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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  Bluegrass Special BG-250 Banjo Reviews

Submitted by coastal.lugger (see all reviews from this person) on 5/24/2008

Where Purchased: Long & McQuade, Surrey British Columbia

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 750 (Canadian dollar) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Excellent sound, very loud, with enough mellow tone to satisfy and still sound like a bluegrass instrument

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Great, Bryan Faber, the salesman at Long & McQuade, took the time to set up the banjo correctly and invited me to observe and explained to me how to make future tune-ups myself. Other than replacing the stock strings with Dean Markley Medium Lite, the banjo is stock as per delivered by manufacturer. I’ll consider making additional changes as I gain proficiency on the instrument.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Absolutely flawless throughout, comparable with banjos selling for three times the price. Attractive dark maple finish; hand rest is relatively plain compared to more expensive model, but very attractive without being gaudy.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Too early to say, however the banjo appears to be built with quality in mind throughout.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Too new to know. I believe the warranty is five years, but not absolutely sure, it might be longer, need to read it again.

Customer Service: 9

Components

No problems that I can see, but I'm a guitarist, and still learning banjo. I'll edit and update this area in time.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I’d definitely recommend this instrument at the price. If it was stolen I’d order another and hope the crook rotted in jail! I love it, great sound, best “bang for the buck “ in its price and compares with banjos costing much more, Fantastic sound, fast action.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Springman (see all reviews from this person) on 9/27/2007

Where Purchased: banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 1300 ($US)

Sound

Awsome sound, very loud, and no "rattles" when playin low notes.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Perfect. The guys at banjo.com have been excellent. I'm considering smoothing out the wood finish inside the resonator, but am unsure if it will change sound.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very attractive. Dark maple finish, with blonde trim and black fretboard. Inlays are flawless. Hand rest has attractive pattern.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Feels very sturdy - this is the heaviest banjo I've ever held. My only advice is be careful with belt buckles - I scratched the back of the banjo 1st time I played it. No big deal.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Excellent - banjo.com is my recommended dealer.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The only thing that will need changing ismthe strings. This banjo is near perfect for me and will surely last for the long haul.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

If you don't mind the weight (which contributes to the excellent tone), this is perhaps the best bang for the buck. A professional grade instrument with at an affordable price.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by fiddlin-john (see all reviews from this person) on 3/24/2004

Where Purchased: EBay

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 430 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

I play bluegrass and clawhammer, this banjo does it all. It sounds sweet now that I have gotten some heavier gage strings on it and can really dig into it. The responater comes off with jsut a few twists, though stays on very securely, and converts to an open back in a snap. Very full sound with a great low end, I loosened the skin a little and it really has a mellow sweet spot right off the fingerboard. At this point, no dislikes.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Set up very well, from Janet Davis originally. Though the guy I purchased it from dia a little altering.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Very nice wood finish, the resonator is to be admired. The neck and back are a beautiful maple and it really looks dark and moody, i love it. the standard diamond inlay is not to fancy but fits the sound and style. When I upgrade I'm going to have so much inlay you won't be able to look directly at it.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

The hardware seems sturdy. It appears the tuning pegs will have to be tightened or adjusted on occasion, but right now I ain't fixin nuthin cux nuthins broke.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

NA

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Nothing really stands out other than the sound. I've played it with a few other banjoists, one of which was playing a pre-war Gibson and the consensus was my banjo sounded as good as many there, maybe not the Gibson...
One friend is selling his Deering Goodtime and getting a real good banjo for a good price.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I would recomend it. Even seasoned banjo snobs are surprised at what I paid and the quality of the sound. If the banjo was stolen, I'd neither sleep nor eat till the perpetrator saw justice.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by jbalch (see all reviews from this person) on 7/9/2002

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 551 ($US)

Sound

For the price, this is a great sounding banjo. I have owned a pre-war Gibson, newer Gibsons, Vegas and a Rich and Taylor. This banjo is certainly no match for the best of those...but it is available at less than 1/3 the price.

Sound Rating: 6

Setup

This is where Janet Davis Music really shines! The setup was perfect. The action was great. The superior sound was largely due to the care taken in the setup. I wouldn't buy one of these from anyone else.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

There are a couple of glue lines visible under the finish on the heel. The dealer told me that they have seen these before and never had any problems. I trust that is true. The design, construction and finish are otherwise fine.

Appearance Rating: 6

Reliability

Everything is better than expected for an inexpensive banjo. I recommend stepping up to the model with a full flange. It is worth the small difference.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I don't know about Gold Tone...But Janet Davis Music is perhaps the best dealer I've had the pleasure of buying from.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The tuners seem to be the weakest link. But we have had no problems with them yet. A better bridge and head would be a good idea. On the other hand, the slim neck is solid and fast. It is the most playable banjo I've seen for the money.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I bought this for my son, a beginner. I've been playing for more than 30 years and have used this banjo onstage a number of times recently. We are both quite satisfied with the Gold Tone.

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by Canadian Man (see all reviews from this person) on 3/23/2002

Where Purchased: Alfie Myher's Music

Year Purchased: 2000
Price Paid: 1000 (Canadian) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

When I had this banjo I was at an intermediat level and I still have it as a back-up. For the price I paid I got an excelent sounding banjo. It was a very wise upgrade. It sounded better ( to my ear) than the banjos from 1,500 to 2,500. For the money, I really recomend Gold Tone. I play bluegrass, and a little melodic style. I played with my Gold Tone in a band for quiet a while and it served it's perpose well. It is quiet responsive and a bright sound. It isn't as loud as the pre-war Gibsons, but it was ok.

I didn't paticularly car for the thicker neck, but it was a good solid banjo.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The banjo was set up to go when I got it, but when I got it I can't remember what it really sounded like, it was a while ago, but I have hardly made any changes to it. The only thing I changed is to the D-tuners. I also put a sliding fifth string capo in.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

It is pretty nice to look at. It has snow flake inlays, with a dark finish( maple wood). It had an ingraved arm rest when I got it.

On company flaw was it had a crack on the coating of the neck, not big, butI complained.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

I trust that banjo, it is a good solid banjo. It feels that if you dropped it ( I really wouldn't want to) it would hold it's own.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I have never had a problem with it, but I think it has a life time warrenty, but not sure. Look at the Gold Tone web site.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The components seem very good.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would recomend it , to an intermediat, but if you already have a really high quality banjo ( higher end Deering, Stelling, Gibson) you probably already know what you want and you have it.

I know have a Gibson, and don't play it much, but for the price I paid I am glad I bought it. It doesn't sound near as good as my Gibson. Any Stelling I have played , rated a lot higher than it. But I have played Gibsons that didn't sound as good as it.
I found it sounded better than the Deering Sierra.

Overall Rating: 6

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