Traditional Irish Music
For fun, I thought we might start a list, to see which are the most popular makes & models of Tenor Banjo, to be owned & played, amongst our members here.
As you post your replies, I'll add the name of the Banjo or Banjos you play & also your name to our list below.
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Gold Tone: 3
Dave Boyle: 1
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Members who have contributed to this list:
David Dean Agee
Lars 'Larry Mor' Mott
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Banjos are like shades of grey, almost too many to count. So the only way anyone can say that one banjo is better than ALL the others, is if they have actually seen & played ALL the others. However, even then, the most they can ever say is that they just prefer one over all the rest, but that doesn't actually mean that it is better, only that they think it is so. I guarantee, there'll be 100 or 1,000 folks round the corner, with a different favourite. ;-)
Dick, I agree with you when it comes to a quality banjo. While there are bad banjos out there, when you reach a certain level of craftsmanship the playing field levels out quite a bit. When you reach this point I think it boils down to personal preference and how the banjo is set up. Different styles of playing can also affect how a player views a banjo in regards to construction and set up.
It seems like this is one of the few instruments in this genre of music where there can be so much variety (neck length, scale length, pot diameter and depth, resonator, head construction).
Gold Tone IT250F with Gold Tone's pickup and a Fishman preamp.
Would have liked a Jazz Age classic, but was dissuaded by their prices and rough conditions.
Quite happy with the GT. Plays wonderfully and will cut through an army of fiddles and whistles in a session.
...Still, I'm a little envious of the Paramount, Vega and Gibson boys...
I play an Astor which seems to be a brand name used by Carl Fischer Music in the 1920's.
I play a 17 fret Vega Whyte Laydie with an 117/8' rim which I bout about 30 years ago. Its a bit of a weird size but because of that it fit my budget.
Vega , Style F.
1923 Vega Style F, open back, 17 fret, 10 15/16" head. I love it! Replaced the friction tuners with small-shaft planetary tuners, octave mandolin strings, and a black CoolPik (heavy, but sometimes medium). I bought it on a whim, since it uses the same GDAE tuning as my mandolin (so I didn't have to relearn the few jigs & hornpipes that I already knew). I'm getting more & more addicted to banjos the more I play it. Too bad for my neighbors.
gold tone it250
8 Framus banjo’s, (I like these a lot, I was going to add an embarrassed smiley face but there doesn't seem to be any here).
Ludwig (bought in error, no tone ring, have never played it in a session as I don’t like the sound).
If I had to pick one to keep it would be the Dave Boyle or one of the Framus.
Thanks, to Kevin Walsh, Francis Strong, Anne Wright, Gary Hoffman & Paul Desmond.