What is the BEST, Affordable Mastertone Style Bluegrass Banjo Today?

Let us introduce you to the Gold Tone Twanger!

For Decades a variety of instrument manufacturers have attempted to capture the magic of the Pre World War 2 Gibson Mastertone Banjos.  Many have taken it a step further and attempted to produce an affordable version of these magnificent “Pre War” Banjos.  Some have succeeded.

The original was the Gold Star Banjos.  Their Crown Jewel was the G20JD Jd Crowe Gold Plated Signature Model.  The earliest versions of those made in 1981 were off the charts astonishing and truly compete with and even beat many Authentic Gibson Banjos.  However possibly due to some sort of lack of demand in the 1980’s and more likely the high cost involved with Gold Plating these banjos were discontinued and are no longer made.  Collectors have been known to pay as much as $8,000 dollars for one of these banjos today so I am not kidding when I say these are serious business banjos. 

Fast Forward about 20 years and a company called Music Link got involved with Greg Rich and started producing the Recording King Banjos.  Greg Rich ran the Gibson Custom Shop from 1987-1993 and is regarded as one of the finest Banjo Builders, Designers and Artists in the history of Banjo.  The Greg Rich contribution to Gibson was nothing short of magnificent and he applied his extensive experience to the Recording King Banjos.

The Recording King Banjos ruled the roost for years providing an exceptional tone that many people swear by.  They are made in the style of the Pre War Gibson Banjos and do deserve an honorable mention on this Blog Post.  They sound fantastic and I am a supporter of these Banjos.  In fact if it wasn’t for the Gold Tone Mastertone OB3 Twanger this Blog Post may be all about these fine Banjos.

A few years ago a wonderful asset to the Banjo community named Ben Clark got together with Gold Tone and they wanted to try an experiment.  Could they succeed at taking one of the most historical and well known Pre War Gibson Banjos, the Gibson RB3 “Banger” owned by JD Crowe and actually make a reasonable copy that would deliver the Pre War Tone to the market at an affordable price?  Considering Gold Tone’s mission is to provide More Bang for the Buck it is no surprise that this team more then accomplished this goal.

The Gold Tone OB3 Twanger is in my opinion the absolute best Mastertone Style Banjo available today and is a wonderful copy of the Pre War Gibson RB3 played by JD Crowe that is known as The Banger.  This nickname carried over into the model name for the Gold Tone OB3 and this banjo is known as The Twanger.  This banjo produces volume, tone and pop that no banjo under $2000 produces and has swept the Banjo World by Storm.

The brilliant minds of Gold Tone studied every inch of the JD Crowe Banger striving to duplicate this banjo in the absolute greatest way possible.  Everything was examined and the outcome was superb.  This features the same mahogany neck and resonator design along with the rosewood fretboard and even the original fretboard inlays were duplicated.  This banjo also features brilliant and stunning nickel hardware that includes a One Piece Flange and a No Hole Tone Ring.  

The No Hole Tone Ring produces a strong pop and bang.  The mahogany produces a strong bark with a deep and mellow tone that is made soft, sweet and present with the rosewood fretboard.  This banjo is loud and produces a multitude of tones at increasing volume depending on the intensity and force offered by the player.  This banjo will turn heads and bring attention to whoever is playing and maybe even fool others into believing they are playing a banjo that is a much higher cost.

If you are a Banjo Player on a Budget looking for More Pluck for the Buck the Gold Tone Twanger is calling your name.  Be sure to check out our huge selection of Gold Tone Bluegrass Banjos.