Last Updated on January 26, 2023 by David
Playing a good banjo is what every banjo player dreams of. Sounding, playability, design, and even price have become considerable factors when choosing a banjo. There are tens of banjo brands out there, but choosing the best banjo brands could be a daunting task. Not all instrument manufacturers can produce high-quality banjos. It’s always great for musicians including banjo players to play a good instrument from reputable brands. Here are the top banjo brands every banjo player should consider.
Gold-Tone Music Group
Gold-Tone Music Group is an acoustic banjo specialist producing high-quality instruments since 1993, formerly known as Gold Tone Banjo. The company is one of the best banjo brands that crafts various banjos for players of all levels. Gold-Tone Music Group currently also produces other string instruments including guitars, bass, ukulele, and mandolins. If you’re a strict acoustic banjo player, then Gold Tone banjos could be your best option.
Their manufacturing expansion also put some experimental values to the banjo. Gold-Tone Music Group also develops and produces hybrid instruments like baritone banjos played by Bela Fleck, the banjola, cello banjo, banjo guitar or banjitar, and so forth. Gold-Tone pampers all string players of all levels with their extremely high-quality yet mind-blowing instruments.
Gold-Tone Music Group offers a spectrum of banjo products you can find major music instrument stores or online. All banjo players would get what they need at Gold Tone instruments. If it’s your first banjo, you may consider the Gold Tone CC-50, the most popular entry-level banjo, and certainly one of the best in the market.
Deering Banjo Company
Deering is one of the most popular and professional banjo brands well-known for its great sounding and high-quality craftsmanship. All banjo players who have been playing their instrument for a while should have known this brand. It’s pretty much like a Fender or a Gibson custom shop for guitar players. The company is an artisan banjo luthier that makes all their instruments by hand.
As a mature music instrument company, Deering has successfully captured diverse configurations of banjo playing and translated into their well-segmented products. You may want to start with their budget line Goodtime Banjos. They’re high-quality banjo crafted by beginners luthiers of the company so you can expect good craftsmanship. If you want to expand your banjo playing experience, you may consider their fancier series including Eagle, Artist, or Private Collection series.
Some famous best banjo brands and artists use Deering banjos including Mumford and Sons, The Kingston Trio, Taylor Swift, Scott Avett, Jens Kruger, and many more. These artists have diverse playing styles and they have their own Deering banjo choice. Deering banjos are available in music instrument stores and online e-commerce or marketplaces.
Oscar Schmidt or now known as Oscar Schmidt by Washburn is another major stringed instrument manufacturing company with a century of the establishment. While the company is renowned for its guitars, their extensive experience and acknowledgment make all of their stringed instruments also poured with a high standard of craftsmanship including their banjos. If you’re looking for high-end banjos, you should have a look at Oscar Schmidt’s banjo instrument products.
Even though Oscar Schmidt is well-known for its luxury stringed instrument products, the company actually offers a slightly flexible option for the Banjo player. For example, Oscar Schmidt OB5 has gained popularity among the banjo players. The instrument can provide great playability for beginner and intermediate banjo players. On the other hand, professional banjo players won’t run out options at Oscar Schmidt.
You can basically find Oscar Schmidt banjos at a major musical store or shop them online through the marketplace or their website. Other banjo models you may consider from Oscar Schmidt include OB3, OB4, and OB6 models.
Fender is worldwide-known as the giant guitar manufacturer, and the company has become one of those good banjo brands as they’ve successfully attracted the market with their banjo products. Fender is renowned for its capability to accommodate players of all styles and all levels into their diverse yet high-quality instrument. You can now find Fender banjos are pretty familiar on the stage and major country gigs. The acceptance is actually outstanding, and that’s why Fender deserves this list.
As expected, the established musical instrument like Fender has a great option for players. From budget instruments to luxury collections, you can find all of them on Fender and their banjos aren’t an exception. Concert Tone or FB-59 could be a great instrument for beginner and intermediate banjo players. Even when you’re on a budget, you can still get a good, playable Fender banjo.
Another considerable factor to buy a Fender banjo is that the company backs it with a lifetime warranty. It could mean that purchasing a Fender banjo is a lifetime investment for a banjo player. What could be better than that?
Recording King is a long-established American musical instrument manufacturer known for its matured craftsmanship on their banjos. You can find Recording King banjos are mostly vintage but modern at the same time. The interesting part of Recording King’s instruments is that you can clearly see how a 90-year experience transforms raw materials into masterpieces.
If you’re looking for a unique, eye-catchy banjo without sacrificing the quality and playability, then Recording King Banjo should be on your list. Recording King banjos are currently available on major instrument shops and online. You may consider the Bluegrass banjo or the LBL Starlight series to start. For a more decent playing experience, the fully handmade Recording King RK-R20 banjo of USA series could be your best option.
Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate banjo player, having a good quality banjo is not only a good investment but also the best way to start. Beware of banjo brands to avoid and if you need a banjo with good playability for your practices and gigs, you can always refer to this list. Get your banjo now!