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Jul 27, 2022 - 12:20:20 PM
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1778 posts since 8/30/2012

Inquiring minds want to know. What person out there is spending $3700 on a made-in-China factory built banjo, when you can get the same product built in the USA by a master craftsman with selected woods for less money?

It boggles my mind that they've been able to sell a single one. I just don't understand it.

Jul 27, 2022 - 12:55:42 PM

47 posts since 8/20/2015

But they’re made with lots of “heart”.

Jul 27, 2022 - 12:57:42 PM

2489 posts since 2/4/2013

Are you sure? There seem to be a lot of USA master craftsman banjos that cost far more.

Jul 27, 2022 - 1:03:21 PM
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csacwp

USA

3055 posts since 1/15/2014

They're also ugly as all get-out.

Jul 27, 2022 - 2:19:29 PM
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Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

27717 posts since 8/3/2003

Different strokes for different folks? Maybe they like the sound, the feel, the looks? Who knows why. Personal preference?

Jul 27, 2022 - 4:05:37 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5882 posts since 10/12/2009

Which Chinese-made banjo cost $3700.00 ?

Jul 27, 2022 - 4:13:55 PM
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rcc56

USA

4427 posts since 2/20/2016

Gold Tone has introduced a "Bluegrass Heart" Bela Fleck signature model. Price: $3699.

I cannot find any mention on Gold Tone's website that states where their instruments are made.
I don't like that.

So far as I know, they are still made in China and "set up in the USA."

Ah -hah.  I've found the info by googling and selecting "Where are Gold Tone instruments made?" This is what comes up:  http://www.goldtonemusicgroup.com/goldtone/origins.php

But I still cannot find any direct connection to this info from their website.  I'll refrain from further comment.

Edited by - rcc56 on 07/27/2022 16:34:07

Jul 27, 2022 - 5:04:01 PM
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5522 posts since 5/9/2007

There are some overpriced, mass produced, American made banjos that causes me to ask a similar question; "Who buys this crap?"

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 07/27/2022 17:04:41

Jul 27, 2022 - 5:14:52 PM
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RioStat

USA

5882 posts since 10/12/2009

Who is "mass-producing" banjos in the USA?

Jul 27, 2022 - 5:15:02 PM
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rcc56

USA

4427 posts since 2/20/2016

And the answer to Eddie's question is: enough to keep a certain west coast manufacturer in business.
Which is also the answer to Scott's question.

Never underestimate the power of slick marketing. Although it won't work on everybody, it will work on some folks.

Edited by - rcc56 on 07/27/2022 17:16:48

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Jul 27, 2022 - 5:54:22 PM
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lapsteel

Canada

816 posts since 8/13/2015

Long live Recording King banjos!

Jul 27, 2022 - 6:42:45 PM
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1965 posts since 1/28/2013

Banjos by top builders in the U.S. start at around $4500. The Goldtone has the Rickard tuners,1-3/8th wide compound radius zero nut glide fingerboard, and 7/8 bridge height. That's a few good reasons right there why they are being bought.

Jul 27, 2022 - 6:44:39 PM
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719 posts since 8/14/2018

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

Who is "mass-producing" banjos in the USA?


Srsly, the idea that anyone is 'mass producing' banjos is pretty ludicrous. The whole banjo market is a tiny half-nothing.

Jul 27, 2022 - 7:55:11 PM

5522 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

Who is "mass-producing" banjos in the USA?


I do have serious issues with English. It is only my first language.

However, Over 100,000  banjos through 2014 and most likely accelerating.

"Probably" more than all small shop builders combined.

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 07/27/2022 20:08:21

Jul 27, 2022 - 8:59:47 PM

5522 posts since 5/9/2007

I’m admittedly simple so I went to Merriam Webster …

Definition of mass production
: production of goods in considerable quantities usually by machinery

No absolute numbers mentioned, so once again to Merriam Webster …

Definition of considerable

1: worth consideration : SIGNIFICANT

2: large in extent or degree

...

Still no numbers mentioned ...

Seems "mass produced" refers to process instead of numbers.

So maybe the following comment is not germain...

"Srsly, the idea that anyone is 'mass producing' banjos is pretty ludicrous. The whole banjo market is a tiny half-nothing."

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 07/27/2022 21:12:55

Jul 27, 2022 - 9:21:46 PM

5522 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by mrphysics55

...

So maybe the  ...  comment is not germain...

Dang! Now I got spelling problems.

Simple is as simple does. 
blush

 

 

 


Jul 27, 2022 - 10:48:38 PM

12346 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by jan dupree

Banjos by top builders in the U.S. start at around $4500. The Goldtone has the Rickard tuners,1-3/8th wide compound radius zero nut glide fingerboard, and 7/8 bridge height. That's a few good reasons right there why they are being bought.


The very nice case is also included and it has other custom features.

Bela certainly likes it.

https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/goldtone/instruments/ob-bela

If the banjo hit all my notes, the $3,700 price wouldn't stop me from buying it. Big IF but…

Jul 27, 2022 - 11:00:34 PM

rcc56

USA

4427 posts since 2/20/2016

For those who need an extra hint, the mass-produced US made banjos Eddie is referring to is a line of entry-level models built in California; with prices starting around $500 for the plainest model and topping out at $1300 if you want it in brown or black.

One more hint: they all have 16 brackets.

Jul 28, 2022 - 4:56:03 AM
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4917 posts since 11/20/2004

Hatfield banjos start at $2900. I expect adding a radiused wide neck would add some to the price, but certainly a fine American made banjo.

Jul 28, 2022 - 5:15:21 AM
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KCJones

USA

1778 posts since 8/30/2012

Bishline banjos start at $2400 with a hoop, $2800 if you want the flathead tone ring.

Jul 28, 2022 - 5:30:47 AM
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264 posts since 1/26/2003

quote:
Originally posted by jan dupree

Banjos by top builders in the U.S. start at around $4500. 


I have to agree with Bobby and Steven.  Bishlines and Hatfields are great banjos at any price and offer a number of models for less than $4500   That is to only name two of the really fine banjo builders in the US that offer professional grade banjos for well under $4500.

Jul 28, 2022 - 11:44:59 AM
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klgera

USA

539 posts since 12/3/2004

I would have liked a Bela model by Deering, Gibson, when they had the chance, or Stelling, but they never produced any, so I bought a Goldtone. It is a high quality banjo, I am very pleased with it, it was exactly what I wanted at this time in my life.
Ken

Jul 28, 2022 - 10:34:05 PM

273 posts since 7/22/2012

quote:
Originally posted by jan dupree

Banjos by top builders in the U.S. start at around $4500. The Goldtone has the Rickard tuners,1-3/8th wide compound radius zero nut glide fingerboard, and 7/8 bridge height. That's a few good reasons right there why they are being bought.


A new Bishline Cimarron, like others mentioned, comes in under $3,000. You can also get a new Deering Sierra for about $3,000. Not that the features you mention are not good reasons for some people to get that banjo, if that's their preference.

Edited by - Banjfoot on 07/28/2022 22:35:44

Jul 28, 2022 - 10:55:33 PM

273 posts since 7/22/2012

I am not in the market but this does make it sound good:

"I am excited about the new Bela Fleck Model from Gold Tone that today's top 5-string banjo player, Bela Fleck and Wayne Rogers from Gold Tone have designed. Now anyone can take advantage of Bela's expertise in tone which is extensive. Wayne explained to me all the detailed input and passion Bela was involved with designing this banjo, right down to finest details of tailpiece, bridge, armrest, and other subtle tone characteristics. The play-ability factor is also tantamount with easy to play radius fingerboard, 7/8 bridge and other features Bela specified for tone and versatility.
Ross Nickerson - BanjoTeacher.com"

Jul 29, 2022 - 4:26:31 AM

4917 posts since 11/20/2004

Good marketing goes a long way.

Jul 29, 2022 - 5:00:57 AM
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2489 posts since 2/4/2013

Deering's specialist banjos done in conjunction with various people cost much more. Even the cheaper Tony Trischka Silver Clipper is listed for $5999 and you can go golden for a mere $16999. Who's buying that?

So compare like with like rather than the cheapest Bishline to a model produced with artist input.

The problem for some of course is that it's not made in the USA or perhaps that it is made in China. For most people they are all import banjos whether they are made in the USA or China.

Edited by - GrahamHawker on 07/29/2022 05:02:57

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