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Aug 9, 2017 - 12:28:54 PM
3731 posts
Joined Sep 9, 2010

I feel like many of the major banjo retailers have closed. If you are looking for a quality (5k range banjo), where would you look?
(Retail locations, not the classifieds, though those are fine too)
Aug 9, 2017 - 12:37:16 PM

2799 posts
Joined Sep 4, 2010

I would say that it depends if you are looking for new or a vintage instrument.  Elderly seems to have both.  Some specialize in vintage banjos like Carter Vintage, Lowe Vintage, and Gruhns. Geoff Hohwald has many banjos for sale right now, both new and used. If its a new banjo, you can always look at the brand's website to see what dealers are listed.  Don't forget all of the great banjos here in the classifieds too.

What are you looking for, Jen? 

PS.  It's good to see you posting and getting back into playing!

Edited by - gospelman97 on 08/09/2017 12:38:08

Aug 9, 2017 - 1:15:33 PM
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gtani7 Players Union Member

USA

190 posts
Joined Mar 22, 2017
Online Now

Elderly, Gruhn's, Carter's and other places in Nashville, Fiddler Green, Grpyhon and Sylvan in Bay Area, Dusty strings in Seattle.  Greg Boyd, Bradford/Franzke, Bernunzio in Rochester, Music Emporium in Boston area, Morgan Music (Missouri)

Edited by - gtani7 on 08/09/2017 13:19:40

Aug 9, 2017 - 2:08:28 PM

gtani7 Players Union Member

USA

190 posts
Joined Mar 22, 2017
Online Now

Also: Retrofret Brooklyn, Tejon St. Colorado, Mass St Kansas.

older threads (search for your location: http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/332210

Aug 9, 2017 - 4:51:11 PM
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jhko

USA

768 posts
Joined Oct 31, 2014

Lowes Vintage in Burlington, NC. And don't forget Jim Mills for pre-war Gibsons (Raleigh/Durham area, NC)

Aug 9, 2017 - 5:29 PM

8387 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

Jake's Main Street in Beacon, NY, will have a few.  Appalalachian Bluegrass in Catonsville, Maryland, will have mainly imports.

House of Musical Traditions occasionally has a new Deering Sierra or Eagle II. Or new RK or Gold Tones of varying levels. And Goodtimes. Their used inventory is mostly consignment, so it's hit or miss.

Turtle Hill Banjo Co. in southern Maryland is open by appointment only, but Dave always has plenty of interesting things.

Aug 9, 2017 - 5:37:39 PM

rbfour5 Players Union Member

USA

655 posts
Joined Nov 9, 2010

Check out Huber Banjos

Aug 9, 2017 - 6:56:31 PM

3731 posts
Joined Sep 9, 2010

Thanks! The places I used to look mostly seem out. The next banjo I will get at some point (which probably means this year), is another Ome.

When I went to the Ome website looking for dealers, they were few and those had typically one lower end Ome. I would contact them directly at this point.

The other stuff is typical used banjos (Stelling, Neat, Gibson, nothing specific really). I also looked at mandolins. I don't even know where I would go to buy an F5G like I got a few years back.

Are fewer people playing bluegrass these days and buying instruments or are the people who own the stores retiring at this point?
Aug 10, 2017 - 7:30:54 AM

322 posts
Joined May 15, 2004

At The Folk Store in Chattanooga TN. They are a stocking dealer for Stelling, Nechville and Sullivan banjos. Also gold star etc. Friendly bunch.
Aug 10, 2017 - 8:47:41 AM
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3568 posts
Joined Jun 15, 2005

Small, independent banjo makers like Jimmy Cox, Arthur Hatfield, Paul Hopkins, to name a few, all have shops that welcome visitors by appointment.  

Aug 10, 2017 - 10:58:30 AM

Tommy5

USA

2635 posts
Joined Feb 22, 2009

Down Home Guitars in Frankfort Illinois had a large assortment of high end banjos, great staff, look them up on the internet or give them a call.

Aug 10, 2017 - 12:22:14 PM

8387 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by JMalmsteen

The next banjo I will get at some point (which probably means this year), is another Ome.

I played a couple of new Omes at Matt Umanov in Greenwich Village sometime in the last three years.  Wouldn't expect those to still be in stock, of course. But it's a brand they were carrying.  They were tone ring and resonator banjos. But didn't look like the top of the line. 

Aug 10, 2017 - 7:18:16 PM

529 posts
Joined Dec 8, 2014

Bedford Banjo Shop in Bedford, PA, has a website showing banjos in stock.  Dave L.

https://www.bedfordbanjoshop.com/inventory.html

Aug 10, 2017 - 7:27:18 PM

chuckv97 Players Union Member

Canada

28169 posts
Joined Oct 5, 2013

Intermountain Guitar and Banjo, Salt Lake City has older banjos and guitars. I bought my '78 Style C ODE there.

Aug 10, 2017 - 7:55:12 PM

12919 posts
Joined Dec 2, 2005
Online Now

Some great suggestions so far. Should probably add Turtle Hill in Maryland.

Aug 10, 2017 - 8:11:52 PM

rudy Players Union Member

USA

11237 posts
Joined Mar 27, 2004
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by JMalmsteen

Thanks! The places I used to look mostly seem out. The next banjo I will get at some point (which probably means this year), is another Ome.

When I went to the Ome website looking for dealers, they were few and those had typically one lower end Ome. I would contact them directly at this point.

The other stuff is typical used banjos (Stelling, Neat, Gibson, nothing specific really). I also looked at mandolins. I don't even know where I would go to buy an F5G like I got a few years back.

Are fewer people playing bluegrass these days and buying instruments or are the people who own the stores retiring at this point?

Was in Elderly week before last and they had three pre-owned OME resonator fives.

https://www.elderly.com/instruments/banjos/resonator-back-banjos-5-string?manufacturer=234

Aug 10, 2017 - 8:56:25 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

20633 posts
Joined Jun 25, 2005

Gryphon usually has a few Omes in stock.  Right now, 3--one used; 2 new.  Not low end.  Most of the really high-end Omes are made-to-order.  Ome just doesn't have a big stock of instruments.  Even dealers have to wait months for new ones.  My Mira took a year, and it was essentially a standard production model.

Aug 11, 2017 - 5:27:19 AM

pickn5 Players Union Member

USA

1070 posts
Joined Aug 8, 2012

Al Worthen at Mountain Music in Old Forge, NY has his inventory on his website. He won't ship instruments so you would have to take a trip to the Adirondacks.

http://www.banjoshop.com

Aug 11, 2017 - 8:24:52 AM

ekvin

USA

10 posts
Joined Mar 22, 2017

It's worth mentioning Vintage Instruments in Philly.

http://www.vintage-instruments.com/navigate/catidx1.htm

Aug 11, 2017 - 9:03:40 AM

346 posts
Joined Oct 16, 2014

quote:
Originally posted by Countryrelaxin

At The Folk Store in Chattanooga TN. They are a stocking dealer for Stelling, Nechville and Sullivan banjos. Also gold star etc. Friendly bunch.

I had a chance to go there several months ago. Very nice folks and a lot of every kind of bluegrass instrument. Better selection than any store I'm aware of in Atlanta, except for Geoff Hohwald with respect to banjos.

Aug 11, 2017 - 9:47:27 AM

Doconc

USA

848 posts
Joined Feb 4, 2013

The Denver Folklore Center https://www.denverfolklore.com/ generally has a good selection of banjos and usually has several Ome's

Aug 11, 2017 - 1:28:41 PM

1352 posts
Joined Apr 10, 2005

Is the OP focus bluegrass resonator banjos? Clawhammer openbacks? Both? It seems to be the first one, but just confirming. . . .


[[[Are fewer people playing bluegrass these days and buying instruments or are the people who own the stores retiring at this point?]]]

If you are talking bg resonator banjos, the answer is both. But fewer people are buying new BG resonator banjos. There was or still is an article about clawhammer on the site of Gryphon on the West Coast. They usually stock some very nice Huber BG banjos. But the write-up noted the trade they are seeing for some years now is in clawhammer OBs, and had very interesting ideas as to why.

There is also this---It's a different economic landscape since the 2008 crash, in ways that haven't perhaps been properly appreciated. Very few people who ARE yearning for a quality BG banjo currently have $4500-$5500 to buy a premium model. They are going to buy Recording King and get a professional-quality banjo at least as good as the reissue Gibsons for a fraction of the price of a new high-end banjo. Or, they are going to buy from one of the wonderful high-quality luthiers who manage to offer more affordable prices by doing direct ordering and sales.

And yes, some high-end banjo dealers are "retiring," i.e., closing up shop due to the internet and low turnover owing to the factors I cited above.

Edited by - ceemonster on 08/11/2017 13:32:28

Aug 11, 2017 - 1:35:50 PM

1352 posts
Joined Apr 10, 2005

Has anybody name-checked Morgan Music in Lebanon, TN? They usually have some very nice BG banjos and are a Yates dealer. There is also Greg Boyd Fine Instruments in the Rockies. He too gets some nice BG banjos and specializes in Williams, Prucha, and Gibsons/conversions. Twelfth Fret in Canada has nice stuff on their site, but I always wonder how up-to-date their online listings are since the arrival dates they have posted for some banjos on their site are years old.

Acousticmusicworks stocks nice OBs, not sure about resonator. Same with Sprucetreemusic, very nice OBs including Ome. Massstreetmusic in KN sometimes has some nice stuff including drool-worthy, expensive Ome OBs that they do videos of you can view on the 'tube.    You can also check the listings of Sylvan in Santa Cruz, CA, and Dusty Strings in Seattle, they stock Ome, but I think it is OBs.   Guitarrodeo.com sometimes has very nice banjos.

 

I have been drooling for two years or so over the most gorgeous fancy-walnut Stelling (a Master Flower) I have ever seen, listed on the Down Home Guitars site.  Which kind of illustrates my earlier point about dealers struggling to move high-end banjos.  The truth is if I were in a position to buy a Master Flower their price plus is so much higher than the Elderly price with free shipping, it would actually be irresponsible to buy that one.   And in the time that particular banjo has sat on that site,  Elderly has probably moved a good 4 or so Master Flowers through their inventory.    But I still wish that banjo was mine.

Edited by - ceemonster on 08/11/2017 13:50:30

Aug 11, 2017 - 3:14:35 PM

1352 posts
Joined Apr 10, 2005

My error: Morgan Music is Lebanon, Missouri. They deal in a number of high-end BG banjo lines including Yates, DP Hopkines, Stelling, and more.

Aug 11, 2017 - 7:03:50 PM

4062 posts
Joined Sep 5, 2006

don't forget about robin smith in hendersonville tn..    or yates in hickory nc...    or don bryant in thurmond nc,,,,   all of these make killer banjos !!!

 

 

terry m

Aug 12, 2017 - 8:50:38 AM

1691 posts
Joined Nov 15, 2003
Online Now

I'm curious, what is a five thousand dollar range banjo, and does it sound twice as good as a 2500$ banjo and more than 3 times as good as a 1500$ banjo?
Warp!

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