Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

382
Banjo Lovers Online


Banjo Reviews

Review Categories

Most Recent

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!

6628 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone  Orange Blossom OB-250+ Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Old Chief61 (see all reviews from this person) on 9/1/2016

Where Purchased: Gold Tone Music Group

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 2000 ($US)

Sound

Bright, crisp, & loud. Just a bit on the dark side. This banjo has the JLS #12 sand-cast bell brass tone ring. (That's the main difference between the OB 250 & the OB 250+)

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Setup was very good. I was surprised to find the bridge already installed when I opened the case.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Very pretty. Tiger striped Maple neck & resonator back with the classic sunburst pattern. Dark, tobacco brown antique finish. The finish is glossy and flawless. Classic hearts & flowers MOP inlay on the neck's Ebony fingerboards. Metal finish is polished chrome. This is a handsome banjo.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Very good. Holds tune well. Finish is durable with no signs of wear yet after 4 years of playing. I wear an improvised cumberbund to prevent scratching & resonator rash.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

I spoke to Wayne Rogers (president of Gold Tone, a knowledgeable banjo player, and a very nice guy) when I was ordering the banjo. I get the impression Gold Tone works very closely with their customers for complete satisfaction. I've never had to contact customer service; I've never had an issue with the banjo.

Customer Service: 8

Components

I would put the OB 250+ nearly on par with American made professional banjos. Single piece die-cast zinc pot, 2-way adjustable truss rod in the neck, 2 coordinating rods, planetary tuners are more than adequate. The adjustable straightline tail piece looks fragile. At thirteen pounds, this is a quality instrument.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by Mitch1 (see all reviews from this person) on 2/12/2014

Where Purchased: Banjoteacher.com

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 1990 ($US)

Sound

Excellent

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Excelllent

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Excellent

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Excellent

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Excellent

Customer Service: 10

Components

Exceptional Quality

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I recently received my new banjo (a Gold Tone OB 250+) from Ross Nickerson at BanjoTeacher.com.   After months of shopping around, I knew what banjo I wanted, and who I wanted to buy it from.  Ross's level of service was exceptional with quick response and excellent advice which made the process and decision very easy for me.  Also I should mention he had the best price.  I love my new banjo and I could not be happier.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by bobbytraylor (see all reviews from this person) on 7/27/2011

Where Purchased: Ebay

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 975 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

I am amazed at how much sound Gold Tone offers for the money. This is a 2005 Gold Tone OB250 plus which is basically new. It came with 10-13-16-24w-10 strings on it. According to the factory in Titusville, FL Korea delivers it this way so it will play better longer on the shelf of the music store. I put 10-11-12-20-10s on and it sounds great. Action is low, slop and pop is super, true up the frets, feels like a more expensive banjo. I actually like it more than my Gold Star gf-100 hf which I always thought was a little harsh or something. Has the same thin pre-war type neck as my Huber Truetone (a $5000. banjo) and I'd probably take happily take this to a gig to make sure the Huber didn't get stolen.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Set up with low action, heavy strings. Changed the strings and action got slightly lower but still no buzzing and true up the neck. Lows and highs great. Again, I'm amazed at how much banjo they pack into this thing for the money. Very satisfying playing experience. Can play this for hours with great satisfaction.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

First class inlays, wood, finish. No flaws at all.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Hardware seems like it will last. I've called the factory twice asking about string gauges and they've been very responsive. I get they really care about this product.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Banjo is out of warranty. I believe it's five years? Factory where instruments are set up very helpful.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components seem first rate to me. No cheap banjo goings on with this unit.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I can't believe the quality sound that comes out of this thing along with super low action and overall feel of a more expensive unit. I immediately bonded with the sound of this. That great pre-war type sloppy poppy fifth string and raspy lows with full highs all the way up the neck. And true up the neck. I use this as a backup to my Huber Truetone and happily play it in any professional situation. My ratings are "for the money" of course. I wasn't aware this level of satisfaction in playing was available on this type of budget.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by kamensm (see all reviews from this person) on 6/27/2010

Where Purchased: Banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 1500.00 ($US)

Sound

Compared to several other Banjos I tried, this OB-250+ sounds amazing in this price range. I have no complaints.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The guys at Banjo.com really backup their promise on personnally setting every banjo up. I received the banjo in perfect shape, everything was tight, bridge was the right height and positioned perfectly. I haven't done anything to the setup.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It is maple with beautiful inlays that were perfectly finished. I examined this banjo from top to bottom and it was perfect in everyway. The finish was amazing.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The banjo's hardware looks and feels solid. I would be shocked if the finish wore off but I wipe down and polish frequently. I would definitely use it on a gig and even several people who played it were impressed. Playing any instrument for a living without a backup doesn't sound like a good idea.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Well 1st I emailed Good Time and asked several questions which were answered within a few hours by the owner. Anyone I've ever dealt with that responds that quickly tends to backup their products. Banjo.com is where I bought it and this was my second purchase. They are the best - provided me with honest expert advice. The setup on both banjos I bought was perfect - they ship fast. What really impressed me was that everyone who answers the phone plays and knows what they are talking about.

Customer Service: 10

Components

To me everything stood out as the best but I'm not that experienced to want any upgrades.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is one beautiful banjo. I played 30 years ago and decided I wanted to pick it up again. I like nice instruments and feel that this was a wise choice based on quality and price. If I had to replace it, I would definitely buy it again.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by candkath (see all reviews from this person) on 2/15/2010

Where Purchased: goldtone

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Scruggs style. I have a 50 some model raised head Mastertone and was looking for a flat head and wanted to try the graphite neck. Had to do a lot of adjusting but it sounds good to me and get a lot of compliments about the tone.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Banjo was shipped from Gold Tone by Fed EX. The neck was loose, the bridge not right and the tail piece loose. Not being a banjo mechanic and no one here in Tucson Az that knew anything about banjos I had to learn how to fix and set up my banjo. After lots of trial and error, changing the tail piece to a Fults and after a lot of different bridges I finallly settled on the one that came with the banjo. Figured out how to tighten and adjust the neck from all the helpful websites that can be found. The head needs to be tightened periodically because it tends to loosen up. Will replace it with a good Remo head shortly. Put on a pair of Schaller DTuners that work very well.

Setup Rating: 3

Appearance

Finish is ok No faults

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Overall the banjo seems like it will last. Good solid instrument.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Havent delt with Gold Tone. Whats the use they are in Florida Im in Arizona.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Didnt like the tail piece and the head seems weak.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Good banjo for the price. I wanted to try the graphite neck after reading lots of good commets about it. The neck is about 2/16 of an inch wider at the nut and the playing surface is flat. The back of the neck is smooth with no finish so it makes moving up and down the neck very smooth and easy. I really like the graphite neck and would recommend it to anyone.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Dubz (see all reviews from this person) on 10/5/2008

Where Purchased: banjoteacher.com

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound is fantastic! This IS THE BEST sounding banjo in its price category. My banjo teacher, who has been playing for many years, was stunned with the sound for the price of this banjo, and I was too. Great!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

My banjo came straight from the gold tone factory to my house in Australia, and the set up was good.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I choose the natural finish with my OB250+ just to go with something a little different from the somewhat standard dark colour and I like it a lot, its great on the eyes. The only thing I can complain about with regards to appearance is there is a small chip in front of one of the frets on the fretboard, but this does not affect playability so I am not really fussed cos you have to look close to see it. Another thing (a petty thing really) is that it seems to me that the nickel might be lower quality than some other banjo's, but in this price range thats kinda acceptable.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

I've only had mine about 2 months but there have not been any issues. Think this one will last a LONG time.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Have not had to deal with them so no comment here.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Only thing I don't like here are the tuners, they seem a bit stiff, I adjusted them and now they are fine. The tailpiece is a bit cheap so i replaced it with a Fults 1934.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I love this banjo and would never sell it. Becoming quite a common thing to say but if it was stolen i would buy another one. I'm a huge fan of gold tone and would love to buy the OB-500. I recommend this banjo to anyone. Overall it gets a 10 in my books cos you wont beat it for the price.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by NOLScgp (see all reviews from this person) on 10/6/2007

Where Purchased: BHO memeber

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 930 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

This banjo had a decent top end when I got it and the bottom was ok, I tried tightening the head up to an Ab from a G and the bottom completely disappeared. Once I replaced the stock tail-piece and the bridge and it improved it greatly and I was able to tune up the head without losing anything, it mellowed out the highs of the banjo and boosted the lows, overall it normalized the banjo's sound and made it ring like a bell and the neck vibrate much more also. It is a maple banjo in all sense of the word, it roars like a lion but with some coaxing will purr like a kitten. The new Snuffy Smith bridge really lets it ring much more than the stock bridge

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Change the original tail-piece!!! It will make an amazing difference. Change the bridge too, I put on a Snuffy Smith, it's awesome. The action was a little high, but nothing a little truss rod adjustment couldn't fix. The tuners are ample, I put on 2 Keith D-Tuners and will probably replace the other two at some point, but they are functional, just not as precise as I would like

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

This banjo is a beauty, the back of the neck is tiger striped, the fretboard inlays are nearly perfect, the headstock and finish are excellent, I wish it was a true "Golden" Gold Tone, but the Nickel finish is still really nice.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I've only had the banjo for 2 months, but it seems rock solid to me and I would use it without a backup.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I haven't dealt with Gold Tone at all but it is interesting to see that they have a lifetime warranty for the original owner and a secondary warranty that is for five years for a second owner if you sell it.

Customer Service: 9

Components

The upgraded tone ring is really nice in this banjo as well as the 3-ply rim, these are the standout parts. The original tail-piece is junk, it was bending when I took it off the banjo, it should definitely be replaced, I put on a Fults Cumberland and it greatly improved the sound of the banjo. The original tuners are ok, but they feel a little cheap to me.

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

The TKL case it comes with is excellent. For the price I paid I would recommend this banjo to anyone. If this banjo was stolen, I'm not sure if I would buy another, I would probably save up for an American made banjo or try a RK or ODE, but for a Pacific Rim banjo assembled in the US, it's an amazing banjo for the money, I hope to have it for a few years to come and play it often. I played a Gold Star GF-200 before this and they both seem to have the same flaws, I was just able to get this one for about $400 less than the GF-200

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by TONUP (see all reviews from this person) on 3/12/2007

Where Purchased: Banjo Works, Kent

Year Purchased: Feb, 2007
Price Paid: £945.00 (UK Sterling) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Crisp bright sounding, just what I had hoped for

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Andy Perkins at the Banjo Works in Kent has set this banjo up really well, the action is nice and low and the strings can be fretted with the lightest touch. To start off with I found the bridge a bit on the high side, but I'm getting used to it now.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I have the blonde model and everything seems wel finished and put together

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

The hardware all seems to be pretty good quality, at the moment I 've no reason to doubt that it will give good service.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

I emailed Gold Tone with my query regarding the bridge hieght and received a response the next day from the company president, Wayne Rogers. That's pretty good service in my opinion. Also Andy Perkins at the Banjo Works in Kent was really helpful and patient when I visited his premises to try and buy the banjo.

Customer Service: 9

Components

I've come from a much cheaper banjo so everything feels a lot better. The only thing I would like to add eventually is a set of Scruggs tuners.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I've played it everyday since I bought it and I am very pleased with my purchase so far. I haven't had a lot of opportunity to play it with other instruments yet, but I dont doubt that it will be able come up to the mark without any trouble. It's said that if you are looking for a top line banjo without spending a fortune Gold Tone are the best for under a grand. Seems accurate so far.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by jackbarb (see all reviews from this person) on 8/30/2006

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Year Purchased: 06
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Bright and Loud.Sings like a bird.I'm a Scruggs style picker.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Beautiful set-up.I'm a lefty

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

No flaws,she's a throughbred race horse.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I would use it anywhere any time.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I havn't needed service.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

No cheap parts.I believe I'll leave her the way she is for now.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would buy another in a heart beat.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by hammer (see all reviews from this person) on 1/12/2005

Where Purchased: JDMC

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 1300 ($US)

Sound

Bluegrass is my style and it sounds great both on the lower five and up the neck. Not hollow sounding. Great note sustain and clarity. This will allow me to improve my skill set with style.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Set up from JDMC was excellent. I just had to tweak her into tune and off I went.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very easy on the eyes. Stained Maple with figure - sweeet! Flawless finish. Inlay work was very good and attractive. All metal (nickel plated) parts are smooth and free from scratches. The sunburst on the back resonator is very pretty. Even the case is special.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Time will tell, but I have the feeling she'll be around a while.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

JDMC - Top shelf company. Great service.
Gold Tone - haven't had to contact them.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Everything looks and sounds great. No changes are needed by me.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

"I Love this banjo!" sounds corny - only an object. However, it delivers wonderful sounds and gives me pleasure to pick and slide and hammer on up and down the neck. This new instrument will assist me in reaching as high as I care to in the musical realm of Bluegrass Sound.
I highly recommend this banjo for those of us who WANT the legendary Gibson but can't afford to go there. This baby will satisfy your wallet and give you the great sound you crave.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by banjoluv (see all reviews from this person) on 8/2/2004

Where Purchased: Music Villa, Bozeman, MT

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 1300 ($US)

Sound

The OB 250+ suites bluegrass style very well. I can picture it in my head that the sound from this instrument could work very well in a number of different types of music, jazz, country, jug-band, etc. I will go further into my set-up in the next catagory, but I changed the set-up considerably. The JLS tone ring is unmatched for balanced sound.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The set-up from the store (I bought this sight-unseen, my buddy said it was beautiful) was terrible. Sounded like wet duck farts in a rain storm. I added a 5-star frosted head, several bridges did their auditions. I finally settled on the Cotton Mill, Sosobee (SP?) Medium strings also helped. Just recently had Greg Cahill give me advice on set-up with putting on a higher bridge and lowering neck angle with the dreaded actuator rod adjustment!! Yikes! Nice action now, tho.

Setup Rating: 4

Appearance

The appreaance was absolutely stunning with it's glossy finish over that gorgeous maple!! WOW! Fit ofr parts was excellent. Tremendous value for the purchase price!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The workmanship in both material, design, and factory production is unequaled in any other banjo in this price range. The people in Titusville reall do a perfection-trip putting these together too.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Just got the lifetime warranty signed in not long ago. Good 'nuff for me.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Of course, the JLS tone ring. It seems way more balanced between highs and lows production that any others I am familier with. The neck is lean and fast but also very accurate. The only "cheaper" thing on it is the arm rest. I plan to replace this soon. It's just too flimsy.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I bought this because I needed a workhorse instrument to play in my band Cotton Wood and get my 77 Gibson RB-800 off the stage and out of harm's way. That axe was made by God, or Earle, or somebody like that. The Gold Tone OB 250+ is doing a tremendous job as a workhorse. As I said, for the money it is untouchable by anyone else. That is why I give it a ten. My RB-800 would get a 25. The OB 250+ is a tremendous banjo in any price range.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by arras (see all reviews from this person) on 5/11/2004

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Suit my Bluegrass style perfect.
Janet Davis did the set up for me, very good!
Love the way you can play it soft or harder as you wish with great sound both ways!!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It was set up perfect!! only needed a little tuning, thats all!!!

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

wooow!!! was the first thing I said when i opened the case!!! It`s lovely, dark brown body and neck and fancy MOP inlays!!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It looks very reliable to me!! it looks like the best, and with the feeling of power and weight when you hold it in your hands- there can be no doubt!!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

JDMC are wonderful people , and Janet herself is as helpful and friendly as I`ve always have heard about her!!
lifetime warranty on the banjo!!

Customer Service: 10

Components

Nothing here that looks weak or cheap to me! I feel like this banjo`s components are as on those 2000-3000$ banjos!!

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I recommend it highly to everyone who wants to upgrade to a `pro banjo. If it was stolen I would save enogh to buy a new one again!
I love it, especially the sound and the feeling of the best quality when you pick it or look at it!!!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 5/11/2004

Where Purchased: Acoustic Music Works

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 1350 ($US)

Sound

I play bluegrass banjo. I think that this banjo is the absolute best banjo you can get in this price range. Because of the JLS Tone Ring it has very rich, full sound. The maple neck and resonator make it bright too. It has very good bass and it sounds very nice when played up the neck. The OB-250+ has good volume. Tubby, pretty clear up the neck.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was very good including low action. The bridge was slighty out of place but very easily corrected.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I think that its appearance is very good. The Hearts and Flowers MOP inlay and the sunburst finish make it a very good looking banjo. If you wish, (although mine is not) you can get it gold plated.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Other owners and myself feel that this is a banjo that can last you a lifetime. It comes with a lifetime warrenty. Everything is very nice on this banjo.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Although I have not dealt with them yet due to any problems, I am behind their products 100%. I feel that they make the best banjos under $1400. Every model that I play (resonator and open-back) all have excellent sound for their price and they have very nice necks.

Customer Service: 10

Components

One of the nicest features of this banjo is the JLS Tone Ring which gives that nice tubby sound. It has planetary tuners, and a straitline tailpiece. I could not find anything wrong with this banjo. The workmanship is great and so are the parts.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would definitely recommend this banjo. If it were stolen I would be extremely upset. I would probably go out and buy a new one. I absolutely love this banjo. It is absolutley incredible for the price. You should compare it to banjos the same price as it and even some twice as much, and it holds its own. You can't beat this banjo for the price.
Note: The ratings are based on a scale for the price range, not Hubers, Gibsons, etc.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by cjtoo69 (see all reviews from this person) on 1/3/2004

Where Purchased: ZEPP

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 860 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Got this banjo for a musically talented family member learning three-finger style. Instrument is loud, and bright with good sustain. This banjo plays well, up and down the neck without intonation.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Setup was good, tuning with minor tailpiece adjustment.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

This is a very attractive instrument, nicely grained maple, with carved peghead and neck. The fingerboard and inlays are well done, as are the frets. The finish is shiny, and the metal is chromed.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Too early to comment regarding reliability, but judging from the overall quality, fit, and finish of the instrument, I doubt there will be any reliability problems with this instrument.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

No opportunity for customer service.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The rim and tone ring are top drawer, all of the components are of good professional quality. No corners cut on this instrument. Nice TKL hardshell case.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Overall this is a good, inexpensive, professional grade banjo. It is a heavy, well-made instrument with excellent sound and outstanding tonal quality. In my opinion it beats 85% of the RB 250’s I’ve played, and favorably compares to many of the finest instruments. I am no fan of imports, but the OB-250+ cannot be beaten for the price.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 10/7/2003

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I play traditional 3 finger style and really like the sound of this banjo. The tone is crisp with good sustain. The sound seems to emanate from deep within the banjo. The quality parts used in it's construction are very apparent.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The setup was not too bad, I adjusted the tailpiece closer to the head to get more bite. I think the head still needs to be snugged up a bit to get the exact sound I want out of this banjo

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

I really like the looks of this banjo. The nickel plating is very nice as is the inlay on the ebony fretboard. The back of the peghead is carved as is the heel of the neck. The wood is highly figured and nicely finished. There were some plating problems with the armrest and tailpiece, but Gold Tone sent me out replacement parts right away when this was brought to their attention.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

This is a very solid banjo. It is very well made and should last a long time with the proper care. It feels very solid and I have found no problems with it at all.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

This is the second banjo I have owned from Gold Tone and they have been very responsive and quick to please with any problems. I was sent replacement parts right away to correct some plating problems on this banjo.

Customer Service: 9

Components

This banjo uses top notch parts and is a professional level banjo. The JLS tone ring has a great sound and along with the 3 ply maple rim, give this bajo a wonderful tone. This banjo even comes with a TKL arch top case!

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

This banjo is very hard to beat in its class and price range. It comes with components that would cost much more on comparable brand banjos. I would absolutely replace it if stolen with another OB-250+.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 5/16/2003

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 1172 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Big loud sound with a good bit of sustain to it. Bluegrass cannon is I guess what they call it. It will take some technique changes not to be overbearing on this one. I would say this is an

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Setup was fine; in tune on delivery. I have no thoughts of tinkering with it. Head may need some tightening along the way since it's new.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

If there is a prettier sight for a nickel plated banjo I haven't seen it. You can't find an appearance flaw anywhere. My suggestion would be to scale down the size of the hearts and flowers as they go virtually fret to fret.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Entirely top quality. If it doesn't hold up it will be my fault.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

No contact with Gold Tone. Janet Davis and Co. were very good to me. I've never heard anything but praise there. Gold Tone warrents for the life of original buyer.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Mr. Rogers has incorporated the best ideas in ealier issues into his instruments. Price style tailpiece is easily strung with loop end strings and has a proven track record. Tone ring upgrade in this model to JLS no.12 also known as a

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I bought this one so I wouldn't be pining for it three months after buying another. Price to quality hard to match. After 20 yrs on an aluminum pot I am what you would say most happy and wouldn't stray if I had to replace it.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Retropicker (see all reviews from this person) on 10/25/2002

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 1100+- ($US)

Sound

I moved up from a Deering Intermediat that I've had since 1986. It's a marked improvement. You really need to get it outside to get the real feel of it. She really pops.
My preference is the pop of a Gibson Granada vs a driving Stelling. That is what I was looking for.
If you go to the Folk of the Wood web site you can compare the tone of this instrument vs the Gibsons and other top shelf professional banjos.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Janet Davis' shop did the setup and it was ready to go when received. Even in tune!. I had them install spikes for me.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very nicely finished on the exterior. Beutiful neck. Inside the resonator is pretty sloppy.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

See components comments.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

There was some shipping damage to the resonator. Janet personally called to set things right.
I was considering several other local and online vendors (I like to support the local folks) but they never returned calls. I highly recommended JD's shop.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I chose the 250+ because of the upgraded components, tone ring, tailpiece, ebony fingerboard, etc. It's a horse. I forsee no problems. The tuning pegs are pretty basic. The 250+ comes with a great arched top hard case included in the price.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Unless I should turn pro and must have a prewar Granada, this is a keeper.
I think its the best buy out there. I researched it for a long time. My budget was ~$500 less but this banjo justified the additional cost. I'll have no reason for upgrading. Goldtone set a new standard for

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 5/6/2002

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: $1150 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

A loud, slightly dark sounding bluegrass instrument that loves to be played hard. An incredible step up from my last (aluminum pot) banjo.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Janet Davis did a great job setting up the banjo. The head was tightened just right, bridge placed perfectly, and the action somewhat low to suit my playing ability. The tailpiece was loose, but after tightening it up and tuning, it was ready to play.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Goldtone does an incredible job on these banjos. The maple neck is gorgeous and the sunburst finished resonator is prettier than I expected. The ebony fingerboard is inlayed with simple but atttractive hearts & flowers. My banjo had no visible flaws of any kind.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Seems reliable enough. I'll let you know......

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Several e-mails to Goldtone requesting assistance have gone unanswered. I hope this isn't a measure of what they think of customer service. Dealing with Janet Davis was a pleasure. I did wait about 5 weeks for the banjo, after being told it'd take 2 or 3 weeks, but apparently Goldtone was swamped with recent orders. Ms. Davis kept me up to date. Her shop did a great job installing the 5th string spikes. Thanks Janet.

Customer Service: 5

Components

I believe Goldtone keeps their prices down by using foreign made hardware in their banjos. The quality however, seems first rate.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

For a banjo at any price, I think the OB plus is top notch. At a price that hovers a little over a grand, (for the banjo & a hardshell case) I think it's an incredible bargain. Before I decided to go with the OB plus, I read the numerous reviews posted on this site. I have to say that those reviews turned out to be accurate. I'm very pleased with my Goldtone. I only wish customer service wasn't so spotty.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 2/28/2002

Where Purchased: EZFolk online store (Richard Hefner)

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: $1200 ($US)

Sound

The instrument sounds great. This is my first banjo and I was blown away by the tone produced. To me it is very hard to distinguish from high priced Deerings and Gibsons

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The banjo was playable right out of the case. I had someone experienced play it before I bought it, and he detected no setup problems.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful instrument. Simple yet nice inlays. Sunburst pattern on back of resonator. (go to goldtone.com to check it out.) No flaws of any kind.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware seems strong and sturdy. As long as I am cautious with the handling of it, I would seldom be worried about a hardware failure.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I bought the banjo from Richard Hefner, who runs ezfolk.com. He is a suberb dealer; he kept me updated while it was being ordered, allowed me to come pick it up at his house, played it for me. Plus his prices were better than any store I found, online or otherwise.

Customer Service: 10

Components

all components seem good, better strings make a difference though.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo to anyone looking for a good instrument to start playing on. The better your first instrument, the easier it plays and the more likely you are to not quit. This banjo is a great bargain and a beautiful looking and sounding instrument

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 2/20/2002

Where Purchased: Bluegrass Music Shop Columbus, OH

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Near the neck Rich/Full sound and back by bridge it is very bright. This IS a QUALITY instrument! No doubt about it. Built very well, easy to fret and very pretty to look at.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Tightened the head and raised the tailpiece. However, the banjo was definately playable when picked up.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very easy on the eyes. Description of woods can be found on their web site. Beautiful finish and inlay work. No flaws whatsoever in any area of craftmanship or materials used. Absolutely outstanding! I highly recommend Gold Tone.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

As far as reliability, I have no doubts that it will be reliable. I intend to do my part and take very good care of it. I believe it will take care of me.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I have e-mailed the company with questions prior to acquiring my banjo. Each time they were very courteous.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I am well pleased. I believe that all components used in this are of top quality.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would and DO recommend this banjo. I feel it is worth more than I paid. If it were stolen I would feel as though I lost a family member. I love it. It is definately quality in every aspect. I did my research before buying. It paid off, excellent choice,satisfied. Top of their line and IS TOP QUALITY 100%

Overall Rating: 10

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories