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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 Star  GF 100 Wreath Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Medwin Bew (see all reviews from this person) on 8/23/2007

Where Purchased: Andy Banjos, UK

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 895 (£) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I think this beasty sounds absolutely wonderful. It has a full, rich sound and really pumps out the volume if you want it too. Just the sort of sound I was looking for.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

To be honest I'm a beginner, but the set up seems excellent to my untrained ear and eye (Andy Banjos). The action is set nice and low, without any string buzz which makes fingerwork relatively effortless (apart from trying to train my fingers to obey my brain, that is). All I had to do was set up the bridge (removed for travelling), using the tape guidelines Andy had put in and then I was up and away.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is a beautiful looking banjo in my view. And not too fancy. The woodware is extremely well finished with a blemish-free laquer and the stain is a beautiful even colour with good match between the neck, rim and resonator. The two concentric purling inlays on the resonator are an attractive feature and neatly done, and the hand cut mother of pearl inlays on the finger board are crisp, smooth and flawless. A nice bit of embellishment without being overstated. The ebony finger board is pretty smooth as well.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The finish on this instrument looks pretty good. The metal work is well plated and bright - no blemishes, thin or bare patches or tarnishing. No unsightly blemishes of any kind that I can find. Everything seems to fit as it should.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Only just got hold of the instrument, but the service was excellent - prompt and helpful. Andy even insisted on playing my GF100 over the telphone for me to get an idea of the tones it was capable of! Not had to use him for service/repair yet, but he seems to come recommended. Haven't dealt directly with Saga.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Everything about this banjo seemed solid, and well made. The metal work was flawless as was the laquer finish to the woodwork and the inlays. Some components weren't originals, the bridge, head and tailpiece were not factory specs because Andy Banjos always upgrades these as part of the set up. It came fitted with an excellent 5 star head, 16mm custom bridge and a Kirschner tailpiece. The one thing that spoils the GF100 in my view (a minor irritation and not a major flaw, incidentally) are the perloid buttons on the tuner pegs. Okay at first glance but they look a bit cheap on closer inspection; spoil an otherwise good looking instrument. I'll look around for some bone ones when I get round to it. I think they would be more in keeping. The perloid ones are a bit like adding fluffy dice to the rear view mirror of a Rolls Royce.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I love this banjo and would certainly recommend it. Its quality, wrapped in a good price as far as I am concerned. I wanted a good banjo to begin learning. I looked at loads of entry level and intermediate banjos, but this was worth paying the extra few quid for. I learnt the hard way years ago when I played the French Horn that a quality instrument makes all the difference to motivation and enjoyment; even the drudge parts of practicing (scales, correct pitch and the like) were so much more pleasurable to tackle. If my Gold Star was stolen I wouldn't buy another one - I'd hunt the pilfering beggar down, make sure his legs bent in different directions then recover my 'Eryca'. She's family.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by BigSal (see all reviews from this person) on 4/22/2007

Where Purchased: Elderly Insturments

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I play three finger and absolutely love this banjo. I played a GF85 a few months ago and decided to step up to the 100 since I have a couple of extra bucks. Love the sound it is a rich smooth sound and has the low end growl I really didn't have on my other banjo. This is an awsome insturment and I very happy with my purchase.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo was set up perfect from Elderly insturments. They even put in three spikes for free with purchase. No more pen cap I have moved up. Elderly does a great job and I recomend them to everybody.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful. I have seen no flaws in the finish. The inlays appear to be hand done. they do look a little rough in places but I have no complaints. The banjo seems tight and put together very well.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

So far so good.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Elderly was great. Very quick service. I ordered it on Mon. and got it Wed. Have not had to deal with Saga and don't forsee it either.

Customer Service: 10

Components

So say the compontets are weak on the gold stars. Compared to my other banjo all components are awsome. I have had no problems with anything.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is a great banjo. I recomend this to anyone who wants a quality insturment for less.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by jim and jesse (see all reviews from this person) on 11/3/2006

Where Purchased: janet davis

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 1300 ($US)

Sound

when i got it it sounded great strait from the box, barely needed tuning.
the head was not to tight but other wise they set it up great. nice crisp sound better or as good as gibsons

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

they did great besides the head.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

this banjo is a great looker along with player. it looks just as good if not better then most gibsons. they playability is awesome. just the touch of a finger will fret it. i highly recomend this banjo!!!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

the nuts and bolts seam to scratch easy and the tuners seem to get out of wack once in a while and if its summer it sounds dronned out, but its an easy fix and nothing to complain about

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

they were awesome, great prices and service!!

Customer Service: 10

Components

the bridge, tail peice and tuners should be changed. if ordered ask them to install a snuffy smith 3/4 size bridge, a PRICE SL-5 BANJO TAILPIECE
and on tuners i havent goten any yet so your on you own.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

higly recomended !!! ive played an rb-4 and a granada a rb-3 and rb-250 and over all i like my banjo better. except the granada but thats a 6000 $ banjo so for the price this one is ppeerrrfecto

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by skevincampbell (see all reviews from this person) on 8/29/2006

Where Purchased: Hangout member

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 865 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Good sounding banjo. They are known for flathead sound, and it suits me and my playing style well. It has a rich tone, plenty of volume and sounds better up the neck than my old Morgan Monroe. Sound improved after I put on a McPeake bridge and a Kershner tailpiece. Volume and ring are both more consistent now.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The banjo was setup pretty well when I got it. The action is not as low as some I have played. I like it where it was when I got it. I made the changes noted above, and they were fairly easy. This is my first real foray into tinkering with setup, and I am pleased with the results.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Standard inlay and Gold Star look. Not real fancy. I like the wreath pattern. The orange tint of the mahogany is a positive for me. I really like the color and consistency of the wood. The binding on the reonator is off white or cream, while the binding on the neck is pure white.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

I believe the hardware is dependable. I would use it on a gig, although I don't have one, and nobody would pay to hear me play. It stays in tune really well, and more so with the cryoed strings on it. The tuners move really easy, almost too easy. But, it does stay in tune well.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

No contact with the company.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The remake Presto is not real strong, but it is servicable. I like the Kershner much better. I have heard it might be good to change the tuners, but they seem fine. I won't change them until I find exactly what I want. I would like Keiths on 2 & 3, with matching 1 & 4 tuners. I would like amber buttons on them.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I would reccomend this banjo, whole heartedly for the price. I would also not hesitate to buy a new one. It is a good value either new or used. If it were stolen, I would pray for the thief's legs to fall off, and go get my banjo back. I plan to always have this banjo. I want one of the killer $4 to 5,000 banjos, but I want to always keep this one. Great experience buying from a Hangout member.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 11/21/2005

Where Purchased: High Note Musicians Supply

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Pretty darn good. Good prewar sound. Sounds really close to my Gibson JD Crowe Black Jack.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Had to tighten the head and adjust the tailpiece height. I replaced the cheap (Grover ??) bridge that came with it.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The wood, finish and inlays are excellent. Some plating on the tension hoop and flange was a little tarnished, but polished out well.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Excellent.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Have not needed any help or warranty work.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

All parts seem to be first quality.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Dollar for dollar you can not buy a better banjo. You can buy these for less than 1k.

Overall Rating: 9

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