Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

397
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!

6938 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone  Cripple Creek 100 OB Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Big Dan (see all reviews from this person) on 12/15/2008

Where Purchased: Angies Banjo

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: $1,300 (NZ) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The important thing to note with this banjo is that it's a beginner's instrument. And, for a beginner banjo, it's got a pretty good sound. I've added a thicker hoop and played around with different heads and it sounds okay.

What a beginner needs is here: good neck, decent quality and playability.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

The action is set nice and low and on the whole, the set up is okay. There's nothing that really needs an expert eye to make it playable, it's good to go.

That said, it's not perfect. The coordinator rods are not perfectly parallel and someone screwed the tuning pegs in with a drill, thereby twisting the heads off a few of the screws. A bit shabby.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

If you’re buying a banjo purely for looks, you’re in the wrong price bracket. Nonetheless, it still looks attractive. The flame on the peg head is a nice touch. The rosewood fingerboard is a lovely piece of wood, nice and dark with a very close grain- much nicer than I've seen on some Asian assembled instruments.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

Once again, bear in mind this is a beginners instrument. The quality of hardware is fair for the price. I replaced the tuners after a few years, because one of them seized up. The screw holding the armrest on and the little bit of metal it screws into had to be replaced and Gold Tone sent me new bits, no hassle.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Service from the Gold Tone company has been good and they’ve answered most of my questions.

Customer Service: 7

Components

The neck is probably this banjo's best feature. I've played a lot of instruments and this neck is excellent- a real pleasure to play. The varnish on the neck can be a bit tacky, but it doesn't impede playing.

Of all the beginner banjos out there, this one gives you more features and it benefits from being built by a company that makes professional level instruments.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

From what I've seen from other banjos in this price bracket, this is a good buy.

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by Two-tones (see all reviews from this person) on 5/16/2006

Where Purchased: Banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 300.00 ($US)

Sound

I'm fairly new to playing the banjo, so this review certainly isn't coming from a seasoned veteran. However, in my opinion this is an excellent beginner/camping/practice/take anywhere banjo. It has a good "old-time" sound which is also fairly bright.
I also own a Gold Tone White Layde which is obvioulsly a better quality and better sounding banjo, so in comparaison I was a little disappointed at first, but what can you expect. However, after playing it I have to admit, I pick up the CC-100 more often than the White Layde for praticing because the CC-100 weighs significanly less. But don't get me wrong, if I HAD to choose between them, I'de take the White Layde everytime. Also I should note, I tested the Deering Goodtime at a local music store, and as much as I would have liked to buy a strictly American made instrument, I'm glad I went with the Gold Tone, I was not impressed at all by the Deering Goodtime. The CC-100 just looks, feels and plays like a better banjo.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

I ordered this with the optional planetary tuners, which I personally like the look of more than the standard guitar style tuners. (another reason I don't like the Goodtime). The set-up was done well by the guys at Banjo.com. It has a nice low action and light strings which make playing as a beginner much easier.
The only problem was in shipping, the truss rod somehow became dislodged and was pushing up on the truss rod cover. Not Banjo.com's fault though. Other than having planetary tuners installed and putting the truss rod back in place (after calling Banjo.com about it) I haven't changed a thing.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I like dark woods personally, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the appearence of this banjo. The maple neck and rim are of good quality and I have no complaints at all.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware seems well suited for a $300.00 banjo. The hooks seem to look a tad fragile, but so far I haven't experienced any problems.
I love the finish on this banjo, I don't know what they use, but the neck is quick and is as smooth as a baby's bottom. I've never played at a gig before so I can't comment on that, but if I was ever at a jam session, I wouldn't be embarrassed or worried about using it with or without a backup.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The guys (and girl) at Banjo.com are EXCELLENT to deal with. Very helpful, very friendly and a pleasure to do business with. They would take the time to answer any questions you have. I've bought both my banjo's there and would do it again in a heartbeat. John and Barry are first class.

Customer Service: 10

Components

As I stated above the only thing that "looks" fragile are the hooks. Other than that it seems like a well built instrument that would stand the test of time. I originally bought this as a camping banjo, but I like it so much I wouldn't want to risk anything bad happening to it, so I bought a kit banjo and use that for camping instead.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo all day long for anyone wishing to buy a low cost beginner banjo. In my opinion it's the best banjo out there in this price range. It doesn't compare to my White Layde, but it's still a decent sounding banjo for the price.
If this banjo was stolen I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 2/21/2006

Where Purchased: Andy Banjo (Faversham, Kent)

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 220 (£) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I bought this as a travel banjo as it is both cheap and light. Although the CC100 is really suited to clawhammer style, I play mainly bluegrass, jazz and classical. It is of course much quieter than a heavy resonator banjo, but it does exactly what I want. The sound is rich and mellow and my wife says she often prefers it to the brighter, louder sound of my other banjos (Huber Roanoke and Deering Deluxe). I have scored the sound as relevant to its class (not compared to an expensive resonator banjo!)

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

In the shop, I found the action a little low and there was a buzz around the third fret on the 4th string. Andy adjusted the action and it has been fine ever since. I tightened the head a little but the maximum tightness is limited by the tension hooks which are fairly light. This may be a deliberate design feature to prevent overtightening and stressing other parts of the instrument. The head now is just about as tight as I want it. I've done nothing else to it apart from change strings occasionally.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The banjo is very simple, with a light maple finish. However there were no flaws and everything was as immaculate as it should be. There is simple inlay for the position markers on the neck, which is understated but pretty.

One of the reasons I bought this in preference to the Deering Goodtime, which I also considered, was the quality of the finish, especially the neck and fretwork. I found these far superior to the Deering product.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It has travelled several times by air on holiday and is still as good as new. It is very well made. It will certainly outlast a Goodtime.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I've not dealt with Gold Tone, but Andy Banjo's service is as good as it gets!

Customer Service: 10

Components

I already mentioned the tension hooks, which is the only component I would have any concerns about. Everything else, especially the neck and fingerboard, which I feel are extremely important, is of very high quality.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

This is a great little banjo. I would definitely recommend the CC100 as either a starter banjo for a beginner or as a travel banjo. I found it so overwhelmingly better than its main competitor, the Goodtime, that I can only think that people buy the latter mainly for its US provenance. The strongest feature of the CC100 is the neck and fretwork. The instrument is beautifully playable, solid, strong yet so light. I absolutely love taking it on holiday with me.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 12/18/2003

Where Purchased: Private

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

Sound

Good all round sounding banjo for both failing and 3 finger picking.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Setup well, and changes are easily accomplished with dual coordinating rods. I use the Martin Vega light gauge strings, a Stockwell Moon bridge for general use or heavy Fuller Sohem bridge for extra plunkiness. Fiberskin head and no-knot tailpiece.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Stock natural Gold Tone finish with scooped fretboard. Looks good, and is developing a nice gold finish with patina as it is aging.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Nice chrome hardware is holding up well.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Little service needed, but Goldtone seems good to work with.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Upgrade stock bridge.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I highly recomend this banjo as one of the best in it's price range.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 12/27/2002

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 239 ($US)

Sound

I bought the open backed banjo to learn clawhammer on. As far as my old ears can tell, it sounds very much like the banjo on the training video. I'm sure I'll become more atuned to the nuiances, but as far now, I am pleased with the sound. It sounds as I would expect an open backed banjo to sound and I believe the brass tone ring help to make it plenty loud.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The banjo was setup very well. As a beginner, I don't know much about the effects of different setups, but I started playing

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The banjo looks nice to me. The body and neck are natural maple which doesn't look all that traditional, but I like it. The fret board is dark and the light and dark look good together. I don't find any flaws in the finish or metal chromed parts. I am very happy with the

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It's hard to tell about the reliability as far as finish is concerned. I would be suprised if the chrome on the metal parts doesn't wear off as I play more. This is more of a

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I did not deal with the Gold Tone, but I did deal with Janet Davis Music. They are great to deal with!!!

Customer Service: 10

Components

The banjo has a maple neck and body and curly maple head stock veneer. It has a brass tone ring and synthetic head. All metal parts are chrome plated.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo for the price. It was a hard choice between the Deering Goodtime and this banjo. I chose this one because of the tone ring and two way adjustable truss rod. If I decided to order another because of disaster, I'd do the same thing.

Overall Rating: 9

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125