I am considering an open back. (‘Cause after all, you just can’t have too many banjos) I know what I would be looking for in a BG. What should I look for in a banjo to be used primarily for old time finger style? I’m thinking $2k or less. So new? Vintage? Either way, who should I look at? It is unlikely I will be able to play before purchase. Does that change your recommendation?
I know this is opening a can of worms. I’m sure I will be deluged with opinions. Just hoping to glean a couple of nuggets of wisdom.
I always suggest these current builders in no particular order:
Stone Banjo Company (I have 2)
Zach Hoyt(have 1)
Ken LeVan(had 1 and will have another)
Ome makes awesome Open Backs that are just above your price range.
Bart Reiter is no longer building but made some of the best I've ever played.
Pisgah Banjo Company has a very good reputation and they have a number of models around $1600-$1800.
Originally posted by saw_woods
I am considering an open back. (‘Cause after all, you just can’t have too many banjos) ...
Scientifically, the correct number of banjos per owner, where "N" represents the current number of banjos owned, is ...
Hey, don't hate the player, hate the science.
Bill Rogers (Moderator)
Whether you buy new or old is a matter of personal taste. Good choice# either way. For fingerpicking i’d look to a tone-ring banjo, a tubaphone or electric (whyte laydie) style. There are good offerings in your price range in the Hangout Classifieds.
Welcome to the other side! I made the transition to an open back several years ago and now own three. There are a number of options on the Marketplace in your price range. Decide on a pot size 11" or 12", tone ring would be a good idea. Other than that if you can't play it in advance choose a known builder of intermediate level banjos such as Pisgah, Zack Hoyt, Nechville, Deering.
Have fun with it!
I have checked into all suggestions here. I have to say, the wildwood banjos have a little extra “bling”. I know it’s silly, but I do appreciate that, sound quality and playability being similar. Of course finding one may be another question.
It would be so nice to play some of these suggested instruments. Depending on how long it takes me to pull the trigger, I may head to Colorado’s front range, where there are dealers who handle more than just entry level instruments.
Keep those suggestions coming.
Thanks to all
There is a nice looking Wildwood "Troubador" for sale on reverb.com Might be worth a look.
Along with the good suggestions that have been offered I would say check out Mark Hickler. He has a web site and is also a member here.
These days there are not many new banjos available at that price without a long wait but you can't know without calling the manufacturer. However, there's a Bart Reiter, a Dogwood and 3 Pisgah's at the Music Emporium in Concord, MA.
I'm tempted to drive over and tryout the Dogwood. N+1, right?
Edited by - restreet on 10/28/2021 10:12:45
I like the 12" Rickard Maple Ridge a lot and there's one for sale on the hangout for $1,400 including a case and shipping. banjobuyer.com/banjo/89867
The Rickard price is $1,900. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the Cyclone 10:1 tuners Rickard is putting on all their banjos now.
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