Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Ready to upgrade, need advice.

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Sep 14, 2019 - 8:43:08 PM
12 posts since 4/5/2018

Hello banjo lovers! I believe pickin my old banjo has kept me out of trouble. Quenched my constant thirst, so far. I play a early 70s iida, 30 bracket aluminum pot. It is a resonated, originally. I personally like open back so for the last 7/8 years that uncomfortable metallic sounding pot has been sitting in my lap. I want a good quality wood pot that's light weight,open back. I'm not a "traditional" banjo picker, I dig the Beatles, blues is my passion. If that helps. Would someone tell me what banjo they love?

Sep 14, 2019 - 9:32:49 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


22312 posts since 6/25/2005

My favorite lightweight, wood banjos are those made by Chuck Waldman.

They are available from Gryphon and Elderly. Gryphon seems to always have one or more. No metal tone hoop or ring at all. 

Sep 14, 2019 - 9:54:42 PM
Players Union Member



30 posts since 12/19/2010

Check out
Bruce Kunkel’s patented design has a wood tone ring with resonator weighing in at an amazing 5 pounds. I have the Artist model and it is my go to banjo.

Sep 15, 2019 - 5:40:27 AM

362 posts since 8/14/2018

You don’t say what kind of budget you have, but I think something along the lines of a Pisgah Possum, Reiter Buckbee, or Enoch Tradesman would fill the bill.

Edited by - MacCruiskeen on 09/15/2019 05:41:04

Sep 15, 2019 - 6:04:41 AM
Players Union Member



447 posts since 4/17/2019

If you like the neck, I do rim changeouts for $275, choice of Maple, Cherry, Walnut or Mahogany. Vintage and premium woods for a little more. You get to choose a "voice" anywhere in between bass and treble. Get a wood spoon and start rapping things around the house.
I agree Aluminum, steel, carbon fiber and plastic never vintage or sound better.

I make an intermediate entry level BAmboo banjo that weighs 5 lbs. with the tone ring, Starts at $777 + case and shipping = $877
With an upgrade in Hardware, you get made in USA.

I'm going to comment on woodies. I rarely see them in concert. They are indeed lighter than some. If using a PA, then limitations are less.
Specify Jatoba or Ipe, 125 ft canopy trees that are sustainable. The Grenadillo is exotic and still gets cut down and imported.
Note the Amazon was on fire, that's not likely to change.

Some of those mentioned start about $1200, There are reviews here on the hangout of those banjos and mine.
I play bluegrass to blues, I also build longnecks for the extra range, and A scale for howitzers.  Able to leap tall people in a single bound. Time for Worship
Happy hunting.


Edited by - Helix1 on 09/15/2019 06:08:21

Sep 15, 2019 - 11:01:59 AM

12 posts since 4/5/2018

Thank you all, I now have a clear direction. I don't play concerts so not worried about that aspect. I repair a lot of stringed instruments in my area so naturally, I do my own work. Once again, thank you all. I will do research on every bit of the info. I've been given.

Sep 16, 2019 - 7:08:14 PM
Players Union Member



365 posts since 9/10/2014

Deering Goodtime or John Hartford model.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories