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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  Cripple Creek CC100 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by TomJoad (see all reviews from this person) on 1/17/2015

Where Purchased: Andy Perkins Banjo Works, Faversham, Kent. UK

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 410 (UK £) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The sound is pretty good for clawhammer style that I play.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The set up was fine.

The action was set quite low so that it would be easy for beginners to play it but it was too low for me. I had to play with a very light touch. I swopped the 17mm bridge for a higher 19mm bridge and I could then play louder.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

White maple neck. The laminated maple rim now has the same colour finish as the neck which is very good with no flaws.

Black rosewood fretboard has attractive mother of pearl snowdrop position markers.

Arm rest is chrome coloured with Gold Tone logo.

I am pleased with the appearance.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Andy Perkins customises the Gold Tone stock banjos with a number of upgrades so it came with free planetary tuners, geared 5th string tuner, Remo Renaissance head and No-Knot tailpiece. I also requested a scoop which he did within 24 hours and he made a good job of it.

It has a solid feel to it while remaining light at only 5 ibs.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Andy is quick to reply to emails. New bridges arrived promptly even during Christmas period.

1 year warranty.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The banjo was already customised with upgrades mentioned above.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I wanted a lightweight banjo with a wide neck and this model met both those requirements. The weight is 5 Ibs and the neck is 3/8" at the nut. 

The actual price of the banjo was £375 but I asked Andy to cut a scoop which added an extra £35 to the cost.

I am pleased with the instrument. No complaints.

 

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by appfrailer11 (see all reviews from this person) on 3/5/2010

Where Purchased: Harry and Jeanie West Fine Musical Instruments

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 300 ($US)

Sound

The sound is good. It's plenty loud enough to stand up in a jam.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The only problem with it was that the head needed to be tightened but other than that it was in great shape.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

I'm not a huge fan of the finish. I think the dark fret board clashes with the lighter colored pot. However I expected as much from a starter banjo.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Even though I've only had this banjo for a year, it is still looking pretty good. Nothing has broken on it yet even after a few accidental bumps here and there.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Never dealt with customer service but from what I hear Gold Tone is very reliable and helpful.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Personally I wish it came with planetary tuners instead of guitar tuners as well as a smaller tail piece. Other than that though it's a sturdy instrument.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Over all this is a great starter banjo. I hope to keep this one, even after I upgrade, to use a take anywhere banjo or use it for teaching other up and coming players. I really believe this is well worth the money.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by snoopy (see all reviews from this person) on 1/26/2009

Where Purchased: Player's Bench

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 387 ($US)

Sound

Sound is great. Crisp and light

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Banjo was set up and ready to go.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

White Maple is a great looking wood for banjo

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Hardware seems just fine

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Haven't had to deal with company

Customer Service: 8

Components

The parts seem to be well made and don't need any immediate upgrade.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo for people who are interested in a great frailling banjo for a reasonable price.

Overall Rating: 9

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

Where Purchased: Banjo Teacher

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 324.00 ($US)

Sound

Sound is great for an open back. I have no need for a resonator at this time.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The setup was nice, low action. I have put on a set of light strings.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

I don't care for the finish at all. The rim and neck are two different colors. Probably the worst part about the banjo.

Appearance Rating: 5

Reliability

Hardware seems solid, the hooks look cheap but strong. The banjo came with two L-shoes that looked like they were bad castings. I changed the tuners to Waverly 2-band style and put on a Grover bridge.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Haven't needed to contact them but I've read they have good service

Customer Service: 2

Components

All in all it is what I was expecting for a beginner banjo. It is a solid instrument that I'm sure will last for many years.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I balanced this one against the Deering Goodtime and after reading everyones reviews on both I decided on the Gold Tone. I bought it to use on the deck and up camping. It's light and an easy banjo to hold and play. I wish it came in a darker finish.

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by whit (see all reviews from this person) on 1/3/2005

Where Purchased: Frettted Instr. B'ham AL

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 280 ($US)

Sound

Great little learner banjo. Sound is good for a banjo of this price level.
likes-plays good. Rosewood fretboard, good fretwork and intonation.
dislikes-guitar tuners work good, but prefer look of planets. tension hoop and hooks pretty low quality. Dual cord. rods for easy fine tuning of set up.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Set up was acceptable stock. Easy playing action, no buzzes.. Replaced 1/2 stock bridge with 5/8 Cotton Mill. Tightened head to max. tension and added med. strings. Added resonator pruchase direct from goldtone. This acheived max. volume and tone for bluegrass.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Maple, rosewood board. Neck and rim glued up from multiple pieces, but to be expected in this price range.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

would prefer a little higher quality hooks and tension hoop, but ok for price.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

Great shop specilizing in bluegrass and old time music.

Customer Service: 10

Components

wish I had got planet tuners(for the looks only)
see reliability for comments.
edit: Changed this to a 9.
After actually owning a banjo with good planets. I've changed my mine.
Guitar tuners are not nearly as fussy, they are much easier to deal with than planets.To heck with the looks. Save your money.
My next banjo, prob a Nechville of Stealth, will have guitar tuners on a radiused tunneled neck!

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Yes. Good banjo foir the price.
Having upgraded my bluegrass banjo to a ibson, plan to keep as a frailer, knock around banjo.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 12/13/2004

Where Purchased: Acoustic Music

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 239 ($US)

Sound

Excellent sound. I play clawhammer style, and the only banjo that I think sounds better than it so far is my teacher's $1,200 Vega (white ladye...) The cripple creek has very good volume and tone. It also has a brass tone ring that helps quite a bit on tone and volume. I think it could hold it's own in any jam.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Set up was perfect. Hardin at Acoustic music did a wonderful job. All I did was tighten all the brackets a little bit.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This banjo looks really good. It has a very light color wood, black fingerboard, and snow shaped marker inlays. However it isn't overly flashy, but what it lacks in appearance (which isnt' much) it makes up for in tone and volume.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This seems like a very good, sturdy banjo. In another review somebody said that they could paddle a canoe with their banjo, the same is true for this banjo. However I wouldn't recomend doing that next time you're out boating (you'll want it safely in its case) the only thing is the tuning pegs feel just a little bit plastic. (very minor, hardly noticable)

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't had to deal with them yet. But I imagine that they would be more than willing to do whatever is required. (It comes with a five year warranty.)

Customer Service: not rated

Components

If anything I would say that you might want to upgrade to planetary tuners. (once again minor item.) Other than that it seems to be very well put together.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

For the price that I payed, I do not think that there is a better banjo anywhere!!! I love the bright crisp sound and volume it has. The looks, tone ring, and it being and overall incredible banjo led me to choose this one over the deering goodtime. I'm sure I could go on forever about it. If you want a sound clip of it e-mail me. Otherwise go buy it right now, everybody should have one of these. If it were stolen I think I would want to inflict quite a lot of pain upon their personage... (then tell him to get his own, literally!)

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by dlipson (see all reviews from this person) on 10/25/2004

Where Purchased: Union Music

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 279 ($US)

Sound

Nice plunky sound, good action, well set up. My Model CC-100/MH

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Bridge good, head tension good, tuning buttons a bit "tight" . ready to play after tuning it up. Wayne at Gold Tone does a nice job.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Plating excellent, wood finish excellent, overall construction excellent.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Brand new, so far so good.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Carl and Jim ( the manager) made several calls to Gold Tone while I was customizing the CC-100. I settled on getting the planetary tuners as my only upgrade. Very Nice for $50. I replaced a Deering GT2 with a consigment "trade" ( 10%) Carl, the owner, at Union sells for less than most anyone in the greater Boston area. Best prices I'd seen including mail order. 508-753-3702

Customer Service: 9

Components

Seem fine so far. Plating looks better then some parts on my Hoab.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I'd recommend Union Music to anyone in the greater Boston area. Great prices and nice people.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 4/12/2003

Where Purchased: folk of the wood

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

Sound

Banjo came not set up well 3/4

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

As mentioned banjo was not set up properly, however changes such as new head were easy on this model

Setup Rating: 5

Appearance

Simple lookin, spartan finish and appointments, but very strong I'd like an ebony peghead with mop star, however Oh well..

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

No problem, Gold Tone don't make no junk, solid instrument.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Gold Tone factory personel are great, Folk of the wood surprised me in that the banjo was set up so poorly and shipping to Hawaii was 95.00$, thats from new mexico, A new banjo shipped to me from Gold Tone in florida was only 35.00$. Always check those shipping costs, but fotw would not give me a quote or even estimate. I was shocked and could have done bettewr ordering new from the factory.

Customer Service: 4

Components

Neck tight and playable, tight fit, guitar tuners, but very good and functional. Wheres the tonering?

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Good banjo as backup, beach or hiking model, great for learning, VERY LOUD AND ECHOY with the modifications I made. Clawhammer style it sounds like the banjos of old, however if it was stolen, I wouldn't be too upset as I have 2 other banjos, I like better.

Overall Rating: 7

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