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$5000 for a Brand New Banjo

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May 25, 2019 - 6:26:07 AM
460 posts since 8/30/2012

You have $5000.

You must use it to buy a single banjo.

The banjo must be a resonator banjo and it must be brand new.

What do you do?

May 25, 2019 - 6:46:24 AM

10466 posts since 2/12/2011

I may not be so quick to go new. Check the classifieds for new/used. Great buys with low miles. I would lean toward Gibson ESS or the Deering Tenbrooks Legacy with the Kruger ring. Hatfield top shelf models are another good choice. And you can probably stay under 5K.

Edited by - kmwaters on 05/25/2019 06:47:17

May 25, 2019 - 6:53:18 AM
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324 posts since 5/19/2018

Spend about 3,000 on an absolutely beautiful new custom banjo from any one of the 20 or 30 talented builders that are out there right now. Use the other 2,000 to make your significant other very happy.

I have to say, as much as I am a pre-war collector, and most of my instruments are vintage, we really are in the golden age of instrument building. The quality, style and build of today’s high quality small builder instruments far surpasses that of what was being made 60-100 years ago.

I would say if you have 5,000 to spend on a new instrument, and that 5,000 had to be used for a banjo only, you could have whatever you wanted built to your exact specifications to a tee. Would be quite the instrument.

May 25, 2019 - 6:54:09 AM

3776 posts since 9/21/2009

Sullivan V-35..........if I didn't already have one that is.

May 25, 2019 - 7:09:20 AM

3769 posts since 10/18/2007

Stelling --no doubt

May 25, 2019 - 7:09:54 AM
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75 posts since 11/28/2006

I just bought a Bishline Cimmaron and couldn’t be happier. For $5K you can buy two and play duets with your partner, friend, spouse, or significant other. Plus a little left over for picks, capos, straps, etc.

May 25, 2019 - 7:36:44 AM

1132 posts since 8/10/2010

Deering Tenbrooks. Jens Kruger ring.

May 25, 2019 - 9:15:29 AM
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Omeboy

USA

1971 posts since 6/27/2013

Your divorce settlement will cost at least that much.
Or you could use it to cover funeral expenses.

May 25, 2019 - 9:39:59 AM
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299 posts since 8/14/2018
Online Now

A Rickard Resophonic and a bunch of stomp boxes.

Edited by - MacCruiskeen on 05/25/2019 09:40:17

May 25, 2019 - 9:51:22 AM

1597 posts since 2/21/2011

quote:
Originally posted by MacCruiskeen

A Rickard Resophonic and a bunch of stomp boxes.


Oooh!... YES!!  Sean at Rickard Banjos emailed me yesterday and said mine was nearly complete and would be ready for shipping in a week or two.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!  <drool, drool, drool> 

May 25, 2019 - 11:18:03 AM
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Alex Z

USA

3516 posts since 12/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

You have $5000.

You must use it to buy a single banjo.

The banjo must be a resonator banjo and it must be brand new.

What do you do?


a.  MUST use it to buy  single banjo.  That eliminates buying cheaper and saving the rest advice.

b.  MUST be brand new.  That eliminates used instruments advice

So, have to look at makers that have models with a price point around $5k or can get there with some options, such as $1k for gold plating;  or can opt for new custom with some pricey parts such as a Burlile tone ring or engraving.

Among known makers with models with $5k price points would be Stelling, Deering, Prucha, Ome.   Custom makers who could make you happy are Osborne Chief, Companion, Sullivan, Hatfield.

Two players may have different situations -- one may think "I can really upgrade to the Stelling I've always wanted";  another may think "I already have a Stelling and Prucha, so I want something different.  I'll go the custom route."

Therefore, the tally of the answers to the question of "what do you do" won't be survey of what folks think is the "best" banjo for $5k, but rather a survey of latent market demand under an economic scenario.

Me?  In my situation now, I'd go the custom route -- kind of like a new toy to experiment with, that's free.  smiley

Edited by - Alex Z on 05/25/2019 11:20:28

May 25, 2019 - 11:24:27 AM
Players Union Member

blazo

USA

118 posts since 5/16/2017

quote:
...The banjo must be a resonator banjo and it must be brand new....

Buy an expensive resonator banjo and then sell it to get an early Tubaphone or Whyte Laydie.

May 25, 2019 - 11:43:26 AM
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3776 posts since 9/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z
quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

You have $5000.

You must use it to buy a single banjo.

The banjo must be a resonator banjo and it must be brand new.

What do you do?


a.  MUST use it to buy  single banjo.  That eliminates buying cheaper and saving the rest advice.

b.  MUST be brand new.  That eliminates used instruments advice

So, have to look at makers that have models with a price point around $5k or can get there with some options, such as $1k for gold plating;  or can opt for new custom with some pricey parts such as a Burlile tone ring or engraving.

Among known makers with models with $5k price points would be Stelling, Deering, Prucha, Ome.   Custom makers who could make you happy are Osborne Chief, Companion, Sullivan, Hatfield.

Two players may have different situations -- one may think "I can really upgrade to the Stelling I've always wanted";  another may think "I already have a Stelling and Prucha, so I want something different.  I'll go the custom route."

Therefore, the tally of the answers to the question of "what do you do" won't be survey of what folks think is the "best" banjo for $5k, but rather a survey of latent market demand under an economic scenario.

Me?  In my situation now, I'd go the custom route -- kind of like a new toy to experiment with, that's free.  smiley


I have a Stelling Red Fox that I had since 2000 or 2001 that is an excellent banjo, but it gets very lonely since I won a V-35 here on the hangout. Love those Sullivan banjos!

Edited by - banjoman56 on 05/25/2019 11:44:09

May 25, 2019 - 1:33:01 PM

299 posts since 8/14/2018
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Stu D Baker-Hawk
quote:
Originally posted by MacCruiskeen

A Rickard Resophonic and a bunch of stomp boxes.


Oooh!... YES!!  Sean at Rickard Banjos emailed me yesterday and said mine was nearly complete and would be ready for shipping in a week or two.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!   


Out of curiosity, how long was the wait? Someday I may actually give in.

May 25, 2019 - 2:10:03 PM
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1597 posts since 2/21/2011

quote:
Originally posted by MacCruiskeen
quote:
Originally posted by Stu D Baker-Hawk
quote:
Originally posted by MacCruiskeen

A Rickard Resophonic and a bunch of stomp boxes.


Oooh!... YES!!  Sean at Rickard Banjos emailed me yesterday and said mine was nearly complete and would be ready for shipping in a week or two.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!   


Out of curiosity, how long was the wait? Someday I may actually give in.


Oh, right around two months or so; it was pretty quick, really.  Sean and I were kicking around ideas about this project last December but unexpected plumbing repairs and subsequent renovations on my end forced me to cool my jets for a bit. 

One thing I wanted Sean to try his hand at was to inlay a brass maple leaf in the middle of the peghead.  Since this is a Canadian-made instrument, I wanted a subtile, tasteful way to announce to the admirer whence this beautiful beast hailed.  I think it turned out spectacularly...   


 

May 25, 2019 - 2:27:34 PM

Hawk54

Australia

749 posts since 2/9/2007

Buy a new Osborne chief ,you won't find anything better. Plus the added bonus of it being designed and signed by sonny Osborne, one of the last banjo playing legends.as well as being made by the famous Frank neat. Or ,if you want something different sounding ,buy a new stelling ,have it upgraded with engraving .

May 25, 2019 - 3:11:52 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

21938 posts since 6/25/2005

Huber Lancaster Truetone — Just under the wire at $4950.

May 25, 2019 - 4:39:38 PM

11888 posts since 10/30/2008

You said MUST buy...

If I couldn't save the money to buy something more expensive that I would like better (a new Huber Granada Truetone or a Deering Tenbrooks or Tony Trischka in GOLD) I would buy a Huber Truetone, if I could have my choice of a dozen different ones to pick from.

May 25, 2019 - 5:00:49 PM

8533 posts since 2/22/2007

Kunkel Dark Hollow, the lightweight wonder!

May 25, 2019 - 8:41:54 PM

105 posts since 11/21/2015

I just picked up this nice Osborne chief today... I will not mention his name but he used to be franks neighbor until he moved to Minnesota. the last banjo I will ever buy.... hearts and flowers with curley maple... I will have
frank make me a custom one. just need to get on his waiting list... thanks sonny and frank for the awesome banjo... the power of this banjo is unbelievable... makes both of my rb 250's put to shame which I will be selling...


Garyhttps://banjohangout.org/forum/...eID=249770" target="_blank">banjohangout.org/forum/attachm...ID=249770banjohangout.org/forum/attachm...ID=249772banjohangout.org/forum/attachm...ID=249773






May 26, 2019 - 4:16:56 AM
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160 posts since 6/25/2016

I'd let Arthur Hatfield build one to my exact specs and have some left over for a nice strap and such.

May 26, 2019 - 12:49:51 PM
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2262 posts since 4/16/2003

Huber Truetone
Sullivan V35
Osborne Chief (if Sonny still sells them)
Stelling (if you like the sound, BE SURE about that before you buy)
Yates
Nechville (if you like them)
Bishline

May 26, 2019 - 2:30:50 PM
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1285 posts since 3/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by J.Albert

Huber Truetone
Sullivan V35
Osborne Chief (if Sonny still sells them)
Stelling (if you like the sound, BE SURE about that before you buy)
Yates
Nechville (if you like them)
Bishline


All good choices, John.

And I would add:

- Hatfield

- a good PreWar conversion (2 piece flange)

May 26, 2019 - 3:16:21 PM

1653 posts since 9/10/2003

If  I was buying a new banjo, any walnut nickel plated Stelling banjo for sure !  I just picked up a used 11 month old Staghorn last month for 4900 bucks. The banjo is virtually brand new out of the box. I don't buy new banjos anymore, there's to many good used deals out there on the market.

Brian

Edited by - LouZee Picker on 05/26/2019 15:24:56

May 27, 2019 - 10:01:20 AM
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Players Union Member

kwl

USA

519 posts since 3/5/2009

Ken LeVan builds some beautiful banjos both visually and aurally. I'd give him a call and see what he could do for me with $5,000.

May 27, 2019 - 10:51:20 AM
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Mooooo

USA

6837 posts since 8/20/2016

I would go around and play as many $5,000 (and under) banjos as I could and pick the one that feels and sounds the best, with the best hardware and extras that I care about...and then I would be a happy picker for the rest of my life. There is no way I could order one online without having test driven it. I don't have a dream banjo in mind so I would do a lot of driving and searching.

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