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Time for a new banjo

Posted by johnboyrox on Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hey guys,

I don't know how I didn't find this place earlier, this is great.  I've been looking for a new banjo for a while, and kept hearing about this site, so I thought I'd join.  I have an Epiphone MB-250 that I've had since I was a teenager.  I have played the heck out of it, but I have babied it all along.  I have played the low tones nearly all my life playing lead on nearly every song and my report card would probably say "doesn't play well with others".

Lately, I've been working up the neck and practicing alot of backup and have found that the whole banjo, but my 3rd string especially, just doesn't sound good up there.  I think I've just reached the limits of what this banjo can do.  I am going to get a new one.  I am thinking something American, nickel hardware, and Maple.  I think my favorite sounding banjo is probably Cia Cherryholmes' Huber.  That thing is a cannon.  My wife and I are trying to adopt a baby, so I don't want to go overboard on price. I am going to limit myself to $2000.00 and try to get a good deal on one.

I need to find one quick.  I plan on entering a contest this fall and need to have some significant time with my new banjo before that.  Anyone that can help me out with advice or has something for sale, I would appreciate hearing from you.



2 comments on “Time for a new banjo”

stanger Says:
Sunday, January 18, 2009 @2:18:58 PM

Hi, John...For 2K, you have a wealth of choices. Remember that the player creates a lot of the tone you hear, not just the banjo... Cia's banjo might not suit you at all if it was yours. This isn't cutting down Hubers at all- just the facts. It doesn't do any harm to live with the frustration of your old banjo while you do some searching- as you play the one you have now, listen carefully and try to determine what you like about it and what you don't. Make a list, if you thank that will help, and use it as a base of comparison when you're looking. Patience always pays off in satisfaction. The more banjos you actually handle, the better your decision will suit what will be best for you. Remember that recordings most often don't sound like the actual banjo in real life; many banjos that sound great on recordings are set up specifically for that purpose, and don't sound the same at all when you hear them live and unamplified. ...and don't overlook used banjos. There are always many brand-new banjos for sale that have only a few hours of playing time on them. You can often save big money by buying a used banjo. regards, Stanger

stanger Says:
Sunday, January 18, 2009 @2:28:45 PM

...'nother comment- When you find a banjo that really suits, it will be swell right off the bat, and will only get more familiar as time goes by. Don't worry about needing a lot of time to adjust; you will be playing better in a matter of hours, not months. If any banjo you try out doesn't immediately have the things you want to hear and feel, especially one in a store, it probably needs some minor setup. If you don't know how to tighten a head or position a bridge correctly, learn these things, and ask if you can tweak the banjo if store personnel don't know how to do it. Most often, a new banjo's head will loosen because the plastic is stretchy for a while, and very often, the bridge is out of position. If they don't feel right in your hand when you pick one up, they never will in the future. If there is some flaw that you notice and can't accept, it will probably bug you forever if you buy the banjo anyway. Whenever I see some minor flaw I that bothers me, I just put the banjo back on the rack. regards, Stanger

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