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Jul 26, 2021 - 11:41:15 PM
114 posts since 2/16/2008

I have played guitar for years and now of course play the banjo too. I would love to get my hands on a well made, good sounding 6 string banjo.

I keep looking but most of what I find seems like cheap junk. Is there any such think as a very well made 6 string Banjo??

Jul 27, 2021 - 1:33:21 AM

1928 posts since 2/4/2013

Goldtone BT1000 comes to mind. I think Deering do guitar banjo versions of some of their better models.

Jul 27, 2021 - 2:15:13 AM

58025 posts since 12/14/2005

What's your budget??

Jul 27, 2021 - 5:38:06 AM
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YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

328 posts since 5/11/2021
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Do you play electric or acoustic?

If you have an electric guitar and are just looking to add twangy banjo sound to some songs rather than trying to really learn/play banjo, I would just get an acoustic modeling pedal to simulate banjo tone rather than drop the cash on a 6-string banjo. It will be 99% the same and you'll save some cash. Especially if you plan on amplifying the 6-string, don't waste your time and just get a pedal to simulate the tone.

Jul 27, 2021 - 7:09:53 AM

1190 posts since 1/9/2012

Harvey Reid likes his Deering 6-string banjos and does some amazing things with them. It's worth checking out, with videos on-line and a great CD, "Artistry of the 6-string Banjo," from 1995, remastered a decade ago (?) and still easily available.

Jul 27, 2021 - 7:20:31 AM

5671 posts since 12/20/2005

I'd get a banjo.

There are a number of different types of banjo's available in a 6-string, varying in size and type of construction.
There are modern banjo's, new and used. There are some individual banjo makers here that can make anything you want. There are some really good vintage banjo's that were made in 6-string.
The most commonly heard type of sound, the one you have heard the most, is going to be from a Gibson Mastertone type of banjo.
Have you heard a specific tone, sound, style or someone's playing that you really liked ?
I would suggest starting there, and maybe ask something to that effect here.
You will get no shortage of answers and opinions !
Also: PM sent

Jul 27, 2021 - 10:33:29 AM

3920 posts since 5/29/2011

One reason you find a lot of cheap junk is because hybrid instruments have not usually had a big following. In the early 20th century some companies would try to produce hybrids but, not knowing whether the public would buy them, they produced low priced, low quality instruments. That gave hybrid instruments a bad reputation which dampened sales. It was two edges of the same blade. Banjos were often the basis of hybrids because of their bolt together design. You find banjo guitars, banjo mandolins, banjo ukuleles, etc.
Companies like Gold Tone and Deering are trying to produce banjo guitars with some success. Gold Tone banjitars are decently made but they tend to look cheap. Deering might suit your tastes better but might strain your budget. Some of the individual makers on here might make you one. I built one several years ago but it was something of a failure because(once again) I didn't want to sink much money into an instrument I wasn't sure I could sell.
Zachary Hoyt, Ken LeVan, Randall Wyatt, Ron Coleman, Bob Cuckrow, Andy Fults, Marvin Walker, and Clancy Mullins are all possibilities but it depends on their work load and their willingness to build something out of the ordinary.

Edited by - Culloden on 07/27/2021 10:35:27

Jul 27, 2021 - 2:20:38 PM
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58025 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by YellowSkyBlueSun

Do you play electric or acoustic?

If you have an electric guitar and are just looking to add twangy banjo sound to some songs rather than trying to really learn/play banjo, I would just get an acoustic modeling pedal to simulate banjo tone rather than drop the cash on a 6-string banjo. It will be 99% the same and you'll save some cash. Especially if you plan on amplifying the 6-string, don't waste your time and just get a pedal to simulate the tone.


OR- - -

Get a decent used electric and modify it like I did with Electric Red.


Jul 27, 2021 - 2:27:39 PM
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58025 posts since 12/14/2005

Alternative to the tacked-on soda bottle would be a piezo drum head from a  used (thrift shop) set of electronic drums.

Jul 29, 2021 - 6:10:10 PM

1067 posts since 12/8/2006

Only players who know how to handle one that I know about are Johnny St Cyr and Steve James. DON'T STRUM THEM!!!

Jul 29, 2021 - 8:02:06 PM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14463 posts since 8/30/2006

Jul 29, 2021 - 11:36:14 PM
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rcc56

USA

3688 posts since 2/20/2016

There's usually a couple of old Vega Little Wonder or Tubaphones floating around. They were certainly well built instruments.

But . . . and I hope y'all will take this in the spirit in which it is meant:

Some folks might say that there is no such thing as a good sounding 6 string banjo.    cheeky

Jul 30, 2021 - 5:31:42 AM
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5671 posts since 12/20/2005

I don't know. No tellin what some folks say.

Thing about banjo's is, if they are not being played by a skilled player, they don't sound good. Kinda like a fiddle.

The Helix banjo shown in the photo is a thing of beauty. If it sounds as good as it looks, and I'm sure it does, that is going to make some really good sounds.
Whoever ordered that, knew what they were doing.

Jul 30, 2021 - 5:54:41 AM
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1928 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Leslie R


Thing about banjo's is, if they are not being played by a skilled player, they don't sound good.


Well thanks very much. I'd better sell my banjos and stick to the guitar. Actually I'd better sell them as well.

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