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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  CC 100+ Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Paul Bock (see all reviews from this person) on 11/18/2017

Where Purchased: Factory direct

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Excellent tone quality and volume for a banjo of this price! With steel strings, it sounds amazingly loud and solid whether using picks or frailing. With nylon strings it is more subdued but part of that can be adjusted by optimizing the bridge (which I haven't done yet) for bare-finger, nylon-string playing.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The setup was perfect for steel strings as received from the factory. I have changed the tailpiece to a Kerschner, which is what I prefer with the nylon strings I'm now using, and I need to tinker with the bridge a bit, but no complaints on the factory setup at all!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is a very attractive low-end banjo, especially because of the use of diamonds (aka "snowflakes") for position markers instead of just dots. The finish is excellent, and although purchased as having a "factory cosmetic defect" (which is why the price was reduced) I'm darned if I can find the defect. The one thing I don't like is the gaudy engraving on the armrest, which is why I'm giving it a "9"; I'll be replacing it with a plain, non-engraved armrest soon.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware is all chrome-plated and looks very serviceable, and I see no reason why it wouldn't hold up for the long term, especially since I'm only a "casual" player.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I have dealt with this company before. Several years ago I needed a rim re-turned to achieve a proper tone ring fit on another banjo (not one of theirs) and they graciously consented to do the work. The job was excellent and they were very easy to deal with. In buying this new banjo from the factory the deal was fantastic (due to the supposed "defect" which I still haven't found) and the salesman was super. This banjo has the Gold Tone standard factory warranty. What's not to like?

Customer Service: 10

Components

I'm VERY impressed with the overall construction (two rimrods!) and especially note that the tuners are excellent quality. The tension hoop and brackets are a small step down (not as heavy) from the more standard "notched" style, but they certainly seem sturdy enough. Except for the gaudy engraving (which I don't care for) the armrest is solid, and the factory tailpiece is very nice, excellent for steel strings although not so good for nylon strings because it has some minor sharp edges that will cut the nylon). All in all, very competent design and execution.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This has got to be a "best buy" in a low-end openback banjo!  If you ever see a Gold Tone "factory-new cosmetic defect" advertised in the BHO classifieds I encourage that you seriously consider it because you'll get a good banjo from a company that takes pride in its products, AND you benefit from a substantial savings!  Why pay more?

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by dajand8 (see all reviews from this person) on 2/23/2012

Where Purchased: banjo hangout classifieds

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 350 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Very nice... Bright yet full sounding, can be played loud. Switched 5/8th bridge marked MH? to a Huber 11/16. Made tone even fuller.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Very nicely set up, but a bit low for my taste so I switched to an 11/16th Huber bridge and it unexpectedly made a huge difference. Much easier for me to play and play hard and loud if desired, without much worry over string buzzes.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful banjo... Not too fancy, and not too simple. Though it is made of high grade maple, wood is stained a semi-gloss walnut type finish. Snowflake inlays in fretboard. Veneered rim and headstock. Tuners are excellent planetaries, tension hoop and hooks seem acceptable for now.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Would definately use for a gig without a backup. It is well built and set up.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

No knowledge of the warranty, but the owner of Gold Tone is a hell of a guy that personally answers your questions. He is the perfect guy to own a banjo company. I hear him or his wife play every banjo they sell.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Tuners are great. Frets are great. Neck is great. I may upgrade the tension hoop and hooks. I don't think it will ever be necessary, but they could be upgraded to your typical grooved or notched type tension hoop, and regular stew mac or elderly hooks.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

This banjo had already been upgraded with a professionally scooped fretboard and a Renaissance head. I got an amazing deal at 350 including shipping and a Canadian made hardshell case. I truly believe the best banjos out there for someone without a grand to spend are used Gold Tones. This model in particular. It uses good components, High quality maple, 3 ply rim, etc. Great for clawhammer if set up properly.

Overall Rating: 10

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