Banjo Scourge

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Musekatcher, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Forget the penalty and chick repellent that is a banjo for a moment...

    I've noticed something in the last 5 years that defies all other instruments of any kind - 90+% of all banjos are now offered by one maker. And there are zillions of offerings on every site, ever wholesaler, every used market. I've never seen this kind of imbalance before. It defies a couple free market beliefs.

    If there is such a demand for that many new banjos, then there should be competitors. If there are too many new banjos, production should slow down, and prices plunge. Neither has happened. This one maker appears to have increased production, and increased pricing. Without challenge from any other makers? And they are everywhere, like an invasive specie. Something's not right...

    But the main reason it bugs me, is I'm not interested in this makers banjos, and when searching on any and all markets and sites, I have to wade thru zillions of offerings of the same maker over and over again. like literally 9 of 10 listings are all the same from the same, and there are zillions of them. And its been this way for a while now, not like there was a couple years production that is being surplused. It appears to still be increasing? Its a nuisance.

    Anyway, just noticed it as an anomaly that defies explanation.
     
  2. Deebs3

    Deebs3 Tele-Meister

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    I believe I own one of those banjos.
     
  3. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

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    Not sure who you are referring to, but to balance the problem you describe, this is currently an absolute golden age for independent banjo makers, particularly in the US, but also in Europe, usually one or two person workshops producing some wonderful instruments, often with multi year waiting lists and not always hugely expensive.
     
  4. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, which brand is "the brand"? I see several on the market (I own a Deering Sierra and love it).
     
  5. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    are we talking left handed 5-string? otherwise, plenty of inventory. just guessing from avatar photo...
     
  6. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, but if they go out of business, then...
     
  7. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I’m a bit confused. There are lots of banjos on the market, but lots of Fender, lots of Gold Tone, lots of Good Time/Deering...

    (For the record, I own a 1979 Deering Intermediate, which today would be a Boston, and it’s a far better banjo than my playing deserved even when I still remembered how.)
     
  8. e23589

    e23589 Tele-Meister

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    I like the Recording King Banjos!
     
  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Meister

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    I have a Kasuga DeLuxe 5 string and my dad's Leedy Collegian tenor that he recieved at age 7 in 1932. My sister has his other newer tenor. I haven't given much thought to getting any others, so haven't watched that particular market place.
     
  10. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Deering made Good time banjo.
    It was not my only choice, just the top.

    If I had lotto winning money I'd get a Bishline Harvest banjo.

    Even if you hate everything about banjo's you can admire the beauty of this instrument.
     
  11. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    I just checked the local craigslist. Today's listings for banjo has these brands:
    Alabama $449
    Remo 5-string banjo $300
    Beaver Creek banjo $250
    Fender FB 58 Banjo $450
    Savannah 5-String Banjo $225
    Gretsch 5 string banjo $275
    Epiphone 5string banjo $350
    Idja Banjo 5st - $295
    Aria B900 White Pegasus $1450
    plus a few vintage Harmony, Framus, Rickard & Ludwig Kingston.


     
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  12. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

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    thumb_785037_product_catalog_large.jpeg.jpg
    Ah, the good old ubiquitous Remo Weatherking banjo, so beloved by ebay sellers.

    Still, even in the UK, it's still true that there are plenty of very playable (with careful set up), reasonably priced banjos available today from Deering, Gold Tone, Recording King, as well as the cheaper badge engineered instruments and huge choice as you go up the price range.
    https://hobgoblin.com/fretted-amp-stringed/5-string-banjos?dir=asc&order=brand

    Unless the OP cares to name names it's pretty hard to see his problem.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  13. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I've got Gibsons, Deering (with mastertone rings), Ramseys, and others. I'm not necessarily looking for lefties, but often looking for pots and candidates for conversion. Sone folks don't seem to see the same dominance from this one maker, but a search on Ebay, Reverb, and virtually all retail sites have more of this one maker than all others combined. Anyway, thanks all for sympathizing...now off to look for a non-mastertone Gibson as a lightweight conversion candidate.
     
  14. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Tele-Afflicted

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    Here I am in about 1985 with an Alvarez banjo that I purchased for my wife. She took lessons from Rob Bishline back then, who was a high school student in Tulsa. We had no idea that he’d become a premier banjo builder.

    upload_2019-11-12_18-17-2.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  15. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    Lefty 5 string banjo on the local craigslist:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Tele-Meister

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    Hey! I resemble that remark! And don’t tell my wife.

    But seriously, I know what you’re saying. Since Gibson got out of the banjo biz (and for years before that, ignored the mid- to low end of the market), it’s been all big D, all the time.

    Fortunately, there are all sorts of smaller makers, like Ome, Bishline, Nechville, Huber, Stelling and Prucha, along with even smaller shops, building amazing instruments, and not all of them are Gibson clones (there’s too much of that IMO). But none of them went after beginners and less deep-pocketed players like Deering. The only lower cost options with any wide distribution are Gold Tone, Gold Star and Recording King, and they don’t have the visibility and reach of Deering.

    Best choice today? Buy used. Except for pre-war instruments, they don’t really hold their value like they should. I know lefties are hard to find, but they do show up.
     
  17. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try and buy stock in this Company I will,,,

    th3VF5F6K7.jpg
     
  18. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    th2ESC48QJ.jpg
     
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  19. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    "chick repellant"?

    i just started talking to an ex-girlfriend after years of silence, and one of the first things she brought up was her new banjo.
     
  20. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Meister

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    Had a terrible thing happen to my friend: he left his banjo in the back seat of his convertible with the top down, went to dinner, and the unthinkable happened! When he returned, someone had put ANOTHER banjo in the back seat!:lol:
     
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