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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!

6979 reviews in the archive.

Prust: Tackhead with rounded peghead

Submitted by teddy111 on 7/21/2007

Where Purchased: Eric Prust

Year Purchased: 07/2007
Price Paid: 200 ($US)

Sound

I play Old Time Music, clawhammer, frailing styles... It's my first experience with a fretless nylon strings banjo!
This banjo is not loud but it's enough to practice at home or for vocals backing!

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

I just replace the original nylon strings with Aguila Minstrel Nylgut strings! The banjo was not easy to tune, the pegs were hard to turn in the pegholes, but with the help of a violin pegs mixture it's OK now!

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

It's a simple primitive banjo, but It's well made and don't forget it's price... it's difficult to do better for such an inexpensive instrument!
Eric do a real fine job!

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

It's not a "gig" banjo for me, I use it only at home and it's a real pleasure to play it... this banjo is never too far from me!

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Eric Prust and his wife Donna are very friendly persons! I don't mind about a warranty for such a price!

Customer Service: 10

Components

It's OK out of the box!

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I recommend this $ 200 banjo because it's very playable, it's a fine instrument for a "fretless" beginner and for an experienced too!
I surely buy a second one (more expensive) with ogee neck, brackets and the Minstrel peghead in the Sweeney style made like my first one by Eric Prust!

Overall Rating: 10

Gold Tone: CB-100

Submitted by teddy111 on 5/23/2007

Where Purchased: Banjostore (Spain)

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: Euro (540) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I play almost down picking, drop-thumb, clawhammer)... loud enough to suit my needs, It sounds rich and full !

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

100 % OK ! Thank you the guys of Gold Tone, Florida !

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It's a simple 18 brackets open-back banjo... the peg-head is as simple as can be... only the Gold Tone logo on it... the planetary pegs are standards on this model !
It's a all maple banjo with a rosewood fingerboard... scalloped neck after the 17th fret for easily playing above it !
I like the ''shooting star'' inlay on the fingerboard... !

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It seems "solid"... compare to the banjos that I've played in the past... they were very cheap ones... but as I've played an old bakelite pot Harmony for more than 20 years and sold it in mint condition to a friend... this Gold Tone will surely resist a long long time !

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The seller in Spain (Website) seems to be the ''official'' distributor of Weissenborn & Gold Tone in Europe... friendly contact via e-mails with him !
Warranty is the same applied to all Gold Tone products !

Customer Service: 9

Components

The pegs are maybe cheap (?) but they hold the tuning right... !
The only upgrade I'll make is the tone ring... switching to a White Laydie one... but there is no urge !

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I recommend it... and not only as a beginner's banjo... every player who couldn't or wouldn't invest in an expensive banjo will find a good "frailer" in this one ! If this banjo was stolen, I'll be disappointed of course... but I surely buy another one !
Compare to the Harmony... impossible ! It's "night & day"... as I'm a guitar player too, I like the broader neck of the Gold Tone !

Overall Rating: 9

Musicmakers: Cumberland walnut

Submitted by teddy111 on 5/23/2007

Where Purchased: Musicmakers kits

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

Sound

I wanted an Old Time Mountain banjo... this one is just fine !
It sounds not too loud, but it's the one I use for backing my singing !

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Nothing special... It's was OK !

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful walnut finish, It's a Mountain banjo and so it's a simple conception... !

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Solid as a rock !

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

The guy at Musicmakers had only one in his store at the moment of my order... and make me a 95 $ reduction... ! not shop soiled ! 100 % mint !

Customer Service: 10

Components

This banjo is a "two in one"... I can remove the first part of the fingerboard from the nut to the 5th fret and replace it with a fretless part... only the tuning pegs (guitar) seems cheap... but it stays in tune... I'll maybe change them in the future for planetary pegs !
10/10 for the fingerboard option... 6/10 for the tuning pegs...

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

If you want a good old mountain banjo... it's the one for you, not too expensive, with the option to play it fretted or fretless !

Overall Rating: 9

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