Our Recommendations: The Best 5 and 6 String Banjos
These reasonably priced banjo brand models make my top recommended list. They are a solid choice for beginners as well as for more experienced musicians. I wouldn't hesitate to give any one of these as a gift, either. Of course there are other brand models that fit the criteria for a good banjo, but I kept this list right now to those banjos that are more affordable, and that I, or players I know, have owned or played enough to recommend with assurance. These also have the lowest discounted price I could find online.
Oscar Schmidt OB5 (closed backed)
Jameson 5 and 6 string (closed backed)
Deering Goodtime 2 Banjo Made in USA
Gold Tone 5 String Cripple Creek
Vangoa Entry Level 5 String Banjo Bundle: Great Gift Choice For A New Banjo Player!
In selecting a good quality banjo you can buy online at a good price (much cheaper than in a store) you need to make sure it has the basic features that set a good banjo apart. (also see What Makes A Good Banjo) If we haven't reviewed the banjo you are interested in, and want our opinion, please contact us here. We will do our best to give you a good, well researched, and unbiased opinion.
Features we look for in selecting a good banjo:
Geared 5th tuner
Adjustable truss rod
Removable resonator (if applicable)
Real wood fret board, sides and resonator (if applicable)
Quality metal/chrome hardware
Sturdy, reliable construction throughout
High customer rating (4-5 stars on Amazon and other online shops)
Warranty/Returnable (always double check when buying online)
Note: There are few banjos that ship “ready to play”, requiring some set up and adjustments, regardless of what they cost. The Jamesons and Oscar Schmidts require a little set up that is easily done, like setting the bridge and adjusting the tune. You can find out how to do this online or on this site. However, the Deerings come ready to play. (Deering is the only top banjo brand made in the USA; most other banjos are made in China, contracted by American companies to build to their specifications)
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