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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  1976 GF-11FE arch top Banjo Reviews

Submitted by beyondguitars (see all reviews from this person) on 5/25/2009

Where Purchased: Fifth String San Francisco

Year Purchased: 1976
Price Paid: $750.00 ($US)

Sound

I was only 17 when I splurged for this banjo back in '76 and over 30 years later I know I made a great choice. The quality was and is considered to be better then the Gibsons of its day,. This banjo has the thinnest fastest neck I've ever seen, unlike other GS banjos I've seen from the 80s, or today. The gluing of the rim is tight without any gaps.. tone ring casting perfect. Never a crack in any part of it. Eventually I did a fret leveling as what I consider maintenance after many years, and it turned out great. The tone is bright crisp full arch top sound. I've had many other banjos, flat and arch, most don't have the depth of tone of this one, that's hard to describe. It's a quality that just doesn't sound hollow, or cheap. I played a 30's archtop mastertone recently and honestly thought they sounded identical. I am still winning contests with it. A pro player tried it out recently and his first words were.. "what a neck"! I will never give this banjo up, it's still my favorite! Viva arch tops!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I think the setup was good, 1976 was a long time ago.I've changed heads, bridges, tailpiece experimented a lot.

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

Dark Mahogany/nickel with Flying Eagle inlays

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

over thirty years, no hardware issues

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

never used it but I know Saga and they're great.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Tone ring / rim and slim neck are the standout best.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would buy onother if I lost it, and could find one in decent condition but the early models are rare.

Overall Rating: 10

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