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May 19, 2024 - 10:40:59 PM
2 posts since 5/19/2024

Howdy!
Now before we get into this I have read numerous forums and have gotten a lot of insight. But, I guess I want to do one myself. I've played an open back dirty 30's open back banjo and loved it. I took it back mainly because the set up was abysmal (done at guitar center) and want something nice. I have a budget of 2k-3k for a resonator 5 string banjo. I am looking for that Earl Scruggs tone and sing! I'm leaning towards a Flathead tone ring. I've spoke with Ross Nickerson and he had recommended "The Twanger". It looks and sounds nice, but I feel maybe I can get something that's both quality and will last me for years without having that "missing feeling". I've looked at many brands and have fallen down a pit of hyper fixation and part ignorance. So I'd like to ask y'all what ya think and some insight. 

Thanks guys and gals!

May 19, 2024 - 11:15:58 PM

65 posts since 9/1/2020

I don't build resonator banjos, but my Bluegrass Hybrid is an open -back with a 20 hole American made flathead tonering.
It's a Bluegrass pot with an Old Time neck. Pick or frail, it's got the sound.
A little beyond 3k, but it's 100% handmade in Arizona USA.
Take a gander if you will
bruceberrybanjos.wordpress.com...s-hybrid/

May 20, 2024 - 3:06:10 AM
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628 posts since 7/13/2008

I personally like the sound of the Twanger for the price. But I would have to say, that each banjo is different, and you don't know if it's "the one" until you play it. I was lucky in that I lived near Elderly Instruments and could try out a lot of banjos. If you don't live near a great store, go to jams and festivals and see and hear and try out as many banjos as you can. I found that the geometry and action on some banjos allowed me to play more accurately. Good luck in the hunt.

May 20, 2024 - 6:18:55 AM
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3381 posts since 5/2/2012

Check out recent posts in the Shopping Advice forum...there are 3 or 4 of them asking a similar question, with similar budgets, and lots of suggestions.

May 20, 2024 - 7:44:05 AM

15254 posts since 6/2/2008
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Bangalor

I have a budget of 2k-3k for a resonator 5 string banjo. . . .I've spoke with Ross Nickerson and he had recommended "The Twanger". It looks and sounds nice, but I feel maybe I can get something that's both quality and will last me for years without having that "missing feeling"


As mentioned above, there are two simultaneously active discussions started by newcomers here asking for recommendations in the same price range:

Buying a Higher End Banjo

5 String Resonator for $2500

The advice and opinions offered there apply here.

You've added one subtle spin about having the "missing feeling." Not sure what you think you'd be missing by spending under $2000 for the highly regarded Twanger. All that I can think is you're implying you'd want a US-made banjo. In that case, the above-linked discussions tell you which new and used US-made banjos can typically be had for $3000 and less. Nothing has changed in a week.

One piece of advice from one of the two discussions is worth repeating: Just because you can spend $2000 to $3000 on a banjo doesn't mean yu need to. Especially if you're just starting out or making your first move from a Dirty Thirties. There are excellent options at $1200 that will give you stage quality flathead tone and pro-grade playability. They will help you become the best banjo player you can be and prepare you to move up to the banjo of your dreams.

Or spend your full budget on a banjo to grow into. Your choice.

Have fun shopping.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 05/20/2024 07:44:28

May 20, 2024 - 7:51:36 AM

15254 posts since 6/2/2008
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Bangalor

. . . I feel maybe I can get something that's both quality and will last me for years without having that "missing feeling"


Quoting this again.

Gabe is is a far more accomplished banjo player than most of us will ever be. He owns a pre-war Gibson. Yet he's been advising Gold Tone the past few years and thinks their new $3000 gold-plated "Grandee" Granada copy is a tremendous banjo.

When even Bela Fleck plays a Gold Tone, we have to accept they've upped their game.

In a recent blind test here on the Hangout, people preferred the sound of the Twanger. It was close and not scientific. But the Twanger was the winner. Doesn't necessarily make me want one, but I admit these are serious banjos.

May 20, 2024 - 7:53:15 AM
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15706 posts since 10/30/2008

If you find a used Huber Workhorse for sale (it will be in your price range) consider it very carefully. Excellent banjos built for "typical" bluegrass tone and volume, in America, but not finished quite as "deluxe-ly" as Huber's more expensive banjos.

A used Japanese Gold Star 100 is also an excellent choice, usually $2k or less. They were made back in the early 80s and considered the best the Gold Star brand ever achieved. Currently made in China...

A used Fender Artist model is in your price range and was a #1 choice of professionals back in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Visit brick and mortar banjo stores to develop your personal taste in looks feel and sound of various banjos. Don't turn up your nose at used banjos.

Good luck.

May 20, 2024 - 8:45:47 AM

dfstd

USA

68 posts since 2/5/2023

Twanger would be a good choice. Suggest you also learn how to do basic setup yourself, if aren’t there yet, so you can get the most out of whatever banjo you choose.

May 21, 2024 - 4:51:23 PM

16636 posts since 6/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Bangalor

Howdy!
I have a budget of 2k-3k for a resonator 5 string banjo. I am looking for that Earl Scruggs tone and sing! I'm leaning towards a Flathead tone ring.
Thanks guys and gals!


Welcome to BHO. 
If I was in your shoes looking for a professional sounding well built banjo from a well respected USA banjo builder and sold by a seller that I could trust, I would look no farther than here:

https://www.banjohangout.org/classified/104574

There are links to videos of the banjo being played. 

Edited by - Pick-A-Lick on 05/21/2024 16:56:50

May 23, 2024 - 2:37:41 PM

117 posts since 9/5/2021

I've spent over a month looking for my next banjo. I found Banjo.com to have the least expensive of
those well sought after banjos, with a few Deering and Bishline in your price range. I believe the Twanger is there as well. I have a Recording King Songster, and while it is a cheap banjo it far exceeds my playing capabilities, and I hear nothing but good things about Recording King's higher end banjos, which are also in your price range.
The Bottom line is there are sooo many to choose from, you'll have to make your own decision with what speaks to you. Have fun looking.

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