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Jun 20, 2024 - 2:55:44 PM
2 posts since 4/9/2024

Please let me know if you know any instrument shops in NYC with a wide banjo selection. I've been picking Scruggs style on an openback for almost two years now and I want to get a nice resonator so I'd like to try some different ones out to see what I like the sound of.

Jun 20, 2024 - 3:25:18 PM

134 posts since 11/14/2022
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There’s not much. You can try Retrofret in Bklyn (Gowanus area). But Manhattan is a banjo desert.

Jun 20, 2024 - 3:40:48 PM
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4249 posts since 7/12/2006

Ask Jack Baker on the hangout. He should know as good as anyone

Edited by - stanleytone on 06/20/2024 15:41:13

Jun 20, 2024 - 4:18:11 PM
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15437 posts since 6/2/2008

Wide banjo selection in NYC?.

Here's current inventory at the previously mentioned Retrofret.

That's it. You're a decade or so too late.

If you have a car, take a ride up the Hudson Valley to Beacon and visit Jake's Main Street Music. Or about a 2-hour train ride from Grand Central.

Jun 20, 2024 - 4:22:01 PM
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5150 posts since 2/20/2016

Lark Street Music in Teaneck NJ has a Recording King, a Gold Tone, and an Ome in stock.
Plus a Deering with a grenadillo Hartford style tone ring.

Jake's Main Street Music in Beacon NY has a couple of Deerings and a couple of Omes.

Retrofret has only open backs right now, and they price their instruments high.

A wide range of choices to try?  Right now, offerings seem to be a bit slim even here in Tennessee, although there are a few at various stores. At this moment, probably the best selection of resonator banjos are at Lowe Vintage in North Carolina; and Jim Britton's Ceres Banjo Works in TN. But these are mostly Gibson conversion banjos, most of them with prices of $4000 and up.  And a long way to drive.

You could take a chance on mail ordering an RK-35 or 36 from one of the more reputable dealers. They are decent instruments, and can be bought for $1100 or $1200 + shipping.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/20/2024 16:27:14

Jun 20, 2024 - 4:28:54 PM



2373 posts since 8/9/2019

Jun 20, 2024 - 5:58:30 PM

1429 posts since 1/26/2011

Geoff Hohwald of Banjo Warehouse has moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio with a bunch of banjos. That would be a couple of night trip for you by car, but you could play a number of different banjos of different makes if you made the trip.

Jun 20, 2024 - 6:36:59 PM

15751 posts since 10/30/2008

Two places that are a long drive from NYC where you can see some banjos are Music Emporium in Lexington Mass -- they usually have more open backs than resonator banjos but check their website. A further drive is Bernunzio Uptown Music in Rochester NY. They have a wide variety of banjos including old tenors, plectrums, open back and some bluegrass banjos. Again, check their website.

Check website of Vintage Instruments (Fred Oster's shop) in Philly, on South Broad.

Banjo shopping is not easy in the northeast.

Jun 20, 2024 - 11:47:50 PM



5150 posts since 2/20/2016

The stores Dick mentioned are worth keeping an eye on, but they don't have much now.

The only resonator banjo that Music Emporium currently has is a pre-war Granada tenor.
Bernunzio has a couple of Bacons, a 1929 RB-3 archtop [an expensive banjo], a Gold Star, and a couple of oddities.
Vintage Instruments Philly has only an older Deering and a couple of Gold Tones without tone rings.

They are good shops to watch, but right now their stocks are thin.


Banjo Warehouse's inventory is way down. They do have four Stellings, a couple of Deerings, a Yates, and a Mitch. Other than that, they are limited to a couple of Goodtimes and a handful of imports. I do not know whether or not they intend to replenish their stock.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/21/2024 00:00:21

Jun 21, 2024 - 3:52:15 PM

15751 posts since 10/30/2008

Bob C, can you send me a link to the Granada tenor at Music Emporium? I can't find that.


Jun 21, 2024 - 5:23:34 PM



5150 posts since 2/20/2016

It's gone. I guess someone bought it this morning.
I didn't look at it closely, it was way past my bedtime. But it was a 40 hole archtop with one piece flange, and appeared to be in very nice condition. Hopefully the new owner won't cut the rim.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/21/2024 17:39:13

Jun 21, 2024 - 6:04:38 PM



5150 posts since 2/20/2016

This reminded me of the recent, and rather tempestuous prewar Gibson thread.
I don't know why some folks think nice old Mastertones aren't selling . . . iirc this one was $22.5k, and it didn't last long.

Jun 21, 2024 - 6:09:21 PM

139 posts since 8/14/2018

Bucks County folk shop in PA ( ) has a stelling, a wildwood, a conversion and two Mike Terris banjos (local luthier and a good human being) on their site. They’re under two hours away by car, may be worth a shot. I would call before hand to confirm inventory though, as the last time I went to check out a specific banjo it had sold but wasn’t removed from the site.

Edited by - TimFoster on 06/21/2024 18:09:47

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