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Crafters of Tennessee/Mark Taylor/R&T banjos

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Aug 12, 2020 - 2:39:46 PM
26 posts since 6/6/2015

In 2011/2012, "Gary" had a number of issues in trying to have work done by Mark Taylor of, "Crafter's of Tennessee". The thread closed without a resolution that I could find. Did anyone ever find out if Mark Taylor honored his long delayed promise? What is Mark Taylor's status now? I have seen some used, "Crafter's of Tennessee" banjos for sale, and everyone that had one thought highly of them. I have never seen one of the, "R&T", (Rich and Taylor) banjos anywhere. Does anyone on the Hangout own one? What is the consensus on the quality/sound of the, "R&T" banjos? I know that Greg Rich seems to be highly thought of with some of his prior employment, how about now?

Aug 12, 2020 - 4:06:46 PM


New Zealand

10982 posts since 6/29/2003

On a DVD of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, banjo picker Brad Campbell played an R&T. I did contact him a few years ago about something on here. I have done a quick search for him but have come up zilch

Aug 12, 2020 - 7:03:04 PM

43 posts since 2/7/2020

I've never played one but I really like the way Ron Block's sounds:

Aug 12, 2020 - 7:04:57 PM



210 posts since 2/4/2011

I had a 2004 Crafters of Tennessee (COT) maple banjo and really liked it. It was essentially a Mastertone with a Tenn 20 tone ring and sounded almost as good as the '91 Gibson ESS I bought to replace it. Mark Taylor was still building banjos at that time but shortly after had some health issues and no longer builds or works on instruments (as far as I know). COT banjos are poorly thought of for that reason but are actually very good banjos. Don't buy one with the expectation of getting any work done by the 'factory', but you can expect to have a good banjo at a good price.

I have since sold mine and practically had to give it away -- should have kept it. Oh, well.

Aug 12, 2020 - 7:35:49 PM



96 posts since 1/23/2010

I purchased some curly maple neck blanks from Mark a few years back . He said they were old stock. (nice wood )

Aug 12, 2020 - 8:15:05 PM

3895 posts since 9/21/2009

There was a guy that used to play a Rich and Taylor banjo at a jam I used to attend. It was one of the best sounding banjo I ever heard. Loud with great tone and this guy could get it out of it. I have a friend that has a Crafters that is a fine banjo too!

Aug 13, 2020 - 4:54:45 AM

2306 posts since 4/7/2010

I inherited a couple of Crafters of Tennessee guitars from my father 12 years ago. Though the craftsmanship was, for the most part, of high quality, the nut to saddle length was about 1/4" short. Though you won't have that problem with banjos and their movable bridges, my experience shows the kind of carelessness that came out of Mark Taylor's shop.

Bob Smakula

Aug 13, 2020 - 8:20:52 AM



288 posts since 1/16/2007

i have a r&t that i purchased from a johnston tennessee music store 3 0r 4 years ago. it is fine sounding banjo. i just remembered the fellows name. its clancy mullins. it has a tennessee 20 ring and a recording king resonator. i know the ring is tennessee 20 he has marked on it. i could not say if it is a true r&t or not. it has don reno on the neck.

Aug 13, 2020 - 8:34:51 AM



3103 posts since 2/20/2016

My ex had a Crafters of Tennessee mandolin that had intonation problems. Upon measuring the fingerboard, I found that multiple frets were mis-located. It was otherwise a good mandolin, an A model with back and sides of Brazilian rosewood.

We took the mandolin up to Taylor's shop to see if he would cover the repair, since it was a manufacturing defect. Taylor declined to repair the instrument, and instead offered to take the mandolin and $1500 in trade for a new A model in maple. We said "no thanks."

He wanted to get a chunk of money on a trade-in, plus get hat Brazilian rosewood mandolin back so he could sell it at a premium. He was trying to make a killing on both ends of the deal.

I ended up replacing the fingerboard on the mandolin myself. My ex still has the instrument.

Aug 19, 2020 - 5:09:11 PM

10941 posts since 6/17/2003

I had a R&T banjo that I've since sold. It was a good banjo, but not at the level of the Crafters of Tennessee Maple Classic that I have, either in terms of sound or ornamentation. Neither is in current production anymore. I recommend the COT highly either in maple, walnut, or mahogany.

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