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Mar 6, 2021 - 3:03:08 PM
9 posts since 2/13/2021

As a new banjo beginner please can I have your thoughts on a Barnes and Mullins Empress resonator banjo as my first banjo.

Would this be a good buy as a starter instrument?

Kind regards Steve

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 03/06/2021 15:49:58

Mar 6, 2021 - 3:45:14 PM
likes this

2443 posts since 5/2/2012

I would suggest you change the title to something like "Barnes and Mullins Empress review?" which may get more looks. And this thread probably needs to be moved to the Shopping Advice forum. No reviews here on the Hangout.  
Anyway, at Eagle Music this banjo sells for 449 pounds, which comes out to about $620 US.
For a beginner banjo, this may be OK. Two things that concern me. The pot is multi-ply (give them a thumbs up for calling it plywood). The other is the rolled brass tone ring. Both are sort of expected at a banjo at this price point. Sort of like the Recording King R20 Songster, which is a well thought of beginner banjo, which is listed as "sold" on the Eagle site. And probably similar to the Gold Tone CC-50RP, which is listed.

More desirable components are a 3 ply pot and a brass tone ring, but that comes with an increase in cost. Quite a bit of increase, I'm afraid.

Having a good "setup" will be an imporant if you are a first time banjo buyer.

Edited by - thisoldman on 03/06/2021 15:50:39

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