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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!

6936 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone  Cripple Creek 100R Plus Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Banjo Pappy (see all reviews from this person) on 1/8/2016

Where Purchased: BanjoTeacher.com

Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: 645 ($US)

Sound

The CC100R+ sounds like a classic Banjo. I was very pleased with the overall sound and tone. It has plenty of volume.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The Banjo came set up by Goldtone and was already tuned. I used the electronic tuner to dial it in just a small amount.
The action is low, very nice for a beginner.
I bought the student package through Banjoteacher.com and it came with a nice Gig Bag, tuner, DVD, picks and free online lessons which Ross does a great job producing. They are easy to follow along and its like being live with the instructor.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The Banjo looks classy. It arrived in perfect shape, no dings, dents or scratches. It is fairly a plain jane without much over the top decoration.
The armrest is nicely engraved. The wood resonator and neck has a beautiful finish.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

The hardware seems like it is well built. After two hours practice, I re-checked tuning and it was right on so it holds a tune even with new strings.
The planetary gears are well made.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I bought this Banjo through Ross Nickerson at BanjoTeacher.com. It was a fantastic experience. Ross and I spoke on the phone many times and he was always interested in what features and sound and price range I wanted. He suggested several models that would meet my needs. I was really impressed that a Professional Banjo player would take the time to help a newbie out.

Customer Service: 10

Components

At this point I could not be more satisfied. The CC100R Plus has fantastic sound, easy to play, and is much lighter than some others out there.
Maybe they could dress it up a little more for the $600 price range.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I could have spent more for a top dollar heavier banjo with more decoration, but I think Ross helped me pick the perfect instrument for what I needed which was something with good sound, easy to play, learn on that would keep a tune.

The Gold tones have beautiful sound and are made in the USA with a great warranty.

If your interested in learning Banjo, I cannot recommend BanjoTeacher.com enough. Call or e-mail Ross and he will help you with selection of a nice Banjo and give you all the items you need with it to start learning.

A big thank you to Ross for helping me get started on a Banjo that's been on my bucket list for a long time!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by mikemoyes2 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/26/2014

Where Purchased: The Music Emporium (Lexington, MA)

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: $650-700 ($US)

Sound

I am very impressed with the sound of this banjo. It has drastic tone and feel changes in the X and Y positions and sounds in tune all the way up the neck. For a banjo of this price, I have been very pleased.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The action was a little high for my liking but it was easy enough to set it up for my style.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

The banjo is pretty plain since it isn't a professional model; however, it is an attractive instrument.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

So far, the hardware is holding up fine. I play this banjo several hours a week and tote it around to bars and clubs. It seems to be a workhorse!

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

NA, haven't dealt with Gold Tone yet.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The tuner's seem pretty cheap and I wouldn't be surprised if I crack one some day but overall the components get the job done.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

For the price, this is a very solid banjo. I often hear from others that they love the sound and can really feel the difference when playing up the neck. The dynamic range is very good. I do wish the banjo was louder but that is what you get without a tone ring!

 

 

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by lost_virginian (see all reviews from this person) on 9/5/2013

Where Purchased: Gold Tone Factory

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I am surprised that it sounds so good, I am a Deering fan, and while this won't replace my Calico, it does sound good to me. It has that nice Woody Guthrie folky tone.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

They set everything up, good action and intonation, new strings etc.. they do a very good job

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It's a good looking banjo

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Time will tell

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

I bought this when I was in Cocoa Beach visiting family, I took a chance and went to the store without an appointment as recommended. I was very happy with the way I was able to get what I wanted (CC 100+) with no resonator for clawhammer.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Overall it's a great instrument and a great price. -1 for the Made in China sticker, it looks a little out of place they should stamp the wood or something to keep with a quality look.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by bonnetteanthony (see all reviews from this person) on 3/11/2012

Where Purchased: Bbay

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 400 ($US)

Sound

This is my first banjo, and not having played any others, im not sure how much help I'm gonna be. That being said, I think it sounds pretty good for the scruggs style I'm trying to learn.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Having no one around to set it up, I am having to work off the forum posts on the Hangout, with mixed results. However the action on the banjo was good and low when I got it.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Nothing special, just like I wanted, but it does look nice. Rich dark stain looks good, and I like the engraved armrest.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

The tuners are smooth. The finish appears deep and glossy. The hardware looks fairly heavy-duty.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

Nothing yet. Hopefully won't need to find out.

Customer Service: 5

Components

I was gonna upgrade the tailpiece to a Kirschner I had laying around, but the factory tp looks and feels heavy enough.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

If I ever get it set up just right I think this banjo will be great to learn on.

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by oettingm (see all reviews from this person) on 6/18/2010

Where Purchased: Barnhouse's Crazy Music Store, Columbia MO

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 440 ($US)

Sound

Beginner Bluegrass picker. Excellent to learn on. Great sound, clear, loud enough

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Absolutely. OTher than changing strings a couple of times and putting on railroad spikes it has been perfect.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Looks great. No flaws

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Tone ring is great, tuners are great. Tailpiece is great.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Great starter!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Cajun_Hillbilly (see all reviews from this person) on 2/1/2010

Where Purchased: Banjoteacher.com

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: $560 ($US)

Sound

I am very pleased with the sound quality. It certainly doesn't compare to some high end model, but it has a clean and warm sound that seems ideas for beginners and those trying different styles.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

This is my first banjo and I have had no experience prior, so I can't really knock it or rave about it. It plays. Nothing rattles or moves around. I did have to tune it up when I got. I am sure something could have been done better for shear probability so I will give it a 9.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I was very concerned about the finish. I had seen so many different pictures where the finished seemed so dark it is almost black, to brighter and almost cherry in appearance. I spoke to Ross Nickerson from Banjoteacher.com about it who didn't really confirm or deny my concerns but reiterated how nice it looked and I would be pleased. I also wrote to Gold Tone to inquire twice. On the second email, a young lady went and took photos of the instrument an I felt sure of what to expect, although I didn't think I would be impressed. I sure was wrong. It was darker than most other beginner to intermediate banjos, with a matte appearance but it really is quite nice. It seems to have some character to it.

The features on this model for the price really make it a worthwhile investment.

The one disappointment I did have was a few minor defects in the fretboard and the tension hoop. The fretboard had a couple of spots on it that were like indentations as if something had knocked against it or been pressed up against it. The tension hoop had two small rust/corrosion spots. Both of these problems were fairly minor, however I had seen Gold Tone banjos being sold on e-bay as B-stock with similar minor flaws. Considering it was being shipped directly from Gold Tone, it makes me wonder if they were pushing their B-stock out from/for dealers with the lowest prices.

It wasn't so significant that I wanted to go through the trouble of calling to complain or send it back. Though I feel in the back of my mind like I may have either been taken or the unfortunate end user on a day when quality control was having a bad day.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

The parts overall seem like they would stand up to regular play or heavy learning. I expect it to last the rest of my life.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Banjoteacher.com had the best deal for this banjo. I got the impression from seeing and talking to Ross Nickerson that he loves the banjo and wants others to feel the same, and try's to show that through his sales and service.

This was given to me as a Christmas gift from my wife. She had ordered it with a hard case (which is why the price I stated above was more than the $479 shown on the website.) When I opened it on Christmas, it was in a regular gig bag. The gig bag was horrible. No banjo, no matter how beginner, should be put in such a bag. I contacted Ross over the week following about it. He said he was on the road but would have it taken care of and I should get the case the week after New Year's. A couple of weeks passed and I hadn't received anything. I got in touch with Ross again and he got it cleared up and I had the case within a week. I waited till the whole order was fulfilled before writing my review.

Customer Service: 7

Components

I liked the scrolling on the armrest and the planetary tuners. I especially like the easily removable resonator.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Anyone just starting out, especially those uncertain about which style they want to play, should get this model. It's versatile, sounds great and seems like a solid product.

I gave Banjoteacher.com a 7 here based upon this, my first experience. However, I think his prices, service and the items offered on the site make him worthy of repeat business and I plan to make future purchases from him.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Bizdoc (see all reviews from this person) on 10/3/2009

Where Purchased: Ross Nickerson

Year Purchased: 20096
Price Paid: 479.00 ($US)

Sound

Good Full Banjo Sound, should keep up with much higher priced banjos. Not the mellow sound of my Gibson, but then it didn't cost what a Gibson does. Still a nice Banjo Sound

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

I had rail road spikes put in and chose the Plus model because I wanted the planetary tuners. Action is very good, this banjo plays like a dream. The neck is so smooth your hand easily slides up and down without any sticking.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Nice looking, for my taste the tobacco brown is a bit too dark, but it is still very nice, and it has an understated look, which I like very much.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Appears to be very reliable, the arm rest appears to be of chrome and does not appear that it would tarnish like others I have, everything seems to be of good quality.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

BanjoTeacher was good to deal with, answered all questions and shipped timely.

Customer Service: 9

Components

all components are of good quality, should be a lifetime banjo.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I bought this banjo because I needed something lighter for everyday use. I love to play it. It is light, has good tone and is loud as you want it to be. parts are fine. The action is great and the neck is excellent. I would recommend this banjo to anyone either starting out or experienced. for the beginner it's one you'll keep. For the experienced, it's a light banjo that won't hurt your shoulder, and is a delight to play.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Bizdoc (see all reviews from this person) on 7/18/2009

Where Purchased: BanjoTeacher

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I purchased this for a light banjo for everyday use so I could take the resonator off wthout having a full flange to worry about. I got the Plus model because I wanted the planetary tuners instead of the guitar tuners. I like the weight, the neck is very smooth for excellent playability. The looks are nice in this price range as it has nice fret markers, instead of dots it has snowflakes. The banjo has a decent tone for the price range, not a cannon or exceptionally clear, but then it's $500.00.. I am disspointed in the color. I thought it would be a medium brown, but it is so dark it is almost black, if sending it back were not so much a hassle, i would have done so to get a lighter color, but again the finish is excellent for playability.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Banjo was setup fine as it came directly from Gold Tone in Fl. I needed to retune it, which is no issue.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The head is nice, planetary tuners are good, the chrome plating is good, and the arm rest is decorated with scrolling and the words "Gold Tone" which is very nice. I do not like the dark, dark color. I was expecting a dark brown that would still show the wood grain, but it is so dark that it is almost black.

Appearance Rating: 6

Reliability

Seems reliable, I will use this for my everyday use and will also use it for travel.
the Banjo appears to be reliable. I will use it for my everyday use and for travel. I don't see anything that would cause issues.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

No issues, called Ross Nickerson and we discussed what I was looking for and he recommended the CC100R Plus for my needs, which it fits nicely.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Componets all seem fine for the price. I see no issues.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo, it has what I was looking for, a light everyday banjo, the sound is acceptable, and the looks are fine. I really like the playability in the neck, it is very smooth. and the weight is what allows me to play it daily for as long as I want without shoulder strain. This would make a good banjo for a starter or intermediate/advanced who wants a light daily use/practice banjo.

This was more expensive than most advertisements due to the purchase of a few additional items: I had railroad spikes put on, which were done nicely, and I got the deluxe heavy padded carrying case.

Overall Rating: 8

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