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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: RK vs Twanger vs RK


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/395175

banjoez - Posted - 01/15/2024:  12:29:49


Comparing the tone of three similarly priced imports. A Maple RK-85 Elite, a GoldTone OB-3 Twanger and a Mahogany RK-76 Elite. Can't say one is better than the other, just different. One is brighter, one is darker, one is in between. Depends on what you're looking for. They all are a bargain in today's market.



Recorded with Audacity on Windows 10 with a Blue Snowball Mic. No enhancements.


Edited by - banjoez on 04/26/2024 08:52:44


GeeBeeThreefinger - Posted - 01/15/2024:  12:40:26


Nice! To my crummy ears, the GT sounds a bit richer, fuller…

KCJones - Posted - 01/15/2024:  13:09:07


Both sound about the same. It's always seemed to me that this decision is based on the neck profile rather than the tone.

Both sound good, they're both "real deal" masterclones. One has a much better neck than the other, though.

lazlototh - Posted - 01/15/2024:  13:21:08


We are lucky to live in a time where these instruments are available at somewhat affordable prices.
I am losing my hearing but they both sound good.
Of course, some of that is the picker. Well done!

Old Hickory - Posted - 01/15/2024:  13:39:00


I'd say the Gold Tone is more clear.



Otherwise, they're very similar in tone.



I don't think Recording King makes the Elite-85 any more. There's still a web page for it, but it's not accessible from the RK banjos page, which suggests to me it's no longer in the lineup.



The 85 was maple and the remaining Elite-75 and -76 are both mahogany.



So the Elite you can still buy is mahogany like the Twanger but has a 1-1/4-inch longer scale.



I've heard and played at least one RK-Elite-75 and remember it sounding better than the 85 in the A-B test here.



It's a great time to be a banjo player ready for a step-up instrument.

aaronoble - Posted - 01/15/2024:  14:43:58


quote:

Originally posted by KCJones

One has a much better neck than the other, though.






No horse in this race, just curious; which has a better neck?

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 01/15/2024:  15:04:03


Ive played quite a few RK elites...75 76 85....and 3 twangers...when I needed a jer for bars. I bought one of the twangers.

My assessment was the Twanger I bought sounded louder and more clear than all the others. I liked the Twanger neck profile better but would still like a slightly wider neck for 1st string vibrato and bending. None of the RKs pleased me but they all seemed decent quality.

Ive played the hell out of the Twanger for 9 months. The metal plating has come right off...thats my only complaint. Other than that it stays in tune and hasnt fallen apart.

tonygo - Posted - 01/15/2024:  15:54:32


quote:

Originally posted by banjoez

Comparing the tone of two popular imports. RK-85 Elite and a GoldTone OB-3 Twanger for those thinking about getting one or the other. Maple vs Mahogany. Bright vs Dark. Loud vs Mellow. Strident vs Sweet. Can't say one is better than the other, just different. Either one is a bargain in today's market.






I think I like the Twanger sound better, I have an RK-80.

banjoman56 - Posted - 01/15/2024:  21:59:51


No question IMO, the Twanger sounds much better. So much that I was really surprised!

csrat - Posted - 01/16/2024:  00:05:55


Not even close.

GT is better.

phb - Posted - 01/16/2024:  05:42:34


I think they are both a bit on the tinny side but the RK less so.

steve davis - Posted - 01/16/2024:  07:07:25


I'm waiting on a walnut/maple/mahogany comparison.


Edited by - steve davis on 01/16/2024 07:08:04

bill53 - Posted - 01/16/2024:  07:42:35


i had a 35 loved it till i got my 2 Gibsons

banjoez - Posted - 01/16/2024:  13:37:44


I've got a mahogany RK76-Elite coming in next week and after I get it set up I'll add that to the mix here and see how it compares. Stay tuned.


Edited by - banjoez on 01/16/2024 13:39:54

Old Hickory - Posted - 01/16/2024:  16:04:23


Just got done listening to both samples several times each through my Bluetooth connected hearing aids. Sounds way better.



But now I'm torn. I slightly prefer the opening down-the-neck measures of the RK. The GT is nice and clear there but maybe a touch more treble than I want to hear. Then when you slide up the neck, the GT really shines. The notes ring clear and sweet. The RK has a hint of honk or pinch or something held back. I didn't hear it when listening through speakers but with my hearing aids acting like ear buds it's there.



And I don't know if this reflects a difference in your playing or the banjos, but on the RK I seem to hear more or different kind of sympathetic vibrations in the down the neck parts. I don't hear this with the Gold Tone. I guess that's what makes it overall more clear to my ears-- with my admittedly diminished hearing. Maybe also call it better note separation.



So while I prefer what I hear as less down the neck treble on the RK, the GT still sounds better overall.

banjoez - Posted - 01/17/2024:  07:49:54


quote:

Originally posted by aaronoble

quote:

Originally posted by KCJones

One has a much better neck than the other, though.






No horse in this race, just curious; which has a better neck?






My opinion, for what it's worth, is that if you're used to a standard Gibson scale then the GT Twanger may feel more at home as it's got the same/similar scale. The RK Elite has a longer 27 3/8" scale which actually feels quite natural and comfortable and doesn't feel as cramped up the neck but it is different. The longer scale contributes to the clarity and power as the strings are at a higher tension. One thing about the RK Elites that I've discovered after setting up a few is they do better with light gauge strings.  

earlstanleycrowe - Posted - 01/17/2024:  11:23:15


They both sound really good to me.

BUBBY - Posted - 01/17/2024:  22:02:09


I really enjoy comparison, thanks for posting. Great job btw

heavy5 - Posted - 01/21/2024:  06:43:35


GT has more sustain , Joe , which is maple ? Thanks for your efforts

Mark D - Posted - 01/21/2024:  07:31:04


Both sound good to me listening through headphones with the RK definitely brighter to my age 71 ears with the GT having a more balanced, blended output. I tend to lean towards mahogany bodied instruments of all types.
Nice playing.

banjoez - Posted - 01/24/2024:  13:24:55


RK-76 Elite added to the mix.

heavy5 - Posted - 01/24/2024:  14:43:33


Thought the Elite's were similar

banjoez - Posted - 01/24/2024:  15:53:45


quote:

Originally posted by heavy5

Thought the Elite's were similar






You are correct. Not surprising.

writerrad - Posted - 01/27/2024:  07:37:42


quote:


at the old time jam I play in each Monday here in Palm Beach the land of fossils waiting for the next stage, we sometimes put a reminder for folk to bring their hearing aids when we send out the notice for the jam,  and once expose how bad the miscreant who did not do so the previous week sounded. 


There is a whole Facebook group for musicians who use hearing aids where unlike most FB groups, I have learned useful practical information.

Originally posted by lazlototh

We are lucky to live in a time where these instruments are available at somewhat affordable prices.

I am losing my hearing but they both sound good.

Of course, some of that is the picker. Well done!






 

J.Albert - Posted - 01/28/2024:  10:45:18


I preferred the Twanger.



Slightly richer 4th string.

A bit more "pop" -- again, "from the bottom, up".



Overall, a slightly "darker", more textured sound.



Suits my taste.

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