, but they still can't match the note separation, up the neck clarity, and comfortable neck profile that the RK-R36 has. And RK does it for significantly less cost than anyone else.
I don't know what it is about banjos that Greg Rich has anything to do with as far as their development, but there must be something. Can you spell re-issue Gibsons of the early 1990s and the RKs that came out about a decade and a half ago.
I wish RK would make a true double cut RB-75/RB-3 clone as an upgraded model above the RK36 with a normal scale instead of the Elite’s longer scale. I think it would be a big hit. Gold Tone and Goldstar make them and they are good sellers. RK’s finishing and attention to detail would probably sell even better.