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Thread: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    I would second the recommendation of Steve Gerritsen and his Stone Banjo Company (good website). I bought a new banjo from Steve as a birthday present for my wife. It cost about $800 delivered, and it's a very nice instrument, an 11" open back. Steve will build whatever you want and he won't charge a fortune. Also...if you can find an Enoch Tradesman (11" or 12"), they're awfully fine banjos. You can get a new Enoch Tradesman (and sometimes a used one) at a good price from Bob Smakula. He knows a heck of a lot about open back banjos. [ http://www.smakula.com/etb.html ] Also...check the classifieds at Banjo Hangout for used banjos.

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    You’re a font of information. Thanks for taking the time to relate this. : )
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  4. #28
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    I'll second Mandobar's mention of Rickard. I've got a 12" Dobson, which has a nice, mellow sound, and a lot of sustain (sometimes too much).

    D.H.

  5. #29

    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hicks View Post
    I'll second Mandobar's mention of Rickard. I've got a 12" Dobson, which has a nice, mellow sound, and a lot of sustain (sometimes too much).

    D.H.
    The Maple Ridge has a Dobson tone ring too.

    You know, a well-placed rolled up towel or tee shirt will dampen some of the volume. It’s interesting to experiment with banjos with different tone rings. I’m playing three finger on an open back so there’s no need to go resonator-style (boy, are those things heavy). The Dobson ring gives it plenty of volume.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  6. #30
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    some neat open back moments, Meredith Moon has taken her Goodtime all over the earth
    I was startled recently to see her playing a different banjo! Her old Goodtime was still in the frame though.
    Doug Brock
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  7. #31
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    I like my Ome a lot, bluegrass resonator that i can take the resonator and shoe brackets off to convert if I want to. For open backs in different budget ranges, Reiter, some Ramseys (he... had an interesting history), Pisgah, RK w/model number 25 and above, enoch, Chuck Lee.

    There's lots of good makers, look at the list in https://www.banjohangout.org/classifieds/
    and elderly's list https://www.elderly.com/collections/category_banjos

    Rickard makes nice banjos, if you haven't read his bio it's really something https://rickardbanjos.com/about/bills-story/

    also if looking at Gibsons be careful, they for some reason never pursued legal action against people putting their logo on banjo headstocks and there's lots of fakes floating around. On BHO ads, it'll say something like "RB250, replacement neck by ___" to sort of make that clear

    One more: openbacks often are extremely neck heavy, if that's a problem with other string instruments you've had.
    Last edited by gtani7; Mar-14-2021 at 3:02pm. Reason: more detail
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  8. #32

    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    I was startled recently to see her playing a different banjo! Her old Goodtime was still in the frame though.
    She plays her Rickard a lot. In fact, last time I saw her play she played her entire set on it. It’s a half fretless.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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  10. #33
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    I have two Deering banjos, a Senator and a Golden Era. I suggest looking locally for any of the brands mentioned above. Banjo Hangout also has a classified section. Sometimes you can get a used banjo for an excellent price.

    The one thing to remember once you start down the slippery slope. A banjo player is a lonely man.

  11. #34

    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    M
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Connor View Post
    I have two Deering banjos, a Senator and a Golden Era. I suggest looking locally for any of the brands mentioned above. Banjo Hangout also has a classified section. Sometimes you can get a used banjo for an excellent price.

    The one thing to remember once you start down the slippery slope. A banjo player is a lonely man.
    People keep saying that, but there are easily at least three on-line banjo workshops and any given number so on-line festivals, boot camps, etc. on any given weekend. The mandolin activities available are far and few between. On Facebook, there are multiple clawhammer tunes of the month groups and an Irish tenor group to boot.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  12. #35
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    I’m interested in this thread and easily convinced that I need another instrument. Why should I (or should I not) want to buy this one?

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  13. #36
    Registered User Steve Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    Quote Originally Posted by lostsailor View Post
    I would second the recommendation of Steve Gerritsen and his Stone Banjo Company (good website). I bought a new banjo from Steve as a birthday present for my wife. It cost about $800 delivered, and it's a very nice instrument, an 11" open back. Steve will build whatever you want and he won't charge a fortune. Also...if you can find an Enoch Tradesman (11" or 12"), they're awfully fine banjos. You can get a new Enoch Tradesman (and sometimes a used one) at a good price from Bob Smakula. He knows a heck of a lot about open back banjos. [ http://www.smakula.com/etb.html ] Also...check the classifieds at Banjo Hangout for used banjos.
    This is a great suggestion. You cannot go wrong calling Bob Smakula and asking for his thoughts. He really knows his banjos and always has a great selection of instruments on hand. If I didn’t already have a house full of Tubaphones, I’d be calling him myself about that 1917 #3. Mercy, that is a beauty!

    NFI.

  14. #37
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open-back banjo recommendation for a mandolin player?

    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2014 Smart F-Style Mandola
    2018 Vessel TM5
    2019 Hogan F5

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