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Jan 17, 2021 - 5:44:12 AM
2 posts since 1/17/2021

I'm a LEFT HANDED guitar player looking to transition into and learn the 5 string banjo.
Bluegrass style is what I'm interested in playing.
My question is are Gold Tone banjos any good?
Do professional level players use these banjos?
I'm all about buying American made products.
Knowing these banjos are made in China and assembled in Florida kinda bothers me.

Where can I get an all American made LEFT HANDED 5 string resonator closed back banjo
that I can grow into, that is high quality, will hold it's value, and won't break the bank.
Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

Jan 17, 2021 - 6:29:33 AM
like this

3518 posts since 7/12/2006

Welcome brother lefty! Gold tones are decent starter banjos. But if you have the money you can get a goid luthier to build u one. You can even get a righty banjo and get a lefty neck built for it. Bottom line, if you have the money, get the best you can afford

Edited by - stanleytone on 01/17/2021 06:30:43

Jan 17, 2021 - 6:36:43 AM

Ricky B

USA

2 posts since 1/17/2021

Thank you!
How about some names of luthiers that I could contact to get the ball rolling?

Jan 17, 2021 - 7:20:16 AM
Players Union Member

Dlye

Canada

22 posts since 3/5/2018

Here’s a deeming Sierra lefty, American made pro banjo. banjohangout.org/classified/84416

Jan 17, 2021 - 7:20:53 AM
Players Union Member

Dlye

Canada

22 posts since 3/5/2018

That’s Deering.

Jan 17, 2021 - 7:59:09 AM

3518 posts since 7/12/2006

Richie Dotson lives near Richmond Va. and is top notch and has a website. Hes an old band mate of mine and i started my bluegrass journey with him. Tell him i recommended him to you. A little advice ...if you are more concerned with sound than with cosmetics, tell him you want a good quality pot with simple headstock like a bow tie and dot inlays. That should save you money. Mahogany for resonator and neck is usually cheaper wood price wise but IMO the best for good banjo sound 

https://acousticbox.com/

Edited by - stanleytone on 01/17/2021 08:07:10

Jan 17, 2021 - 12:39:59 PM

140 posts since 9/1/2018

I have 3, 2 Mastertones and Stelling. Geoff Hohwald at banjo warehouse did have a couple. 1 was a Deering Golden Era and a inexpensive one.

Edited by - 1ST GEN CUMMINS on 01/17/2021 12:40:37

Jan 17, 2021 - 1:16:42 PM

645 posts since 11/21/2018

Rob Bishline at bishlinebanjos.com is a fantastic builder to work with and he will address all of your needs at a reasonable price. I cannot express how completely wonderful his communication and helpful attitude was even though I was traveling half way around the world while the neck was being built.

Jan 17, 2021 - 2:22:05 PM

13717 posts since 10/30/2008

Pro quality American made bluegrass banjos show up used every now and then.

A Gold Tone is plenty good enough to learn on. Again, you may find these used as successful learners have traded up to a better model.

Personally I think the best Gold Tones are good "intermediate" banjos, but not quite pro quality.

I'd advise that you nab the first new or used left handed 5 string that you encounter and like, and GET TO LEARNING! You can worry about "pro quality" after you've learned to play well. Don't get the mare in the wake of the wheeled conveyance.

Jan 18, 2021 - 4:11:50 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

13410 posts since 8/30/2006

The Old Timer Don't get the mare in the wake of the wheeled conveyance."

Very sound advice. If you can't find a lefty, then a lefty neck will do. Banjos have no conversion problems.

To answer, the Gold Tones ARE imported, but they provide on shore American jobs after their imports arrive.
Many imports just don't provide customer service, little recourse and few to talk to. Gold Tone is good people.

Many professionals play Gold Tone. They are Maple banjos, Maple voice.

For comparison Recording Kings are also imports with on shore jobs. 

The American builders are not few, but some of the very best in the world.

I keep an aluminum import in my shop to show comparison with customers.
Keep developing your specs. read up here on the hangout. Ask more questions.
Are you wanting a 14 pound drum on a stick, that would be considered the "norm."
But there's lots of wiggle room.

If you have trouble with learning as a lefty, and seeing what other people are doing, then use a mirror.

As a builder, I am open to customers supplying wood, or specifying hardware and such

Helix is made in USA, America, Arizona.


 

Edited by - Helix on 01/18/2021 04:14:30

Jan 18, 2021 - 6:28:38 AM

2381 posts since 5/2/2012

I am an unabashed GT fan, and they are one of the "mass produced" banjos that offer left handed versions in a number of their models. I think that once you get above the $1000 price point (OB250, OB300, OB3 Twanger) you're getting a really decent banjo and I suspect, with the exception of the asute banjo players here on the HO, most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between these GT banjos and the "pro" banjo in the hands of a good player. As far as the left-handed banjo that will be your dream banjo? Can depend on your budget.

Jan 18, 2021 - 8:15:28 AM

Banjo Lefty

Canada

2110 posts since 6/19/2014

What's your budget? I started out on a lefty longneck from Goldtone -- an excellent instrument -- which cost me $1,000 Canadian at the time. Then I had Arthur Hatfield build me a lefty walnut Special, which is a pro-level banjo, for $2,900 US. The Goldtone is good, but the Hatfield is superb. Banjos of this quality typically sell in the $5,000 range, so I consider that I got a real bargain.

Jan 18, 2021 - 1:44:32 PM

2651 posts since 4/16/2003

If you want something good that's "American made", the Deering Sierra mentioned earlier in this thread would be a good choice.

These are beautifully made and play easily.
And it would serve you well as a stage instrument in time...

Jan 20, 2021 - 8:45:49 AM

6401 posts since 9/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Ricky B

I'm a LEFT HANDED guitar player looking to transition into and learn the 5 string banjo.
Bluegrass style is what I'm interested in playing.
My question is are Gold Tone banjos any good?
Do professional level players use these banjos?
I'm all about buying American made products.
Knowing these banjos are made in China and assembled in Florida kinda bothers me.

Where can I get an all American made LEFT HANDED 5 string resonator closed back banjo
that I can grow into, that is high quality, will hold it's value, and won't break the bank.
Any and all suggestions would be appreciated
.


for the first part and all american made will be a deering or AMB  or private builder...  holding their value ,,in todays market thats subject to desirability,, normally "right now" they all are down in price for second hand.    as for breaking the bank?  depends on how big the bank is..

  depending on your bottom line figure to spend,, you can go low end (1000 or less) such as goodtime  (  https://www.banjobuyer.com/banjo/80424  )  here is a used one for 650.00

 then  deering sierra ,, here is a used lefty in north carolina for 2000.00  and one in arizona for 1200.00

https://www.banjobuyer.com/banjo/84416

https://www.banjobuyer.com/banjo/84677

then lastly you can find you a gibson 00 or a style 1 converted or original and have a builder make you a neck,, 1200 and up for the neck

Jan 20, 2021 - 1:12:09 PM

140 posts since 9/1/2018

I have a Left handed neck I will sell for $500 if you are interested. It's a Maple neck.

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