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Apr 19, 2024 - 2:34:53 PM
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29 posts since 11/30/2023

Wondering about an alternative to lugging my RK Songster around. Have seen Morgan Monroe with a plastic resonator for around $269 on Amazon, Like the Rk Dirty 30 looks and weight even though open back. I do play Scruggs style but... Any a advice or suggestions from experience? Trying to stay around no more than $300.00.

Apr 19, 2024 - 2:48:05 PM
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1407 posts since 1/26/2011
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A Gold Tone AC-5 is a good option. Retail is a little more than you want to pay but Gold Tone sometimes has blems. You might also want to check with Geoff Hohwald at Banjo Warehouse. He had a big inventory of Gold Tone banjos and was trying to move them. He might have one at a good price.

Apr 19, 2024 - 3:22:04 PM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

GREAT Tip...Thanks John

Apr 19, 2024 - 4:01:41 PM
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15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TikiJeff

Wondering about an alternative to lugging my RK Songster around. . . .Trying to stay around no more than $300.00.


I scored a Rover RB-35 aluminum potted flathead for under $300 to take on a Maine coast schooner cruise fall of '22. Has a resonator and integrated tube and plate type of flange. Head is under 11 inches.

I had a deadline with the cruise coming up, so if I hadn't found this I would have gone with either a Dirty Thirties or AC-1. Either would have worked. Used Goodtimes were all over $300 and, like you, I was looking to spend less.

Truth be told, the Rover RB-35 may not be a whole lot lighter than an RK-20.

Apr 20, 2024 - 5:43:41 AM
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KCJones

USA

3017 posts since 8/30/2012

The songster is basically the same as all the other cheap resonator banjos you're going to find. It doesn't have a heavy flange or tone ring.

If you want to go lighter you need an open back.

Apr 20, 2024 - 7:18:23 AM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

The composites are a little more rugged and a bit lighter in the Florida weather and the big diff is the $.. Rather sling around a $300 axe than $600 plus. I really do need to get out and play an open back though for sure. Thnx

Apr 21, 2024 - 7:25:57 AM
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787 posts since 11/9/2021

The best instrument to take camping is.............. a rented one!!

Apr 21, 2024 - 10:18:24 AM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

Ahahaa...Yea that would be a good idea.

Apr 22, 2024 - 10:49:11 AM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

So looking at the Gold Tone AC-1 or Ac-5 for a good outdoor travel banjo. Also may consider a Deering Goodtime. What would you do??

Apr 22, 2024 - 1:46:07 PM
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Players Union Member

Lew H

USA

2949 posts since 3/10/2008

If the Goldtone AC model has a truss rod in the neck, I would go for that. I think the Goodtimes do not. Outdoor use in shifting humidity and temperature might be a problem over time for the Goodtime neck and rim. Much less so for the AC 1 or 5 rim, plus if there is a truss rod, the neck will be less prone to warp over the months and years of use.

Apr 23, 2024 - 2:19:45 PM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

quote:
Originally posted by Lew H

If the Goldtone AC model has a truss rod in the neck, I would go for that. I think the Goodtimes do not. Outdoor use in shifting humidity and temperature might be a problem over time for the Goodtime neck and rim. Much less so for the AC 1 or 5 rim, plus if there is a truss rod, the neck will be less prone to warp over the months and years of use.


So true.  Thnx

Apr 23, 2024 - 3:40:45 PM
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2441 posts since 2/9/2007

Apr 23, 2024 - 4:08:10 PM
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62089 posts since 12/14/2005

Make a Squared Eel.
PM me for the plans, free.

Or, I'll make you one, fretless (but marked) for $75 plus shipping.
And if it falls in the fire, rescue the pegs and make another.


BY the WAY!

I sent the plans to several people, asking ONLY that they post a picture or video of them PLAYING the finished product.

Very few have, but that has not completely destroyed my trust in humanity.crying

Apr 24, 2024 - 1:40:17 AM
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62089 posts since 12/14/2005

Well, I'll be dipped!
I THOUGHT that I had added pictures of the Squared Eel to my post, but apparently not!

If at SECOND you don't succeed, grab a nap.


Apr 24, 2024 - 2:05:19 AM
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62089 posts since 12/14/2005

The ORIGINAL Squared Eel was square, had mailing tape for a head.
Later improvement had a smaller, rectangular body, and a soft drink bottle flattened and heat-shrunk.

More info on my HangOut home page, and Youtube.

Apr 24, 2024 - 2:08:48 PM
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29 posts since 11/30/2023

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

The ORIGINAL Squared Eel was square, had mailing tape for a head.
Later improvement had a smaller, rectangular body, and a soft drink bottle flattened and heat-shrunk.

More info on my HangOut home page, and Youtube.


Truly innovative.  Very interesting indeed.  Have you ever posted Video of you playing one? 

Apr 24, 2024 - 3:30:33 PM
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62089 posts since 12/14/2005

Apr 24, 2024 - 5:35:15 PM
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13132 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by TikiJeff

Wondering about an alternative to lugging my RK Songster around. . . .Trying to stay around no more than $300.00.


I scored a Rover RB-35 aluminum potted flathead for under $300 to take on a Maine coast schooner cruise fall of '22. Has a resonator and integrated tube and plate type of flange. Head is under 11 inches.

I had a deadline with the cruise coming up, so if I hadn't found this I would have gone with either a Dirty Thirties or AC-1. Either would have worked. Used Goodtimes were all over $300 and, like you, I was looking to spend less.

Truth be told, the Rover RB-35 may not be a whole lot lighter than an RK-20.


RB-35 takes an 11" head last I checked. Though still listed in the Saga catalog, I have had one on backorder for a long, long time and don't know if I will ever see it. The open back version was the RB-30 but that is no longer available. That cast aluminum rim is the same as the RB-20/25 composite other than the material.

I sold a ton of 30s and some 35s back in the day. My daughter still has the last 30 I bought. My typical customer was the senior complaining how heavy their (fill in the blank) is these days. It's probable that the weight savings over an RK-R20 is not all that much.

I've been lobbying Saga to stock the RB-30 again but am not holding my breath.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 04/24/2024 17:46:51

Apr 24, 2024 - 5:55:17 PM
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13132 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert

banjohangout.org/classified/102443


That is a USA made Harmony with a Bakelite pot and resonator sold in the wake of the bankruptcy in the 1970s. Judging by the Waverly tuners, it's an earlier one. Many of those banjos were assembled from leftover parts and, after Waverly was out of business, they sported inexpensive tuners made in Japan.

At the time, Regal was a distribution company wholly owned by Fender. I don't know if that Regal company handled anything ther than Harmony and Kay (also bankrupt) instruments.

Apr 24, 2024 - 6:24:42 PM
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15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran

RB-35 takes an 11" head last I checked.


You're absolutely right! I just measured and confirmed it.

I thought I had measured it in the past, and maybe I had. But I guess I'm conflating its size that with something else I have here.

Apr 24, 2024 - 6:56:05 PM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Yes.

https://youtu.be/97EfvhFgRBY

Here's a GOOD player playing one.

https://youtu.be/1FxfZ9yZ0PY

That is absolutely genius.  Love it.  I am however a new to the Banjo player trying to develop muscle memory and need to stick with a conventional model for now.  I must say how absolutely amazed I am at this in any case. 
Apr 26, 2024 - 5:33:11 AM
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11 posts since 4/20/2013

Warning: This may sicken you.
I wanted a “travel banjo” I could easily take on a plane. So I bought a Gold Tone Bluegrass Mini, which is supposed to tune up to C. It comes in a heavy case you could jump on. I wanted it to fit in a slim Eastman mandolin gig bag that lets me put a mandolin in an overhead compartment on a plane or even under the seat in front of me with the neck end of the gig bag sticking out. But the banjo was a little long. So I removed the tuners, cut off two inches of the headstock, drilled two new holes, and put the tuners back in. I put standard strings on it and tuned it to open G, not open C (I don’t like the sound of that high C tuning.). Frankly, you can buy lots of full-size cheap used 5-string banjos that sound much better than the Mini, and it’s not all that light, and I don’t like playing 5-string banjo with that cramped neck (even though I play mandolin). But it’s now mandolin-size and good for traveling. I can also cut off 20% of the weight by leaving the resonator at home. (Gold Tone has made lots of very good instruments, but I don't think is one of their best, though it’s okay for traveling.)

Apr 26, 2024 - 2:24:29 PM
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2 posts since 10/21/2022

I have always taken my Deering Goodtime, close back when I go camping. I would recommend a hard case and if you are camping in a dry, low humidity area, don't forget your hydrator. I'm on my 2nd Goodtime - my first one I gave to an aspiring player. My main banjo is a Sierra, which I would never consider for a camping banjo.

May 3, 2024 - 6:38:35 PM
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joekur

USA

8 posts since 11/22/2016

I bought a Geicy portable PA system, 30 watts, for $40. It came with a wired mic headset.

Then I bought a Wireless headset w/ 2 mics for another $40. I sing into 1, amplify the banjo with the other.

So it doesn't matter what kind of banjo you have. You get 30w of wireless battery operated PA from a device that's about 4"x4"x1" that you can wear around your neck, clip on your belt, or set down next to you.

May 3, 2024 - 7:09:52 PM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

quote:
Originally posted by joekur

I bought a Geicy portable PA system, 30 watts, for $40. It came with a wired mic headset.

Then I bought a Wireless headset w/ 2 mics for another $40. I sing into 1, amplify the banjo with the other.

So it doesn't matter what kind of banjo you have. You get 30w of wireless battery operated PA from a device that's about 4"x4"x1" that you can wear around your neck, clip on your belt, or set down next to you.

Well that speaks volumes...:)   Great point.  Wireless is very dynamic.  I have 2, 100 Watt Marshal Stacks.  Hmmmm  this could be fun.  lol :)   But, I do just love the natural acoustics. 


May 4, 2024 - 2:56:18 PM

29 posts since 11/30/2023

Ok Gold Tone AC-5 In hand. Played now for 2 days. The "playability" and quality are outstanding. Tail piece is heavy and very nice looking. I love the neck and weight esp. I did have to put a few socks in it to bring down the volume a bit. Still yea, it has no warm "woody" sound but wow materials are like an Ovation Guitar. Even though the sound is not what you get from a wood Resonator it IS Good in its own way and I am sure to be heard at a jam or around the Campfire. :)  Still wondering if I would rather have a Deering Goodtime instead.  

Edited by - TikiJeff on 05/04/2024 15:03:23

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