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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!

6919 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone  Dojo Deluxe  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by MarkRB (see all reviews from this person) on 9/10/2012

Where Purchased: Beard Guitars

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 704.00 ($US)

Sound

I think it sounds great. Has a bell like quality. Not as loud as my banjo but louder them my tenor. Have not yet used an amp with it (the deluxe has a pickup) so can not speake to that.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It was set up by Paul Beard himslef. All is well.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The Dojo is shinny and pretty, so far all who have seen it remark on its good looks. Does have one very tiney discoloration along the edge but so small it is hard to see when looking for it.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Only had it four days now but seems substatial, time will tell. i give it a 6 only because I don't know. But I have had no issues with my Gold Tone BC 350, hope it will be the same.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Purchased a BC 350 from Gold Tone some years ago. When I got the banjo and adjusted the arm rest, a bracket broke, but Gold Tone replaced it right away. Gold Tone seems very responsive. I asked questions about the Dojo before purchasing it and they answered quickly.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Can't say about the inside of the resonator, but it all seems well made. Everything seems up to speed in its price range.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Can't say anything bad about the Dojo yet (maybe time will change my mind but I don't think so). It looks so much better in person then it does on any website I have looked at it. It sounds very much like the video posted on the Gold Tone site. Best of all I got a different sound but can play it like my banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by banjodad1 (see all reviews from this person) on 6/17/2009

Where Purchased: Instrumentalley.com

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 579 ($US)

Sound

The Gold Tone dojo deluxe suits my style (anything goes) just fine. The instrument has a rich, full sound. It is quieter than a banjo, maybe a guitar too but it's great for sitting on the porch and exploring new musical avenues. I've only plugged it into an amp once to check the pickups so I can't really comment on that.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

This instrument was flawless when I received it.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Again, perfect appearance.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware is pretty good. This is no family heirloom but considering the price I feel I got my money's worth.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

I only sent them an email of appreciation about the dojo deluxe. I guess I expected a "Gee, thanks!" in return but never received a reply.

Customer Service: 5

Components

Again, this instrument is not top of the line quality. The cover plate, the bridge, the tuning keys are all what one would expect in that price range. However, the workmanship and overall appearance is flawless. It looks and (in my opinion) sounds great.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

From what I've read, the Gold Tone dojo had some quality problems in the past which may still affect it's acceptance today. I can honestly say my dojo arrived in top condition and I've been loving it ever since. It all depends what you want to use it for- I can't say how it would perform onstage, but around the house it's a barrel of fun. I've hardly touched my regular banjo since I got it. A short description- pure magic!

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by maryzcox (see all reviews from this person) on 12/12/2004

Where Purchased: Won it at the Florida Folk Festival banjo contest

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

Sound

The Elite Classic sounds like an old SS Stewart would if it were in good condition and set up well.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Yes, the banjo sounded nice with the metal strings when I got it.
I had the luxury of having Ken Miller set it up like a vintage SS Stewart and now it sounds really awesome.
Here are the changes:
4 gut strings, one silver spun silk string for the fourth string
new bone nut/to fit gut strings
moon bridge
new tuning pegs (we kept the actual tuners which were fine, but switched out the bright white plastic for German ones with a little shell in them. They really blend better with the abalone tree of life inlay on the neck, giving the banjo a more vintage glow.
With this set up, I entered the old time band contest at the Florida Fiddlers Convention with a pick up band and we won first. This is a nice sounding banjo, capable of placing first.
It already came with a natural skin head that is perfect for the spun rim dowel construction.
This is such a great head that I'm thinking about putting one or two on some of my other banjos.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The abalone tree of life is lovely. This inlay runs over $1500 as a custom option with some other makers. With this banjo costing around $1200--the inlay is an awesome deal. The silver spun rim is very pretty too.
The white real skin head looks wonderful--the peg head is very pretty.
It almost glows at night around the campfire. It is a lovely banjo.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Too soon to tell--but it seems just fine and certainly worth more than the list price.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

I met Wayne Rogers after the contest and he is a sincere banjo builder with a generous streak. He tries to bring repros of famous styles to the banjo world at remarkable prices. He also is a solid Florida businessman and really backs the banjo community in many ways.
I knew nothing about Gold Tone banjos until I won this one and as a third generation Floridian--couldn't be happier with this model.
I have never asked for customer service on this banjo--but there do not seem to be any issues on it at this time.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

This is not a $20,000.00 banjo. This is not even a $5,000 banjo. It was never meant to be that. The maple neck is pretty plain--but it frets true and fingers easily. Sure--it would be great if the neck was a premium grade rosewood or walnut--but then--you would be talking big bucks.
This is not a White Lady Clone--it is a very reasonably priced, light weight banjo for folks wanting the old spun rim sound in a new banjo rather than an actual vintage model. I don't know if anyone elses even offers a banjo like this.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have many banjos. (And I'm very pleased with each and every one)
They all have different voices. I keep the Elite Classic in a low A tuning and have it on a stand in my living room. It is the one I pick up and play for myself. I love the sound of the skin head and gut strings in the low tuning. It is so light weight that I can carry it around the house.
When I play an old time dance next Saturday--I'll take it to play all the A tunes because it sounds awesome against a fiddle.
If you are looking for this sound in a banjo--this is an awesome buy.
Please don't steal it--its set up just the way I like it.
I've promised this banjo to my daughter, Natalie when she learns to play the banjo, but the more I play it, the more I think she'll have to get it after I die. :)
If you would like to hear a sound clip of this banjo with metal strings --there is one on the Gold Tone page: www.goldtone.com
Go to endorsing artists and click on Mary Cox to bring up the sound clip.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Banjo (see all reviews from this person) on 9/10/2003

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music Co.

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 524 ($US)

Sound

The sound of this instrument is similar to that of a Dobro with a bit less volume.
It does however have a smaller body so the tone is not as full and deep as you would hear from a standard Dobro.
It has a good sound for playing Jazz, Blues, Ragtime, and Classical styles of music.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

I was able to take this instrument out of the case tune it and play without any setup problems.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This DOJO Deluxe has a Maple Top, Back, Sides, with a Sunburst Finish and an Abalone Body Inlay. The Neck is Maple with a Rosewood fingerboard that has simple Pearl inlays.
The body has a Contemporary Cutaway Design that allows up the neck fretting.
Of coarse you can't help but notice the Dobro style resonator.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

All the hardware seems to be in good shape.
With proper care the finish and hardware should last for many years.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I ordered this instrument online without any clue as to how this instrument would feel or play.
A situation did arise on my order concerning product availability.
I had originally ordered the Mohogany DOJO w/case for $474.00.
They were out of stock on this item and would not have another for two or three weeks. I told them I had a festival coming up and had really wanted this instrument on hand.
They told me that I could upgrade my order for $50.00 and recieve the DOJO Deluxe (a $674.00 w/case Value).
(shipping was $35.00)

Customer Service: 10

Components

The Maple body has a very nice Sunburst finish
The stand out part of this instrument would be the Dobro Style resonator equipped with a resonator cone of spun aluminum.
Nut and Saddle are Bone.
Body Inlay is Genuine Abalone.
Tailpiece-Straightline.
Planetary Tuners and a Geared 5th String Peg.
2-way adjustable truss rod.
Nickle plated cover plate.
I was actually surprized as to how light weight this instrument was considering it had a resinator.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I really enjoy playing this instrument.
The action is soft to the touch and seems easier to play than some mid range banjos.
The sound is not quite as loud as a Dobro and may need amplification on stage.
I plan working out a lot of Ragtime, Blues, Classical, and Christmas music on this DOJO Deluxe.
After playing this instrument for a few weeks I had developed a very annoying noise and discovered that the biscuit that rests on the diaphram and holds the bridge had slipped and was resting against the metal resonator hole causing a rattle.
I moved the biscuit back into position and now have to be careful about knocking it out of position again.
This instrument needs to be played gently

Overall Rating: 8

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