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Jan 15, 2022 - 5:15:42 AM
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209 posts since 1/26/2003

I am thinking about buying a 1979 Gold Star G11HF archtop. I don't have any experience with Gold Star banjos and have never owned an archtop. The banjo does not appear to have many hours of playing under its belt. The negatives I see are themany ply rim (but the rim is in perfect condition) and the tube & plate flange. Much higher quality looking multi-ply rim vs the Gibsons I have owned of that era. The tone ring sits tight on the top of the rim (zero gap). It has a tube and plate flange like the 70's RB250's I have owned.

Anything unique to the Gold Stars of this era that I should be looking at closely? Thank you.

Jan 15, 2022 - 5:36:52 AM
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7393 posts since 9/5/2006

the late seventies gold star flatheads are the most desirable of the lot,,but i have heard some of the archtops too..they sound great also.. but you have got the right era for sure.

Jan 15, 2022 - 5:57:01 AM
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heavy5

USA

2022 posts since 11/3/2016

As a Saga dealer in the 70's , an archtop was the first Gold Star I sold & it was a super sounding banjo . I believe the buyer still has it after playing many gigs w/ the NY group "Headin South" .

Edited by - heavy5 on 01/15/2022 05:59:38

Jan 15, 2022 - 6:26:21 AM
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Foote

USA

550 posts since 3/25/2009
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I owned a 75 archtop Gold Star I bought new and played for many years. The Japanese made ones are great, archie or flat, and still the best value for the price.

Jan 15, 2022 - 6:27:31 AM
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RioStat

USA

5674 posts since 10/12/2009

I've got an '82 GoldStar G12W archtop, and it's a monster of a banjo.

Nothing wrong with those GoldStar multi-ply rims, and I prefer tube-and-plate flanges, they don't pull up, and they don't "break"

Jan 15, 2022 - 6:56:01 AM

BobbyE

USA

3001 posts since 11/29/2007

I recently purchase an old Gold Star flathead. (FE-100) They are great quality banjos. The parts, fits, and finish are second to none. You can run your finger along the neck where the binding meets the wood of the neck and can't tell where one ends and another begins, and that after nearly 40 years. If you are doubting the quality and parts of the banjo as a hold back on your decision, IMO, it is unfounded.

Bobby

Jan 15, 2022 - 8:24:05 AM

209 posts since 1/26/2003

Thanks everyone. I was really impressed with how it played and the tone coming out of it. The build quality appears to be excellent. I just wanted to make sure I was looking at the banjo through rose colored glasses and was being fooled by the banjo.

I'll need to work out a price with the owner.

Jan 15, 2022 - 8:26:31 AM
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Dave Churm

Canada

99 posts since 7/24/2007

I have a 79 Gold Star arch top, it peels paint off walls. I could never ever sell it. When i am playing its a tough choice between that and the ESS Gibson. In my opinion still one of the most under valued banjos.

Jan 15, 2022 - 9:12:13 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

1177 posts since 8/9/2019

Why is the tube and plate flange a negative? I'd rather have a 2 piece flange archtop than a 1pf archtop.

Jan 15, 2022 - 9:46:04 AM

Jim E.

USA

501 posts since 6/26/2006

I'm pleased to join with the others who've encouraged you to buy it. I've owned a number of the early Gold Stars, among which were two archies, and I still own a killer GF-200 that was made in the early '80s (check my home page). All terrific instruments. I'm also among those who do NOT look down on the tube-and-plate configuration. Structurally, it is a superior design. Gold Stars from the '70s and '80s had brass flanges and tension hoops. They are heavier (a problem for some), and purists often discount them but, like the tube-and-plate, they are structurally superior to the pot metal components. Good luck.

Jan 15, 2022 - 10:31:34 AM

209 posts since 1/26/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Jim E.

I'm pleased to join with the others who've encouraged you to buy it. I've owned a number of the early Gold Stars, among which were two archies, and I still own a killer GF-200 that was made in the early '80s (check my home page). All terrific instruments. I'm also among those who do NOT look down on the tube-and-plate configuration. Structurally, it is a superior design. Gold Stars from the '70s and '80s had brass flanges and tension hoops. They are heavier (a problem for some), and purists often discount them but, like the tube-and-plate, they are structurally superior to the pot metal components. Good luck.


I had thought the tube and plate flanges were structuraly weaker and prone to break.  It appears I was wrong about that belief

Thank you for all the replys and good information..

Jan 15, 2022 - 11:52:04 AM
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Jim E.

USA

501 posts since 6/26/2006

In some of the imported banjos the tube is sometimes of inferior quality and those are prone to failure if subjected to enough stress. That said though, the tube-and-plate design is in my opinion structurally superior because it utilizes the strength of the arch (the Romans figured that out a long time ago). It thereby better distributes the stress when the head is tightened. With a 1-piece (flat) flange the repeated stress of tightening the head is more focused; it tends over time to result in distorting the shape of the flange.

Jan 15, 2022 - 11:06:36 PM

gtani7

USA

1055 posts since 3/22/2017

Fantastic banjos, with SS strings, tight clear head, tall thin bridge etc it can be an anything killer paint peeler, like drown out a 108 piece orchestra.  Really heavy tho

I can email you pix of a 78 HF AT incl. orig case (I think) which is a royal blue lined Canadian TKL

Edited by - gtani7 on 01/15/2022 23:09:15

Jan 17, 2022 - 5:33:13 PM
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43 posts since 3/10/2013

I've owned a 1978 arch top since new. Many other banjos have come and gone but I still have that one. Really terrific instrument and, IMHO, a great value. Hope it works out.

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