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Merci beaucoup! - Muddy Waters shows off his French at the Montreal Jazz Festival

Author Topic: Banjo Advice  (Read 11361 times)

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Offline blueshome

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #60 on: April 21, 2009, 02:53:00 AM »
Gut strings, no frets.

Offline frankie

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #61 on: April 21, 2009, 03:36:17 AM »
Gut strings, no frets.

Now you're talking.  What's your budget?  You can get a fantastically inexpensive instrument from Eric Prust in Sequim, WA for a little more than $200...  if your budget is higher, there are a few makers that do minstrel reproductions (Flesher, Wunderlich) and a few that make minstrel-inspired instruments (Menzies comes to mind) - and then there are gourd banjos (Hyatt, Ross, Thornburg)...  if you're handy with tools, building your own gourd banjo might be a worthy project.

Offline dj

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2009, 05:39:10 AM »
Quote
We should probably start with your definition of that phrase

Frankie, realistically my banjo budget would top out at around $800 and hopefully remain quite a ways below that.  Frets are a necessity.  And having played a gut stringed viola da gamba in my youth, I'm staying far away from those - I want to spend more time playing than tuning.   :D

Offline banjochris

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2009, 03:40:46 PM »
Something like this, maybe? It's on sale...
http://bernunzio.com/item.php?sku=0913138

Offline dj

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2009, 04:06:13 PM »
Yeah, something like that!  Thanks for pointing that out, Chris.  Coincidentally, I'll be in Rochester in a week and a half.  Time to start negotiations with my wife!

Offline frankie

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2009, 05:54:15 PM »
That's a cool banjo - dj, you should note that it's set up currently for synthetic strings and might need a slightly different setup for steel.  You might like the synthetic strings, though.  They have a warmer tone than steel, not nearly as nice sounding as gut, but hold their tune much better and last practically forever.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #66 on: April 22, 2009, 04:24:00 AM »
Gut strings, no frets.

Gut frets, no strings???

( ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;))

Sorry - but it's all Blueshome's fault for setting me up....
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 04:25:15 AM by Parlor Picker »
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Richard

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #67 on: April 23, 2009, 01:03:36 AM »
Keep the topic going I'm learning  :D
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline git-fiddle

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #68 on: April 23, 2009, 12:29:11 PM »
I agree Richard...Let's keep this tread going! Anyway I got my banjo the other day Nice open back with a maple neck and 11 inch pot..I will post pics soon so you guys can tell me what you think....it's got a fat neck on it for one thing which is great for me, I have fat hands.... ( The neck was custom built by the previous owner )
''...My road is rough and rocky on my way...'' Cryin' Sam Collins.

Dobro33H

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Re: Banjo Advice
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2009, 03:29:05 AM »
ealistically my banjo budget would top out at around $800 and hopefully remain quite a ways below that. 

Old banjos don't always make good starter instruments. Most of the cheap banjos built between the 1890's and the 1920's are going to have issues - and the good ones will be pretty expensive.

Years ago the old catalog banjos (Kay, Harmony, Silvertone) made good starter instruments - but it is hard to find good ones in playable condition nowadays.

The modern imported banjos usually feature an aluminum rim and a resonator. They will get you playing - but price and quality are all over the board.

The best imported started banjo I have found is the Tyler Mountain TM5-35. It's a simple open back banjo that plays well enough to get started. We sell the TM5-35 with a complete set of instructional stuff for $269.95 so there is a lot of bang for the buck.

Savanna (http://www.savannahacoustic.com/Open-Back-Banjo.1809.0.html) and Rover (http://www.sagamusic.com/catalog/details.asp?ProductID=RB-20) are also offering some nice starter banjos.

I have also gotten word that Poppas Boxes (http://www.papasboxes.com/photos.html) is going to start making cigar box banjos again. I wound up the their prototype instrument last year (yes, it is cool to be me) and I am still head over heels in love with this little instrument.



A few months ago we started building an American-made affordable banjo. the The Somerset S-5 Minuteman starts at $649.00. The banjo is built by Chris Via on his farm in Virginia and I'm really proud of the way the project turned out.
http://somersetbanjo.com/s-5.html

There are a lot of options within your budget. Have some fun shopping around.

-Patrick








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