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Beginner Banjo Options Need Advice

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Apr 6, 2020 - 8:00:56 PM
2 posts since 4/6/2020

Hello I am a guitar player looking to pick up the banjo during this extended time at home! I have been looking around, and these options seem to be the most promising. Appreciate any advice!! Thanks :)

1) Conqueror Banjo : $320 (photo attached below)
Seller description: 1960s - 1970s Conqueror Banjo. Maple tone ring, arm rest and resonator. Very nice quality, low action, warm sound, resonator comes off with few screws and can play it as an open back for a different sound. great condition for its age.. sounds great and looks great. New strings on it, new grover bridge and comes in a decent fur lined hard case.

2) Gold Tone CC-50RP : $400
- Basically brand new condition. Seller only played for a total of one hour. No hard case.

3) Savannah SB-100 : $300 + tax
-Brand new from local music store. No hard case.


Apr 6, 2020 - 8:36:10 PM
like this

136 posts since 4/1/2016

The Conqueror and Savannah have guitar tuners typical of low end; Gold Tone has planetary tuners. Looks like the Conqueror has a friction fifth string tuner, the others are geared. I’d say go for the Gold Tone.

Apr 6, 2020 - 8:44:32 PM

2 posts since 4/6/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Bob in CT

The Conqueror and Savannah have guitar tuners typical of low end; Gold Tone has planetary tuners. Looks like the Conqueror has a friction fifth string tuner, the others are geared. I’d say go for the Gold Tone.


Thanks for the advice! Does $400 seem fair to you for the Gold tone? @Bob-in-CT

Edited by - Agent253 on 04/06/2020 20:46:36

Apr 6, 2020 - 8:51:48 PM

2118 posts since 5/2/2012

Hard to tell without more pictures, but I'm guessing the Conquerer is overpriced. If you do a search here on the HO (look for the little magnifying glass on the left side of this page and enter your search term) you will find a few old threads on this brand name. There are a couple (one 5 string, one 4 string) on ebay with asking prices of $300. If you go to the "learn" tab on the left side of the page and go to reviews, you will find review(s) of the GT and the Savannah banjos. The Savannah can be found cheaper online. I'm a Gold Tone fan, so that CC-50RP (personally) would be my first choice. It has a rolled brass "tone ring" and planetary tuners, both desireable features. Street price new seems to be about $540, so $400 for a used one, especially if it truly has only been played for an hour, isn't a bad price, but you might do some negotiating.

Apr 6, 2020 - 8:59:25 PM

349 posts since 7/28/2016
Online Now

I don't know if I would base the quality of a banjo on it's tuning pegs alone. Take a look at the Deering Goodtime banjos that so many people seem to love on the BHO. They have guitar tuners. I have a Gibson and a Bacon & Day with friction 5th string tuners that work fine. In fact I kinda like them better than those barrel geared 5th string tuners.

My opinion....I have a friend that has a Savannah and it's a piece of junk.
Conqueror seems to be Japanese made and they seem to be better made than comparable priced Chinese. I had a 70's Japanese that I wish I never sold.
Gold Tone is probably the most expensive. If you have the bucks maybe go for it. You might have a better chance of finding one in a shop that you can try.

Apr 8, 2020 - 6:34:11 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

12561 posts since 8/30/2006

Welcome to the hangout 

You already gave the right answer, you like the sound of the Conqueror. And it’s convertible

Yes it needs newer tuners later, that’s easy to drill out. It has a bound peghead
Install a new geared 5th tuner
And learn on this Banjo

I do rim changeouts. Confer with me later if you like for $275

Otherwise. Choose wisely = Conqueror


 

Edited by - Helix on 04/08/2020 18:37:40

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