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Jul 11, 2020 - 1:27:30 PM



99 posts since 10/30/2019

It seems many banjo players find a make that really suits them, for example the Gibson Earl Scruggs Standard Mastertone, which one of my friends always speaks very highly of.

The dealer I bought most of my banjos from doesn't seem to have a particular brand but he highly prefers early 1900's tenor banjos.

A guy I met at a guitar store once said he almost exclusively plays Rickard banjos for their comfortable neck shape and warm tone.

Personally I prefer 5-String Long Neck banjos over any other variant, and prefers Vega and Vega-Deering long necks over any other brand.

What's your favourite?

Jul 11, 2020 - 2:03:50 PM



21753 posts since 7/6/2005

My favorite commercial brand at present is Recording King.
My favorite custom banjo is Harry Lane
My favorite otherwise is my California Fender Artist

Jul 11, 2020 - 2:24:46 PM



50785 posts since 10/5/2013

I’ve got an old Gibson TB-1 conversion, a 1978 ODE Style C, and a recent Recording King 77 Elite. I love’em all, but the Gibby has the nicest tone. I’ve tried a Chief, an early ‘90’s Granada, and a Bishline, Nechville, Stelling, and some Gold Stars - all very good banjos. The Stelling was impressive.

Jul 11, 2020 - 2:58:51 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


23785 posts since 6/25/2005

Pre-WWII Clifford Essexes

Current Makers--Ome

Jul 11, 2020 - 3:08:48 PM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


24613 posts since 8/3/2003

Well, it's fairly easy to see by my avatar what banjo I prefer: Stelling, of course.

Jul 11, 2020 - 3:23:43 PM
Players Union Member



1081 posts since 1/15/2009

Current Makers -- Turtle Hill (open back)
Vintage -- Vega Whyte-Laydie and Tubaphone (I play both equally)

Jul 11, 2020 - 3:25:16 PM
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60 posts since 3/3/2014

Nechville takes it from me!

Jul 11, 2020 - 3:29:23 PM
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Eric A


701 posts since 10/15/2019
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I've been on a bit of an open back buying binge lately, in an effort to find out if I have a favorite. No conclusion yet, but I have to say my 1966 Gibson RB-170 keeps performing above expectations in head to head battles.

Jul 11, 2020 - 4:14:04 PM
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2105 posts since 10/17/2013

Gibson, Gold Star, and Deering.

Jul 11, 2020 - 5:45:02 PM



2121 posts since 12/16/2007

Bacon Professional

Jul 11, 2020 - 6:16:04 PM



6 posts since 10/24/2019

Midnight Special by Hugh Hunter. Hugh used to assemble Banjos for Rickard so I think he knows what he's doing. :o)

Jul 11, 2020 - 6:48:32 PM

13102 posts since 10/30/2008

Gibson. Then the old Fairbanks and the earliest Fairbanks by Vega.

Of CURRENT banjos Huber is my favorite.

Jul 11, 2020 - 6:57:18 PM

343 posts since 5/29/2015

Harmony Reso-tone

Jul 11, 2020 - 9:11:22 PM

3182 posts since 5/29/2011

Stony Mountain. Of course, I say that with prejudice.

Jul 12, 2020 - 5:15:13 AM



652 posts since 9/20/2011

In my experience, Stelling make the most consistently great instrument. Played some fantastic Gibsons, and some shockers too. The modern RKs are incredible for the price. 

Jul 12, 2020 - 6:53:31 AM

3889 posts since 9/21/2009

My favorite that's being made currently is Sullivan's. I love a good Gibson conversion though and hope to own one someday.

Jul 12, 2020 - 7:35:26 AM



5813 posts since 6/5/2011
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Between my Morgan Monroe and my GoldTone, I'd have to pick the GT as my favorite brand.  cheeky

[Edit: A while back a guy was trying to show me some relatively simple roll.  Although he's 35+ years ahead of me on experience and light years ahead on talent, I nevertheless asked: "How come when I do it, it doesn't sound anything like when you do it?"  He replied by pointing to the "Deering" logo on his nearby case.]

Edited by - Owen on 07/12/2020 07:49:25

Jul 12, 2020 - 7:35:54 AM

1945 posts since 2/10/2013

There are brands I would like to have the opportunity to play. Hatfield and Prucha for existence. My favorite banjo brand is the Stelling. I just know what sounds I prefer, and would not recognize some of the "classic" sounds players seek in a banjo.

Jul 12, 2020 - 7:46:50 AM
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21 posts since 1/27/2015

I have a Gold Tone WL 250 and A Gold Tone BG250f. I think Gold Tone makes great banjoes in a price range I can handle.

Jul 12, 2020 - 8:17:36 AM
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44 posts since 4/3/2015

I like archtops love playing my bishline archtop and my gibson archtop

Jul 12, 2020 - 10:09:49 AM
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755 posts since 10/28/2003


Jul 12, 2020 - 4:09:39 PM
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72478 posts since 5/9/2007

Each time I upgraded that was my fave.
I was perfectly satisfied with my StewMac Vintage kit (main banjo for 13 years) ,but when the shop forman of my local Woodsounds Studio told me the owner had a Gibson tenor that would make a great conversion and he was in a "selling mood".I offered him a few hundred bucks and he said "Yes".
A complete,low-miles '29 tb-2.

8 weeks after I took it to Jimmy Cox he called and said,"Your banjer's done."

As soon as I played Grandfather's Clock on it in his shop I knew my banjo hunting days were behind me.
Jim said,"It sounds real good today,but it will gain over time as everything settles in."
Boy,was he ever right.


Edited by - steve davis on 07/12/2020 16:14:18

Jul 13, 2020 - 5:58:33 AM
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5049 posts since 9/5/2006

i like nechvilles alot and old smelly gibsons the most

Jul 13, 2020 - 8:07:40 AM

1643 posts since 2/12/2009

old vegas, vintage vegas and, pre war vegas !!!

Jul 13, 2020 - 8:15:06 AM
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5384 posts since 12/20/2005
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I couldn't pick just one. There are so many great ones.

Jul 13, 2020 - 9:34:35 AM



339 posts since 3/26/2004

i love my gibson 27 conversion all original except a coordinator rod and a neck rim uncut it is a time machine for me, but i do have an earl standard that is a barn burner . I had a rk 35 which was a fantastic banjo

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