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Jan 19, 2021 - 5:36:02 AM
447 posts since 6/12/2017

US $578.00 | Feeling FBJ-N45F Banjo Blue grass
a.aliexpress.com/_mOZptih

I saw this online and was wondering if it might be worth it.

Jan 19, 2021 - 5:42:43 AM

3014 posts since 2/18/2009

It looks like a bottlecap banjo with fancy inlay from here. It may be a good deal if that is what you want, I imagine it would depend what price point it was built to meet and I don't know enough about that market to be able to tell.

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:01:19 AM

tmelvin

USA

126 posts since 5/27/2004

Aluminum rim and aluminum tone ring? I guess it depends on how it sounds.

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:07:27 AM

2388 posts since 5/2/2012

A little looking around the 'net suggests that it's similar to a Saga SS-3, with similar specs and price point.  Seems like a lot of money for an aluminum rim banjo, but what do I know.

Check out the Saga here , and there is a youtube clip to watch/listen to.  If the Feeling and Saga are "twins", and you bought it from Ross you would get a set-up included, which would be a huge plus.  And you're dealing with someone stateside, rather than a factory in China.  Here are a couple of HO reviews of the Saga SS-3

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:12 AM
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2456 posts since 12/31/2005

Too risky unless you are skilled at setting up and repairing banjos. Without setup and inspection here, so many things could be wrong, even if it was in spec when put in a shipping crate over there. They certainly made it look decent, but I've seen far too many that were unplayable but pretty. The bling on the neck but aluminum rim is a hint about their priorities. PacRim mfrs have done this alot. In the 70s and 80s, really bad sounding banjos had thick glossy finishes over a veneer. The guitar store salesman had two talking points: (1) It's a [Fender, Alvarez, etc.], so you know that's quality when those companies did not even manufacture the instrument; and (2) look at that beautiful wood. For that kind of money you can find a decent used one here that you can check out first.

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:23:44 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24403 posts since 6/25/2005

Low-end banjos tend to be cheesy no matter where made. Chinese banjos run the gamut from unmitigated junk to pro-level. You’ve gotten good advice on this one, but the fact that it’s Chinese is not the issue.

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:24:59 AM
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37 posts since 11/3/2013

I had heard an hour after you quit playing the hunger to play returns

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:32:30 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

592 posts since 8/9/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by 6stringedRamble

US $578.00 | Feeling FBJ-N45F Banjo Blue grass
a.aliexpress.com/_mOZptih

I saw this online and was wondering if it might be worth it.


There are some great Chinese made banjos, this is not one of them.

You won't find a decent one under at least 800usd brand new. 

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:42:10 AM

11074 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Low-end banjos tend to be cheesy no matter where made. Chinese banjos run the gamut from unmitigated junk to pro-level. You’ve gotten good advice on this one, but the fact that it’s Chinese is not the issue.


What Bill says.

Saga imported this banjo for decades but it's been discontinued.  Country of origin was Japan/Korea/China

That rim is also the foundation for their kit — openback only nowadays.

Saga banjo kit

If you buy it from a Chinese distributor, who's going to inspect and set it up before you take delivery? No one.

For that price, there are a ton of banjos out there imported by US distributors.

 

 

Stew-Mac carried that rim for many years, likewise discontinued.

Jan 19, 2021 - 7:14:43 AM

447 posts since 6/12/2017

Yeah I hear you guys. I'm an American who lives in Israel though. Unfortunately the Chinese often offer free shipping. The US shipping services are so expensive..a minimum of several hundred more just for shipping. Local banjo selection is scant. Well currently I can't afford one anyways, but they're saying with the vaccine, covid will be over this summer. I may just have to say the hell with it, and buy one anyways, from USA, if the economic conditions get better. It's on my to do eventually list. I was looking around at high end banjos namely, Bishline and Prucha, but they're $2-3k!!! I'm not partial to any just seeing what catches my eye out there, without being able to try them. Prucha would have the advantage of shipping from the Czech republic, a few hours by plane from Israel, and they get high reviews.

Edited by - 6stringedRamble on 01/19/2021 07:17:54

Jan 19, 2021 - 7:53:41 AM
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Eric A

USA

1044 posts since 10/15/2019
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If you have reasons to be set on this seller, I think there's a better one listed for about the same money. At least you get a maple rim and a bronze tone ring, but all the other cautions above still apply.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32958243885.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.6.53ad4febAcqujq

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:04:32 AM

KCJones

USA

1353 posts since 8/30/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

If you have reasons to be set on this seller, I think there's a better one listed for about the same money. At least you get a maple rim and a bronze tone ring, but all the other cautions above still apply.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32958243885.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.6.53ad4febAcqujq


For $600 delivered that's almost tempting. It's a gamble, but they're probably halfway decent components that just require TLC in the assembly/setup department. Problem is, these banjos always seem to have chunky necks that make them very uncomfortable. 

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:14:30 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1044 posts since 10/15/2019
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones
quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

If you have reasons to be set on this seller, I think there's a better one listed for about the same money. At least you get a maple rim and a bronze tone ring, but all the other cautions above still apply.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32958243885.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.6.53ad4febAcqujq


For $600 delivered that's almost tempting. It's a gamble, but they're probably halfway decent components that just require TLC in the assembly/setup department. Problem is, these banjos always seem to have chunky necks that make them very uncomfortable. 


There's a legit looking long neck for only $329 if anybody is looking for one.

But, sheesh, these guys clearly have no idea what they are selling.  They stick the word "mandolin" in on several descriptions when they are not.  Does not give much confidence.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32964333010.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.1.53ad4febnoiUKk

And hey!  You get 10% off if you buy 6 or more!

Edited by - Eric A on 01/19/2021 08:16:56

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:31:13 AM

beegee

USA

22187 posts since 7/6/2005

The only Chinese-made banjo I would consider is the higher-end Recording King,

Edited by - beegee on 01/19/2021 08:31:43

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:38:16 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

592 posts since 8/9/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by beegee

The only Chinese-made banjo I would consider is the higher-end Recording King,


I keep saying this and I'll say it again..there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well set up Gold Star 

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:50:46 AM
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Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1044 posts since 10/15/2019
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

The only Chinese-made banjo I would consider is the higher-end Recording King,


I keep saying this and I'll say it again..there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well set up Gold Star 


I have a RK RB-024 that I just love.   They are always poo-poo'd here on the BHO as being simply a rebadged chinese banjo, not a REAL Recording King, blah, blah, blah.  Let me tell you, there is nothing at all wrong with this banjo.  It is terrific and my favorite out of a total of 7 banjos.  

Jan 19, 2021 - 9:22:16 AM
Players Union Member

rvrose

USA

778 posts since 6/29/2007

Personally, I would pass on metal rim banjos if your doing Scruggs style. Hard to get a bright banjo sound from them. Might be ok for other styles.

Rick

Jan 19, 2021 - 9:25:29 AM

beegee

USA

22187 posts since 7/6/2005

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

The only Chinese-made banjo I would consider is the higher-end Recording King,


I keep saying this and I'll say it again..there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well set up Gold Star 


Gold Star make s a good banjo. You can play the Gold Star and I'll play my RK'slaugh

Jan 19, 2021 - 9:33:37 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

592 posts since 8/9/2019
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by beegee
quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

The only Chinese-made banjo I would consider is the higher-end Recording King,


I keep saying this and I'll say it again..there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well set up Gold Star 


Gold Star make s a good banjo. You can play the Gold Star and I'll play my RK'slaugh


Haha that's fair. I like RKs too tho! A whole lot of banjo for the money.

Jan 19, 2021 - 9:48:07 AM

4005 posts since 10/13/2005

I have a short scale Saga Pony 10P banjo. The neck and rim are fine. I would say the neck is exceptional in its profile and some others say the same about the regular scale Saga10 banjo. But, I replaced all the metal parts with Gotoh tuners and brass Balsam Works for another $200. To have such a banjo custom built would be close to $2k, not the $600 I have into it. Take this and that for what it is worth. banjeredbanjohangout.org/forum/attachm...ID=251869

Jan 19, 2021 - 10:26:32 AM

1541 posts since 2/4/2013

The Saga aluminium rim banjos aren't too bad at all. In my opinion they are better than the multiply rim, rolled brass tone ring banjos. I have the Rover RB40 open back and have tried the Saga SS3.

Besides the usual Recording King and Saga made banjos Goldtone are also Chinese banjos. Goldtone used to use Dae Won so it was possible to see similar banjos rebadged. The Recording King California series were typical decent Dae Won open backs.

As to the various Chinese manufacturers I've seen mentioned it's hard to say. Quality control is unknown. I've read that that was the problem with Dae Won.

Jan 19, 2021 - 1:45:18 PM

1385 posts since 2/9/2007

Although pleasant surprises are possible, I expect anything sold as a banjo coming direct from China to be less a banjo than a DIY kit of banjo parts. The factories over there seem to be tolerably good at manufacturing those parts to spec's, but have no idea how they're all supposed to fit together and function as a banjo. (look at how they have the tailpiece strung in the photos)

If you are willing and able to tear down, reassemble, and set up a banjo, I'd say you have a reasonable expectation of being satisfied with that one. If you want something you can play right out of the box, look elsewhere.

Jan 20, 2021 - 12:20:26 PM

AndyW

UK

688 posts since 7/4/2017

I agree with Graham hawker that Saga type aluminium pot banjos sound ok. I had one that wasn't too far off my Gretsch Dixie Special (RK 25) 2 ply rim. In fact I recently bought another aluminium pot banjo as a fretless.

The main thing I'd be worried about there is the neck. There's very fancy cheap necks on ebay with lots of elaborate inlays that are reckoned to be complete trash, so if that neck is from such a stable you'd be in trouble.

Jan 20, 2021 - 3:44:55 PM

6433 posts since 9/5/2006

you can find something like the RK R20 for around 400 to 500 bucks..it has the rolled brass tone ring ,,but sound pretty good. and with the rolled brass tone ring its easy on the back .

Jan 20, 2021 - 3:58:48 PM
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106 posts since 9/23/2019

It's strange. I come from woodwind land, and Chinese instruments are considered absolute garbage. To be honest, they are. Nobody should be playing Chinese made wind instruments.

When I switched to banjo, I was immediately weary of all the Chinese made instruments, but they seem (I say seem because I don't have much experience with them) like fine instruments. To be honest, I'd buy a Recording King or Gold Star WAY before I would get a Deering Goodtime.

Jan 20, 2021 - 5:09:04 PM

1385 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by szbassoon

It's strange. I come from woodwind land, and Chinese instruments are considered absolute garbage. To be honest, they are. Nobody should be playing Chinese made wind instruments.

When I switched to banjo, I was immediately weary of all the Chinese made instruments, but they seem (I say seem because I don't have much experience with them) like fine instruments. To be honest, I'd buy a Recording King or Gold Star WAY before I would get a Deering Goodtime.


RK and Saga (importers of the Gold Star) are American folks who know American instruments. Gold Tone is another importer who deserves mention in that category.   They provide their Asian manufacturers with the appropriate specs, and keep an eye on the quality of the product. 

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