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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone  EBM Banjo Reviews

Submitted by manomusic (see all reviews from this person) on 12/15/2010

Where Purchased: ebay store

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

sounds good enough but really would only play through my amp as it does sound a bit tinny unplugged. No distortion through the amp and after playing around with it is quite versatile. I bought this as an aside to my main players for when I get serious and form a band hopefully next year and play with other electric instruments.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Set up well. Will change to GHS strings when necessary and will add a scorpion bridge.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

There are a couple of finish flaws on the paintjob and the gold is already tarnishing but for the money paid I am happy with the quality overall. Design wise it does have a striking appearance hence for the money paid it's a 9

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Tuners will probably not last forever but I will upgrade them when the time comes. So far no issues.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I have dealt with Goldtone before when I owned a BGF-250.
They were superb to deal with , prompt and polite and sorted my issue immediately to my satisfaction. Would give 12 if possible. Hey I just did!
26/01/12 The nut fell off the jack back in October last year and my son was using this instrument in the school concert for Christmass in which he had a solo part. I could not find a nut locally so contacted Wayne Rogers at Gold Tone explaining the situation and offering to pay for a replacement. Concert is long gone, my son played my Reiter with a pickup which was too quiet and still no answer to my email.

12

Customer Service: 1

Components

Charge a little more Goldtone and upgrade the tuners. Other than that happy.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This is a nice banjo and If it were my first I would probably be giving it a 10 but I do own a couple of more upmarket instruments hence am spoilt. For the price Goldtone have provided a lot of bang for buck. My son is joining his schooll band next year and I have no issue him playing impressively with this banjo and will get a fair bit of attention as it is a real head turner. It is an electric banjo and as such is a lot of fun to play. For price paid is a 9.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by iplaybanjer (see all reviews from this person) on 2/7/2009

Where Purchased: fqms

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 749 ($US)

Sound

I have owned this thing for a year now, and it is a good electric banjo. It does work good below the 12 fret with distortion, which can be a problem for solos, and it is totally super sayan (in other words, awesome) clean. I use this in my rock band as my axe. It has a very jazzy sound on one extreme, and a countryish sound on the other extreme, and in between, you can get a good banjo sound out of it, The only complaint i have is the tone knob, which messes up the volume of the first 2 strings, this is very annoying sometimes.

the versatility on this is much easier to get to both extremes to than the crossfire, but the sound you get isnt quite as good through a totally dry amp, that can be fixed thouhg as you mess with the volume settings on the amp. i prefer to turn the treble almsot completely down, but leave the bass and middle cranked.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The banjo was set up very well when i got it, i havent had the need to change out anything major on it so far, except, of course, strings, to keep it sounding nice. The only problem ive had is the screw for one of the strap things became stripped, but it was easy to fix, and havent had a problem since. good action too.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

This banjo is beautiful. thats all i can say.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

yes, the hardware looks like it is built to last on this, i dont think ill have to replace anything on here. only problem is the case aint bad... althouhg ive stood on it once or twice without hurting it.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

i emailed goldtone with a couple questions, and i got answered within a day or two. very good there, and the people at fqms are very freindly, and helped me with everything i asked for. they even

Customer Service: 10

Components

very good.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

i would recommend this banjo for the price. It is a really good deal for 750 bucks. If you have the 3500 dollars to spare thouhg, dont bother with the deering crossfire, id go for a nechville meteor without a second thought.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by donolin (see all reviews from this person) on 3/1/2007

Where Purchased: musicians friend

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: $724.00 ($US)

Sound

I have only had thie one 29days ALSO MAKE NOTE; FOR $724.14 I GOT THE BANJO W/ SQUARE HARD SHELL GOLDTONE CASE AND FREE SHIPPING

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

very well i did nothing . but i had a fender that was so far out it took 3 days to get it set, so this was just wonderfull.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

for the price i paid i realy got a lot of banjo,i rate on this five stars

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

the gold it light but what do you expect for this price.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

it comes with no arm rest i e-mailed the co. see below on how they responded I WANT TO ALSO TELL YOU TOM ANDERSEN from janet davis was very help full in getting these parts he even called goldtone and confermed that, that was what they told me to do. thanks again tom.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

it came with no arm rest i contacted the co. and was advised from the owner himself as to how he attached another brand to his and advised me to do same and asured me if i needed more help get back with him, that just don't happen very often

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

i did find a vega-style gold plated armrest at JDMC #121-114g,and 4 gold screws#223-956g, drilled four small holes in the four lowest corners of this bracket set bracket to same height as it would have mounted and it looks like it came this way. installed 4 spikes at 7,9,10and 12 and it looks and plays great

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Johnnie (see all reviews from this person) on 6/8/2006

Where Purchased: TRE'45, Norway

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 6990 (NOK) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I'm playing in a countryband were I use the banjo on a handful of songs. I have a Gold Tone OB-250 that I have used with a condenser microphone, and have had some feedback/monitor problems playing with a loud band.
When I saw this electric banjo I thought it looked good, and convinient to bring along to gigs.

The banjo has a singlecoil telecaster neck pickup and the Gold Tone SMP humbucker pickup under the head. The banjo have two volume knobs and one toneknob. The DI sound straight in the board is kind of weak and bassy. You have to boost it and tweak the EQ a bit to make it sound like a banjo. The toneknob on the banjo is only a treble roll off and my opinion is that it has no practical use.

The humbucker does actually sound very good when the EQ is tweaked. The middle and neck position has a more electric banjo sound and has a bit more gain too. I haven't tried it though my Fender cranking out Smoke On The Water yet though :-)

The acoustic sound is thin with not much bottom or warm midrange, but is quite loud enough for practising together with a couple of guitars in the living room.

For my use in a band situation this banjo is perfect soundwise. The lack of a natural banjo sound is so minimal in such a setting that it does the job perfect. For an entirely acoustic bluegrass session, or for recording I'll use the real deal.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The banjo was setup perfect for me.
I've added one spike for the 5th string since we play a lot of songs i A.
The scale is 27-3/8" and is longer than my other banjo. It feels a bit strange at first but it's easy to adapt to.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The big visual difference from the Gold Tone EBT is that the EBT looks like telecaster and this EBM looks like a big mandolin with a small banjo "head".
The metalparts are gold, but the gold finish is not of a very high quality.
The rest of the finish was blemishfree and looked good.

I 've got lot of comments from people that it looks good. It's an unusual instrument and noone has never seen one before, so it's fun to carry along to gigs.

It's a Korean made banjo, and they're good at making instruments looks good, but it's of course not a top of the line instrument. I'll call it a nice workhorse.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

The gold finish of the hardware will wear of soon, but the rest of the finish is OK.
The pickups and knobs and output jack seems all right.
The tuners feels smooth.
I'll use it on a gig with no backup with no problem.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

No experience

Customer Service: not rated

Components

This banjo should have had an integrated preamp and an active toneknob. But you can get the sound tweaking the EQ on the mixing board or use a graphic equalizer like one of the BOSS guitar pedals.

The rest of the banjo reminds me of a telecaster, plug in and play it.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

For me this banjo is perfect, but it's best in an electric band.
It doesn't have the real banjo look, but that can be both good and bad.
For me it's a gigging tool and if it breaks I can get me an identical electric banjo without trouble.

It's not the best banjo in the world but a fun little instrument made for a certain use, It's not for everybody, but have you considered an electric banjo, try to find one and try it out.

Overall Rating: 8

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