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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  Orange Blossom OB-250 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by lutakloon (see all reviews from this person) on 12/1/2012

Where Purchased: Amazon

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 980 ($US)

Sound

Nice clear sound. A bit 'tangy' or 'metallic'

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Was set up quite well having come from Amazon.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

It looks nice from a distance, but upon inspection, the flaws in workmanship stick out. The inlay isn't well done. There are large gaps and several of the pieces are set deeper than the fretboard. Some of the gaps were never even filled and some of them are so wide that it looks like someone used a jigsaw to cut out the inlay. The alignment isn't right on some of the inlay either. Two frets have metal burs on them which will need to be filed off as they catch the strings. How that got through the setup at Goldtone, I don't understand. The case was also poorly constructed and it came out of the box already delaminating.

Appearance Rating: 3

Reliability

The carelessness with which the fretboard was done has me a little worried, but everything seems pretty solid.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I contacted Goldtone about the issues with the neck and all they e:mailed back was "The inlays we are always trying to get more perfect..."

Well thanks.

Customer Service: 2

Components

Tuners are really sticky and hard to get turning. Maybe they'll loosen up. The case that it came in is delaminating along one corner. A brand new case shouldn't be delaminating out of the factory.

Components Rating: 5

Overall Comments

Good bang for your buck. I wouldn't buy one from Amazon like I did, though. It would be wise to inspect before buying.

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by jfrebel (see all reviews from this person) on 3/21/2012

Where Purchased: Denver Folklore Center

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 1000 ($US)

Sound

The banjo has great tonal range, deep bass, and bell like treble, not harsh or sharp. You can pick it bluegrass style near the bridge and it pops and rings like any bluegrass banjo should. You can strum it like a guitar near the neck and it will sound rich and not too harsh or metallic. The sounds that come out of this thing are just straight up amazing. I can't get over how awesome this banjo's sound is!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjos set up was fine and the Denver Folklore Center double checked everything for me too. Any good store can make sure the set up is good before you take it home.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I love it! It's beautiful and no flaws that I can see. I like the color of the wood, and the nice looking inlays on the fingerboard and the nice shiny metal.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The banjo feels solid in my hands. I would take it anywhere. I think it will last me a life time.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I emailed and called Goldtone to get info on their banjos before buying, and after buying it, I asked some set up questions. They are very quick to respond, and answered all my questions.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Their brass tone rings have a nice sound that isn't too sharp, but yet still rings like a bell and it has good bass response. Their tuners are easy to use even for minor adjustments, and theres no harsh overtones. Their bridge now comes compensated so the intonation is solid.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Goldtone's make a great banjo at an affordable price. The OB-250 can hold its own against even 2 and 3 thousand dollar banjos but only costs a thousand. if you want a professional quality banjo but aren't rich, you can't go wrong with an OB-250!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by yumagah (see all reviews from this person) on 10/20/2010

Where Purchased: Amazon.com

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 525 ($US)

Sound

Nice loud and clear sound for bluegrass. Not as mellow as some other banjos I have played. It has punch and snap to it, a very solid sound. Strong on the low end without sounding dull or boomy.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Setup very nicely. New strings, low action but no buzz. I tightened the head very slightly and added spikes at frets 7, 9 and 10. Very playable as it arrived. I may experiment with head tension in the future.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautifully decorated banjo. Hearts and flowers inlay, real ebony fingerboard. The natural maple binding in a unique and striking touch. At the price I paid I wondered if it was some kind of factory second, but I see no flaws. There is a 1/4 inch dark section on the maple binding on the resonator, but that is a natural color variation. Not as elaborate decor as some more expensive banjos.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Built like a tank. Very "beefy" solid hardware. Weight is about 13 pounds, like a real Mastertone. Glossy finish seems strong and durable, but I've only had it for 3 weeks now. I would feel confident using this for a gig.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Lifetime warranty is even transferable to second owner. I emailed the company about registration and they replied quickly.

Customer Service: 9

Components

The rim and tone ring are very heavy, solid. The bridge is advertised as a Grover, but does not have the name on it as other Grovers I have seen. Looks like a solid enough instrument to upgrade with a US made tone ring or block rim. No immediate plans for that though.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Three of us BHO users got in on a rare Amazon sale of banjos at reduced prices. I got this for just over half the usual retail price which feels like a steal. Wondering what was going on at Amazon, but I'm sure not complaining! This may be my lifetime banjo.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by jefe (see all reviews from this person) on 7/14/2009

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 950 ($US)

Sound

What a bright crisp banjo this is, a ton of drive, pushes sound like banjos $3000 dollars it's superior. I'm using light gauge strings and a snuffy smith bridge. This banjo has plenty of sustain. It sounds great, really sings.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The banjo was set up well when it arrived, no real complaints. I added lighter strings and a snuffy smith bridge and had it professionally set up, but right out of the box it was very playable. I'm giving it a 8 out of the box and a 10 after some adjustments.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Looks great. One flaw is on the top of the neck by the fifth string tuner, looks like the wood was burnt in a sanding/buffing process. When Goldtone was contacted they said that it was a hard place to work and that they would not consider it a blemish. It is a blemish. I was not impressed with Goldtone.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Hardware seems tight, little play in the tuners, not too bad though. The thing weighs a ton. Brand new for right now, we'll see how it stands the test of time.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Read Appearance. Other than that, no other contact with Goldtone.

Customer Service: 5

Components

Components seem decent, the tail piece seems a little light weight.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I love the feel of the banjo, plays great and feels like quality when played. It was a toss-up between this and a RK R-80, and I think I made the right choice. The banjo feels great. If you closed your eyes and played, it would feel and sound like a banjo three times a expensive. If stolen, I'd buy another.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by pilgrimskey (see all reviews from this person) on 1/16/2008

Where Purchased: Ebay

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 553.87 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Not only does this banjo have a great tone and it is also quite loud.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Banjo was already set up by previous owner. No buzzing at all when played.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This banjo is beautiful to behold. Looks better then ebay photos as well as Gold Tone's website photos for this particular model.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This banjo is well build. I laughed at a previous review that stated that you could pound nails with it. After receiving my own, I would have to agree.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Have not dealt with Gold Tone as a company yet. Have looked at their website which provided sound samples and other valuable information of the model that I was interested in.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Have not found a weak part on it.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would absolutely recommend this banjo. Especially for the price I paid. I believe I came upon a steal of a deal.
What would I do if the banjo was stolen? Pray for the person who took it and then start looking for another one.
This is a great banjo. In my searching for a banjo I did not find a negative review on the OB-250 . Now I know why.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by pgboyd (see all reviews from this person) on 11/30/2007

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 975 ($US)

Sound

Sounds great to me - a nice, bright sound with good low end.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The action seems a little high to me. I replaced the strings with a lighter gauge and plan on possibly adjusting the string action a bit.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I love the finish and the sunburst resonator.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Seems solid, everything fits well and stays where it's supposed to be.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I received an email from Gold Tone's President after I registered my banjo thanking me for my business.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Everything looks pretty good. I replaced the armrest with a solid wood just as a personal preference.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I think this was a great value and perfect to get me started playing again. It sounds good, holds tuning, and looks great. I do have my eye on a dream banjo down the line, but this will still be one I hold on to for awhile.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by BadMojo (see all reviews from this person) on 10/4/2007

Where Purchased: BHOM

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 650 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

The banjo is full and loud. It sounds amazing for the price. The tone ring shines in this model. I'm a noob to the banjo but to me it sounds great.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo came set-up from the BanjoHangout Member I bought it from. I have had it a week now and I'm going to change the strings. Other than that I can think of nothing.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I is a pretty Banjo for sure. For a rig under a grand, she looks great. Nice finish, parts seem solid. I spotted a few burs on the tailpiece but it is casted.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It is a solid ride. I expect it to last a very long time.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Gold Tone was amazing. I noticed one of the resonator screws was missing on arrival. I called Gold Tone they shipped one right out and for free. Then I decided I wanted to get capo spikes. I called Gold Tone again, said if I was to drive to them could they install them while I waited. They said no problem tell them the day I wanted to drive up and they would make sure the fella who does that would be there for me. Phenomenal!

Customer Service: 10

Components

Nothing I can think of or notice at this time.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I love this banjo. It plays sweet and didn't cost me a new mortgage to buy. I would definitely get anther if it was stolen. All I need to do is get a instrumet polish kit so I can keep her shiny!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by talkingriver (see all reviews from this person) on 3/10/2006

Where Purchased: banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 937 ($US)

Sound

The sound is great. It’s loud and full, comparable to more expensive brands/models. I’m not all that experienced but it sounds as good and better then banjos I’ve played that cost a good bit more.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was right on. It was in tune out of the dang box. The action was set well. I picked it up and started playing it. It suites me fine.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I think it’s beautiful. The rich orange sunburst on the resonator looks great. I’m impressed with the inlay work on the neck. For the money, it’s hard to beat. I looked it over well and couldn't find any flaws. Sure is a pretty thing.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It seams rock solid. I’m sure it will last. I think I’ll probably end up upgrading it a little down the road. I’m quite satisfied with it though. The finish seems to be durable. It sure has my trust. Id be more then confident to use it without a backup. I'll give it a 9 - though for the price, it gets a 10.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I didn't buy it from the company. Though I was in contact with them before I bought it when I was trying to decide on a specific instrument. They were quite helpful then. I got it from banjo.com and couldn’t be more happy with their service.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

I bought it because of what’s offered for the price… maple rim, resonator, & neck, brass tone ring, attractive m.o.p inlay (hearts & flowers) work on the neck and headstock. There’s just a touch of play in some of the tuning machines. It stays in tune just fine though. I’ll probably up grade them down the road. Again, for money, it’s hard to beat.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I couldn’t be happier with this banjo. I played every banjo I could get my hands on (about 15 different ones) before choosing this one. Again, I chose it because of what was offered for the money. I’m quite pleased to have a banjo that sounds this good for under $1000. I’m sure there are some 3,4,5 thousand dollar banjos out there that sound better. But, I’ll stick with this one. That being said, if I would have had a little more money to spend, the OB 250 plus is appealing. It has some nice extra features. If stolen, yeah I'd buy it again - no doubt.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by gjacobs (see all reviews from this person) on 3/3/2005

Where Purchased: Ebay

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 550 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Great bluegrass banjo. Very loud, very good action up the neck and down. Holds up great in the many jams I've been to.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Banjo was not setup well when I got it. I don't know the history of the banjo so I can't blame Gold Tone. Local luthier setup it up, sound awesome after that.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

Beautifull finish, the sunburst /flamed wood back is very pretty.

Only gripe is a wood knot on the neck, just a slight appearance issue.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Hardware is pretty solid. I play virtually every data, no issues to date. Finish is perfect, no issues holding up wonderfull. Seems to resist the beltbuckle scratches better than my guitars. I don't gig, but I feel confident having this as my only banjo. Second winter with the banjo and it does not seem sensitive to seasonal change (I live in NE).

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Have not contacted Gold Tone

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Hardware is pretty solid. Tuners have some slop, but no issues with staying in tune. Nickel plating is tarnishing, but that is pretty standard. I play virtually every data, no issues to date.
Tailpiece was bent when I received it. It is made of some "pot" metal, but was able to bend it back. Its no Price tailpiece, but it works just fine.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This banjo was a upgrade from a Deering Goodtime2. No comparison, Gold Tone much fuller sound. Holds up with the Gibsons, Deerings I've played with at a fraction or thier price. This is THE (well maybe the new Gold Star would be close) banjo to get if you don't want to spend >$1500. Only thing I may replace is the tuners, otherwise love the banjo, a keeper.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 9/4/2004

Where Purchased: First Quality Music

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 800 ($US)

Sound

The sound is full and wide open. I changed the bridge to a Snuffy Smith and that tightened it and improved the overall tone. No doubt about the bell brass tone ring! It rings and pings!

Very nice bluegrass tone!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

FQMS set this up the same way they setup their $3K Sullivans. Need I say more?

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is a beautiful banjo! I have found no flaws in fit, finish or in the wood. The MOP is inlaid well and looks good. The nickel plating lloks really good!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is built like a tank. It should last for years.

I would not think twice about using it at a gig without a back up. No problem at all.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

FQMS: To say FQMS is top notch is an understatement! Jim and the gang are friendly, knowledgeable professionals. Gentlemen with manners. In the store or on the phone, I am always treated well. Its a place you always look forward to visiting!

I have ordered products online from them and shipping has always promt.

Too bad the rating tops out at "10 because they are an "11"!!
www.fqms.com

Gold Tone: I sent them several inquiries via email. I always got a response in timely fashion.
www.goldtone.com

Customer Service: 10

Components

There is nothing that requires replacing. I changed the bridge and will probably change the tailpeice because I want to.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

My ratings consider the price of the banjo for what you actually get. Ratings are not referenced against any other banjos.

I love this banjo! If it was stolen, I would buy another one from FQMS.

Someday when I upgrade to a Sullivan or Huber or Gibson, I will still keep the Orange Blossom! It is a keeper!!!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by rocketgirlgooch (see all reviews from this person) on 2/28/2004

Where Purchased: Banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 750 ($US)

Sound

Has a great bluegrassy sound. Very loud, and sounds terrific up and down the neck.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo was set up terrificly. It was even tuned up when I took it out of the case.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It is a beautiful banjo. Not too much, not too little. The sunburst on the resonator is very pretty, as is the inlay on the neck. No flaws on it whatsoever when I received it.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It seems like a very solidly built banjo that I will definitely be keeping around. I don't anticipate getting another one in a very long time.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Banjo.com did a great job setting up the banjo and shipping it. It arrived in perfect condition, and it only took five days to receive it from the order date. If I need to do any online ordering for banjo related items in the future, I wouldn't hesitate to order from banjo.com again.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Everything about it is great. I may change the bridge in the future, but I am definitely not in any hurry to do so. I don't see that any part of it needs to be upgraded.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would most definitely recommend this banjo to anyone looking for an upgrade. If it was stolen, first I would cry, and then I would get another one. I would have to say my favorite feature is the tone ring. My old banjo didn't have one, and having a banjo that has one makes all the difference in the world. I can't think of anything that I wished I'd asked before I bought it. It is truly a great banjo, and it met all of my expectations and more.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by wastorey (see all reviews from this person) on 2/17/2004

Where Purchased: www.littlemountainmusic.com

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 739.95 ($US)

Sound

It sounds like a quality bluegrass banjo. It is loud but respnds well to being picked lightly as well as being picked 'hard'. It is a little more mellow than my last banjo and I like a brighter sound so I am going to replace the head with a 5 Star clear head

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The setup was adequate but I did have the action lowered a bit by a local repairman.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

It is very attractive instrument. All of the ornamentation is tasteful, the metal parts are all nice and shiny, the wood parts are all attractively appointed.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware seems to be very substantial and appears to be built to last.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I have not dealt with the company

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The tone ring, hoop, brackets, resonator and neck all are very substantial. The flange may be bit weak but not noticeably so. My only 'disappointment' is the tuning gears. There is a bit of play in them which I find annoying. I will replace them with something of a highr quality.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I would definetely recommend the OB250. I would also recommend potential buyers to check out www.littlemountainmusic.com as I got the best price I have seen ($739.95 + shipping) and it included the case! If the banjo was stolen I would replace it with another OB250.

My previous banjo (wich I recently gave to my son at college who expressed interest in learning it) was (is) an Ibanez acquired in 1976. Overall I think the OB250 is a superior instrument in just about every aspect.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by OldCrook (see all reviews from this person) on 2/5/2004

Where Purchased: Blue Ridge Pickin' Parlor

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: $830 ($US)

Sound

Primarily used for picking bluegrass (what else?) the OB-250 is a rip roarin' ride down a 'gator swamp in one of them fancy propelor boats. The sound is definately full. However, it does lack that upper-mid/high tone that I can compare to other banjos/recordings. I digged the loud, gutsy sound shipped right outa' Florida. Wanta try something cool? Vamp a few 4 fingered chords, kinda soft, and then tear into some open string rolls sorta loud! The dynamics and reverberation increase are astounding.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The one modification I have done is that I have lowered the tailpiece. That's it. The rest of the set-up was good. Head may need a tightening. Action is low, I don't have a huge preference in this area. I may move up to 5/8

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Beautiful and heavy! MOP inlay (a definate must have), aren't these necks made out of mahagony/graphite?, resonator is tobacco sunburst, I love it. The neck has some of the coolest grain patterns I have seen. A very attractive banjo. One minor blemish. When I first uncrewed the resonator, I noticed a very small (< .5

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I have no question in my mind that if I care for this instrument properly, it will last my lifetime for whatever professional purpose I choose.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Before purchase, I sent Gold Tone an email concerning the origin of the OB-250 that was left unreplied. I realize that Wayne is an incredibly busy man, but still, I gotta' call 'em like I see 'em.

Customer Service: 6

Components

All good, quality stuff here. I dig the fancy pegs, coated head, even the grover bridge is cool. Tone ring has gotta be somewhat standout considering how heavy this thing weighs. Tailpiece could probably be replaced. Nothing special about the arm rest.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I believe I got an awesome deal on a killer banjo. My old banjo was entry level, so you can only imagine how stoked I am to get this beastie in my hands. If stolen, I may replace with another OB-250. However, I'm a bit wiser on quality banjos, largely due to my initial purchase of the OB-250! All in all, yes, I recommend the OB-250, yes it was a good deal, yes, this banjo simple rocks, yes, yes, yes......

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Gallaher (see all reviews from this person) on 11/28/2003

Where Purchased: e-bay

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 580. w/case ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

I am new to banjo but I know the value of a good instrument to the learning experience. This instrument sounds great w' plenty of volume.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Banjo was not set-up well. There was a neck buzz and the tailpiece pulled the bridge downward into the top, affecting intonation.
I made adjustments with my limited knowledge and it is great now.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

the seam on the back of the resonator is not paralell to the neck. not a big deal but for asthetics it should line-up.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Hardware is great, the armrest finish is coming off fast.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

N/A bought it used

Customer Service: not rated

Components

tuners are not the best quality but they do keep it in tune

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This is a great keeper banjo! It has made learning banjo much easier than I though it would be. I would not recommend for a first instrument ,
(too heavy for woodshedding). I would buy the same thing if stolen.
While I was fortunate with this purchase I do not recommend buying instruments sight unseen, better to play them first.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 11/25/2003

Where Purchased: Edison, NJ

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 800 ($US)

Sound

I play bluegrass style, and the banjo is in that class. I retensioned the head quite a bit to a G#. Still lacks crispness and power (my taste). Banjo as it is has a more mellow sound, which jazz banjoists LOVE. I am going to drop string gauges down from my current 10-12-16-23-10 a notch and see if that helps sound. Weak fourth string.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Banjo was very well setup ... very low clean action, no buzzing. Hasn't budged in a year.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very tasteful ... nice sunburst (?) finish. No flaws that I could see. The nut is a little high for whatever reason. Not a big deal ... just looks odd.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Overall it's good, although the armrest is tarnishing pretty badly.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Gold Tone is first class ... nice folks.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Overall, it's a good rig. Arm rest tarnishing is only concern.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

It is a HEAVY banjo, nearly 15 pounds. Tough to stay standing. Looks are nice. With my changes to come, the sound should be pretty snappy.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 10/8/2003

Where Purchased: eBay

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 700 ($US)

Sound

Nice bluegrass sound. The timbre loudness is a little different from string to string. Next time I change strings I will listen very carefully to decide whether a compensated bridge might help. But other than that small small quirk, very nice sound.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The banjo lacked punch and that "bluegrass sound" but after I let Margie and Greg Mirken at Shade Tree go over it, it came back sounding like my Deering Calico!! The head was tightened (substantially) and the rods tweaked a little bit. Now the sound is awesome and the action is great!!

Setup Rating: 4

Appearance

The quality of the nickel plating and especially the quality of the lacquer are to a very high standard. My only complaint is the quality of the material used in the inlays (Mother of Pearl?) It has an uneven reflectiveness that isn't quite as alluring as the flawless inlay on my Calico.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

I think you could drive nails with this thing. It weighs a ton and is very solid. The plating and lacquer are perfectly applied.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I think this is a marvelous instrument for the price. The sound is seriously up there with instruments costing 3 times the price. The fit and finish are top notch. I bought it to be a "beater" banjo but it is way to good for that! Seriously.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 9/21/2003

Where Purchased: Folk Of The Wood

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 675 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Wonderful sound, suitable for both 3 finger picking and frailing (to my surprise). Excellent tone throughout the entire range. Came with compensating bridge, Shubb 5th string capo, and a TKL arch top case.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Excelllent action and playability. This is probably the first banjo that I can both frail and pick without changing the action. Fine tuned it, and played it as is came. Nothing else was necessary.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The inlays are well done and the finish is perfect.

Updated 12/6/03: The finish on the armrest is deteriorating rapidly. Gold Tone offered a chrome replacement armrest for $9.00.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The banjo is tight and substantially built. Came with lifetime guarantee. I don't expect any quality related problems.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

After some inital supply problems in getting a BG250F new, I opted for this better model used. Banjo was in mint condition. Purchase of used banjo went without a hitch.

Customer Service: 7

Components

Stock bridges on the Gold Tones (as with many other banjos) typically could use upgrading, but this one was alredy upgraded. Fuller Sohem Bridge works great.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. If you are contemplating a purchase of the BG250F, consider spending a little more for this OB250 model. It's money well spent. I'm glad I did. I'll be keeping this one for quite a while. Being rated one of the best banjos under $1000, I can see why. Not much reason to be spending more than twice that when this model is available.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 4/13/2003

Where Purchased: Hatfield Music

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

Sound

It sounds really good, just a bit on the bass side! It has an .026 fourth string and Grover bridge installed from the factory which may contribute to the bass.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Jack Hatfield set the banjo up and when I recieved it I just tuned and played. I tighted the head slightly with a torque wrench and added a emerson power bridge and GHS med. light strings and it came alive. The sustain, and volume really perked up and the bass is slightly less.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

When I recieved it in the arched top case I opened it an was awestruck. I never really expected such a good looking and well crafted banjo for the price I gave for it. Mine is gold plated and it shines, the maple resonator looked really good and the inlays and neck were great. It has no flaws. It is not overly done with ornation but nice to look at.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I think the hardware should last a long time with proper care as well as the finish. I wouldn't be afraid to play it without a back up. IT is really to new to tell right now how long it will last.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Goldtone will either answer e-mails promtly or not at all. I tried to order a OB250+ in gold and never got an answer from them. I ask about upgrades and no answer. I sent in the registration and got a confirmation the next day!

Customer Service: 5

Components

It has some really nice components on it for a banjo in the under 1000 dollar price range. I haven't seen another as good. The gold plated tension nuts were a little hard to get a wrench on. The neck had a good fit and a nice flange.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

My first review din't go through but if you see it twice it sys the same thing. This is everything I read about it, it was worth more than I paid for a banjo of it's class. I plan to have it for some time and upgrade the tone ring to a JLS and new rim. I would buy another in a heart beat and recommend it to anyone looking for a quality banjo for this price.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 4/12/2003

Where Purchased: Hatfield Music

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

Sound

Full rich sound a bit on the bass side. Has good sustain and most of all sounds good to me.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Tuned it up out of the case and and tightened the head slightly for my taste. Other than that all was good.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

When I opened the case I just admired it sitting there. The finish was flawless and the gold plating was sharp. The maple resonator, neck, fret board, inlays and all looked great.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I have checked this banjo out from front to back and don't see anything that would give me any problems.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Gold tone will either e-mail you quickly or not at all.

Customer Service: 6

Components

They all look good. Perhaps a bettter bridge, it has a groover and sounds good ,but an emerson made it sound better.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I feel I got a heck of a deal! If it were stolen I would buy another, but go for the OB250+ in gold the next time. I wish I could have recieved a reply from Goltone about purchasing a OB250+ in gold to start with. Overall I'm happy!

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 11/25/2002

Where Purchased: Bluegrass Parlor, Tampa

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

Sound

I liked the sound of archtops, and this one sounded pretty good. I've been playing a Gibson RB-3 that everyone who hears it says it sounds really great. This OB-250 just

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I just tuned it up and played it - really great - low action - you couldn't ask for more

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The inlay work and finish are beautiful. The grain on the resonator and headstock are really good. If I were to ask for anything more, it would be a little more

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I started with an OB-250 flat-top, and traded it in on this one. You couldn't tell it was used, after 10 months. Gold Tones are a really great value for the money.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I've called few times to ask about custom work. All you have to do is ask, and you can speak to Wayne, the owner.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The wood is beautiful, the finish is flawless. The metal work is without a single scratch. I don't know what more you'd ask for. My old OB-250 would hold a tune for days without touching a tuner.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

If this banjo were lost or stolen, I'd go straight to GoldTone (they're an hour and a half away) and pick out another just like it. It would be a good buy at twice the price.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 10/12/2002

Where Purchased: Folk of the Wood

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 699 ($US)

Sound

Great tone! Gets real mellow towards the neck and nice and bright toward the bridge.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It arrived set up nicely with 11 gauge strings. Action was set very low, I had to raise it a little to avoid some buzzing.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful finish on the back and neck. Inlays look very nice. Even the inside of the resonator looks great.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Good tuners, solid tone ring. Very dependable!

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The customer service at Folk of the Wood was very friendly even though it took 3 months from order to delivery.

Customer Service: 8

Components

I like the parts it came with. Good tuners, nice sounding tone ring. Price licensed tailpiece.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Great banjo for a great value! I couldnt have done better for several hundred dollars more! I love it!

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 9/30/2002

Where Purchased: Blue Ridge Music, Asheville, NC

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 1000 ($US)

Sound

Excellent sound. Bright tone. Rings nice and clear. And I'm a beginner. Can't wait to hear how I sound on it in a couple of years.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Dealer set it up. No problems.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very nice to look at and to hold.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I haven't had it long enough to tell, but I don't anticipate any problems. I'm giving this a 10 rating because I have faith in my dealer and the Goldtone company.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Everything is well made and sound.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would definitely recommend this banjo. I love it. If I had to replace this banjo, I would get another Goldtone in a minute.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 8/30/2002

Where Purchased: Gold Tone Factory

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 875 ($US)

Sound

The Ob-250 produces a very bright sound and a nice ringing sustain. The flat tone ring is perfect for the loud sound I need while picking bluegrass.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Since I puchased the OB-250 from the factory, Wayne Rogers did the set-up and it was perfect! Just a little tightening of the head produced the sound I was looking for.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Wayne blue-printed this banjo to be very similar to the Gibson Mastertone, right down to the hearts and flower MOP inlay! I was extremely pleased with the appearance and was astonished to the attention to detail that I didn't expect for a banjo under $1,000. I think you could spend big-bucks for a fancier instrument, if you like hand carved heels for instance, but you won't get a better instrument no matter what the price.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The planetary tuners and the licensed Price Straight Line Tailpiece will probably outlast me. The wood-to-metal fit is very tight and gets a 10+. This adds, naturally, to the bright sound this instrument produces allowing the tone ring to perform its function.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Wayne's service was outstanding. I got the OB-250 in a matter of a few days (I live on the West Coast and Wayne's factory is in Titusville, FL).

Customer Service: 10

Components

You could order a genuine Price Tailpiece, but I don't think it would add 1% to the tonal quality. The zinc alloy flange and maple pot are beautiful. The only change I made was a GS bridge and some different strings.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Wayne Rogers and his company accomplish the impossible feat of producing a high-quality instrument for under $1,000 by blue-printing the instrument here in the States, incorporating all the features from the finest instruments (eclecticism at its best), producing the parts overseas, and doing the final assembly and set-up at his plant in FL. Now why didn't someone think of this years ago!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 4/16/2002

Where Purchased: ezfolk.com

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 815 ($US)

Sound

WoW! This banjo really projects sound, it is very loud with a beautiful tone. More bang for your Buck!!! than the more expensive brands.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The action was set quite low (which suits me) when I recieved the instrument and the head was a tad loose otherwise everything else was fine

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

This is an all round good looking banjo, see main Goldtone website for photos, which incidentally do not do the instrument justice. When I took delivery of the banjo it was gleaming. I must have admired it in it's case for over an hour.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Too early to tell but everything is fine at the moment and I have no reason to belive that this will change in the forseeable future.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I live in Northern Ireland and I must admit I was a little bit worried about purchasing the instrument over the Internet. My thanks must go to Richard Hefner at ezfolk.com for allaying my fears. He took the stress out of the whole process and went as far as giving me email addresses of people overseas whom he had dealings with. Thanks again Richard...

Customer Service: 10

Components

My Uncle plays banjo semi professionally and he felt that this banjo was holding something back so we changed the standard Remo head for a 5 Star head and installed a set of Dean Markley Med Lite strings, the transformation was self evident, this banjo can live with and outplay the Gibsons, Deerings & Stellings.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I really like my Goldtone, it's easy for me to play. I have heard it played alongside the more so called prestigous makes of banjo and it can more than hold it's own. Friends of mine who own Gibsons are amazed at it's tone. I payed $815+$75 postage which converted to £601.43 inc hardshell case and I took delivery 16 days after the purchase date. If you are searching for a good all round sounding/looking banjo for less money you don't need to look any further than the Goldtone OB-250

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 4/8/2002

Where Purchased: ZEEP'S COUNTRY MUSIC WENDELL, NC

Year Purchased: 2000
Price Paid: 800 ($US)

Sound

WE PUT A STOCKWELL MOON BRIDGE ON IT..IT SOUNDED OK OUT OF THE BOX..I JUST HAPPEN TO LIKE THE MOON BRIDGE. YOU HAVE A LOT OF POWER WITH THIS BANJO THE SOUND IS THE BEST

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

LOWERED THE STRINGS JUST A TAD..

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

FANTASTIC LOOKING TRADITIONAL

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

TWO YEARS OLD GETS PLAYED TWO HOURS A DAY AT LEAST..NO PROBLEMS

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I'VE TALKED WITH WAYNE AT TIMES..BUT REALLY RELY ON DON ZEPP AT HIS STORE..BOTH ARE THE GREATEST

Customer Service: 10

Components

THEY USE THE BEST THAT IS OUT THERE..

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO REALLY GO A LONG LONG WAY TO BEAT THIS FOR THE PRICE..I'M GOING TO KEEP THIS ONE AND I BELIEVE I'LL GET THE NEW OB250+ OR AT LEAST PUT THE UP-GRADED TONE RING THAT THEY HAVE IN THE 250+ INTO MY 250. THEY PUT OUT THE MOST FOR YOUR MONEY...HANDS DOWN..NO DOUBT ABOUT IT !!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 4/8/2002

Where Purchased: EBay

Year Purchased: 2000
Price Paid: 800 ($US)

Sound

I love this banjo. It is a great instrument for bluegrass. Very loud, very bright sound. I've upgraded to D tuners and spiked the fingerboard--no problems, although drilling the holes for the spikes made my heart race and my mouth go dry.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I bought it used on Ebay. The seller had bought it for his wife who played it a couple of times then gave up on it. He said it was practically new and I believe it. It didn't have a scratch on it--it looked like it came straight from Gold Tone. It was set up really well. Played like a dream the first time I tried it.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It's a very nice-looking instrument. Very nice inlay (hearts and flowers pattern) MOP in ebony. The flamed resonator is really beautiful--too bad it stays hidden against your stomach! Great finish. The only thing negative I can say about this banjo is the fact that my capo won't store on the nut due to the thicker neck. Of course, I could have shopped a little more carefully when I bought my capo.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

No problems at all with the hardware. Very nice Price Straight Line tailpiece.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't talked to Gold Tone. No need to.

Customer Service: 5

Components

Tuners are nice. Very nice tailpiece. Very solid banjo all around.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I love my OB-250. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an instrument that sounds like it should cost $2500 but can be had for less than $1000. If it was stolen, I would be mad, sad, depressed and heartbroken. I don't even want to think about it.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 12/21/2001

Where Purchased: Direct

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 700 ($US)

Sound

A very loud banjo, with clear, distinct sounds, and great intonation all the way up the neck. No complaints here.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I had to adjust the bridge and tighten the tuners a
little bit, but that's nothing major.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Looks beautiful. Not an extremely ornate banjo, but
pretty nonetheless.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Wouldn't know yet . . . it's too new!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Wayne Rogers and the rest of the Gold Tone folks are very helpful.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Good, quality parts.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

For the price, you just can't do better than this banjo, as far as I can see. I love it, and would buy another one just like it if it was lost.

Overall Rating: 10

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