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Comparing a prewar Gibson to the new Gold Tone Grandee.

May 28, 2024 - 2:36:09 PM
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2308 posts since 4/18/2006

I've had a lot of folks asking for a comparison video of a prewar Gibson and the new Gold Tone Grandee.  So here it is.

May 28, 2024 - 5:10:18 PM

4847 posts since 10/13/2005

To my non-BG ears Gold Tone did a pretty acceptable job. banjered

May 28, 2024 - 5:35:47 PM
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859 posts since 5/17/2007

The Gibson sounded the best but the Gold Tone was not a bad sounding banjo! For no better a picker than I am, the Gold Tone would do the job for me.

May 28, 2024 - 5:39:16 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


28043 posts since 6/25/2005

I assume it’s made in China. If so, its $3,000 price may well jump to $3,750 when the new tariffs kick in.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 05/28/2024 17:40:16

May 28, 2024 - 6:28:03 PM



573 posts since 12/3/2004

The Grandee sounds pretty darn good, I may have to buy one!

May 29, 2024 - 5:55:05 AM
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794 posts since 11/9/2021

I can hear a difference for sure. The Gold Tone sounds a bit.... tanky? Like it needs to open up more, but that will come from time and playing. Its not bad, but the Gibson is clearer, with a more pure tone to the individual notes.

May 29, 2024 - 6:11:29 AM
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68 posts since 2/5/2023

The Gibson sounds great, but the Gold Tone sounds pretty good too. Fantastic playing! Thanks for doing this comparison.

May 29, 2024 - 8:50:43 AM
Players Union Member



10444 posts since 1/22/2003

A new banjo can probably never sound the same as an old one, but the Gold Tone will get older too and mature. Sounds very nice this Grandee…

May 29, 2024 - 9:20:11 AM

129 posts since 11/14/2022
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That PT is astounding. Every note rings fully, incredibly sweet. The Grandee sounds very good, too, but definitely shallower notes. Quicker decay, maybe? As said above, over time the Grandee will open up.

Thanks for the comparison, Gabe!

May 29, 2024 - 11:45:25 AM

3025 posts since 4/16/2003

The Royal PT has had about 96 years of "aging in" on it.
That's plenty o' time to "open up", I reckon.

The Gold Tone literally sounds "newer" because it is.
Still has a good sound... getting close to "THE sound".
Ten years down the road, I sense it will sound even better.

Now, for a little more variety, I would have like to have heard a Huber Vintage Granada copy "in the mix" as well...

May 29, 2024 - 12:35:19 PM



5114 posts since 2/20/2016

And a full weight 30's Gibson flat head.
And just for good measure, an upper line RK.

May 29, 2024 - 1:59:52 PM
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2308 posts since 4/18/2006

It would have been a good idea to add my PB-3 to the mix, but the main point was to compare the Grandee to the most similar prewar I had. That being said, if anyone wants to donate a Huber VRB-G and an upper line RK to the cause I'd be happy to make that comparison video ;)

May 29, 2024 - 3:32:33 PM

2066 posts since 4/10/2005

Thank you for the fun and your wonderful playing!

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