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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!

7120 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone: Cripple Creek 100 OB

Submitted by Big Dan on 12/15/2008

Where Purchased: Angies Banjo

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: $1,300 (NZ) historic exchange rates / currency converter


The important thing to note with this banjo is that it's a beginner's instrument. And, for a beginner banjo, it's got a pretty good sound. I've added a thicker hoop and played around with different heads and it sounds okay.

What a beginner needs is here: good neck, decent quality and playability.

Sound Rating: 7


The action is set nice and low and on the whole, the set up is okay. There's nothing that really needs an expert eye to make it playable, it's good to go.

That said, it's not perfect. The coordinator rods are not perfectly parallel and someone screwed the tuning pegs in with a drill, thereby twisting the heads off a few of the screws. A bit shabby.

Setup Rating: 6


If you’re buying a banjo purely for looks, you’re in the wrong price bracket. Nonetheless, it still looks attractive. The flame on the peg head is a nice touch. The rosewood fingerboard is a lovely piece of wood, nice and dark with a very close grain- much nicer than I've seen on some Asian assembled instruments.

Appearance Rating: 7


Once again, bear in mind this is a beginners instrument. The quality of hardware is fair for the price. I replaced the tuners after a few years, because one of them seized up. The screw holding the armrest on and the little bit of metal it screws into had to be replaced and Gold Tone sent me new bits, no hassle.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Service from the Gold Tone company has been good and they’ve answered most of my questions.

Customer Service: 7


The neck is probably this banjo's best feature. I've played a lot of instruments and this neck is excellent- a real pleasure to play. The varnish on the neck can be a bit tacky, but it doesn't impede playing.

Of all the beginner banjos out there, this one gives you more features and it benefits from being built by a company that makes professional level instruments.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

From what I've seen from other banjos in this price bracket, this is a good buy.

Overall Rating: 7

Angie's Banjo

Submitted by Big Dan on 9/18/2008

Overall Comments

Angie's Banjo is what good service is all about. I ordered a banjo from New Zealand and Angie was very helpful, providing clear information about the costs involved and was very patient throughout. The order was placed quickly, and it arrived less than ten days later.

After the instrument arrived, I had a question regarding set-up. But even though her house had been damaged by Hurricane Ike, she'd arranged for someone at the manufacturer to help me, so that I could be taken care of. THAT is good service. You're in good hands with Angie's Banjo

Overall Rating: 10

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