The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
6920 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Long and McQuade - Burlington, Canada
The sound is great. This is a short scale 17 fret neck, so intonation is tricky due to the length of the strings. But the G string isn't too flabby despite of this. I use D'Addario J63i strings which are made for this tuning. This banjo has a brass tone ring, which helps in crearting a rich sound with overtones.
Sound Rating: 8
The action was a little high to my liking, so I sanded the bridge a bit in order to lower it. This banjo as a truss rod, which helps in adjusting the neck and action. No fret buzzing.
Setup Rating: 7
This banjo is very pretty, all maple in natural finish. And the snowflake inlays on the fingerboard adds to the apperance. Most banjos of this price range only have dots.
Appearance Rating: 8
The hardware seems very good and the finish is also nicely done. The tuners are decent, with plastic knobs, and keep the tuning. I have no problem in using this banjo for gigs without a backup, apart from carrying spare strings.
Reliability Rating: 8
Customer Service: not rated
Everything in metal and wood seem of good quality for that price.
The nut is made of cheap plastic but this is an easy upgrade to make, if required.
Components Rating: not rated
Gold Tone is hard to beat for instruments of less than $1000. Sure they are made in Asia but they seem to set them up before shipping them, so there is a fair amount of QA done. This is a very nice instrument that should give me years of good service. Compared to Deerings of the same price range, the Gold Tone has a few more features including a brass tone ring which makes a difference, unless you like a soft tone. This banjo is way better than any import with aluminum pots that are solds by most other makers.
Overall Rating: 8
'Penco Blond' 27 min
'A 38 hook banjo pot' 6 hrs
'String Lot For Sale' 10 hrs