Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day is a starter Gold Tone open back banjo kit for $159.99 complete with gig bag straps and extras. At less than 4 pounds it makes a good camping/backpack or travel banjo as well as a starter banjo. I have no interest in either Musicians Friend or Gold Tone. Just passing the word.
I picked one of these when I found out my niece just got one. They had no idea I was working on learning the banjo. It's a lot of plastic, but for what you pay for, as a travel banjo it'd be worth it. The tune on it was done wrong so I tuned it, rechecked bridge position etc, and let 'er rip. I was just learning Old Joe around that time, and found that the neck felt wider and I ripped through it so clean I though ..."dang I need to get one of these". If I didn't have a few extra banjos already, I'd buy one for travel (and to not worry about losing it if stolen).
Thier huge guitar selection is kind of interesting as I've read various reviews lately of inexpensive off shore guitars & some made here in the US for very little cost but lots of lots of performance , forward X bracing , etc , all the basic things that not long ago were only available in high priced guitars .
Of interest was an all laminate mahogany dred w/ all of those features including comparable reviews for under $90 !
This has got to be hurting high quality makers ?
It's amazing what CNC and slave labor can do to price while keeping up decent quality.
'National “Circle 8” picks' 25 min
'5 Star head - medium crown' 32 min
'Mike Ramsey 12' 1 hr
'Almost a banjo' 2 hrs