Creek Don't Rise

Travel Banjo choices
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Author:  paulrace [ Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Travel Banjo choices

A reader writes:

I just read your reviews on the travel banjo's because I am looking for a high quality travel banjo. My research has brought me to the Gold Tone Traveler Deluxe - TB 250. I was wondering your feelings on this particular banjo. I am torn between this one and the Deerling Parlor. I have not held either one so not sure about quality. Any help you can give would be highly appreciated.

Thanks for getting in touch. I owned one of Gold Tone's CC-Traveler A-length banjo, which included a resonator and tone ring.

My biggest concern with Gold Tone is that they're made in China, and don't always come completely set up. Yes, their materials claim that they inspect and set them up in the U.S. before they ship them to the stores, but I've had a couple in my hands that didn't seem to be set up at all.

The CC-Traveler was heavy because of the tone ring, and quite loud for what it was.

The TB-250 has planetary tuners, which is good if you're used to those. I'm sure it would be just as heavy. If you're thinking about backpacking, I'd be more interested in a backless banjo, which both Gold-Tone and Deering make.

Personally, I like the Deerings because they're just so playable and the quality control is exceptional. That said, any of the Gold-Tones except for the Plucky can be MADE playable with a good setup.

If you AREN'T backpacking, you need a really loud banjo, and you have a good setup person, the CC Traveler or the TB-250 will do a fine job for you, louder than the Deering Parlor, which doesn't have a tone ring. And heavier. :-)

Hope this is in time to do you some good.

Best of luck,

Paul Race

P.S. to other readers - the article referred to is here: ... parlor.htm

Author:  paulrace [ Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Travel Banjo choices

Another reader writes:

You don't mention Tranjos in your article on short scale and travel banjos. I have had one for a few years now, used it a lot for travel (in fact I am here in Galax VA with it now!). You should take a look at them. They are actually full scale (25.5") but are quite short due to innovative design, and can come apart for easy packing in a few minutes. Don't sound too bad although obviously lacking a little in volume, can still be heard in a group setting if not too loud. Very clever little instrument. I have the one shown at this link:

Worth a look just for the interest.

Thanks for getting in touch. I'll try to add them on the next pass.

Having a nice "winter" so far? Here in Springfield, Ohio, we've had some scorchers, but nothing like you get.

Have a great week,

The reader replied:
By all means update the article sometime, but if you yourself do travel, and need a banjo for that purpose, you should actually take a look at one.
I am finding the weather very pleasant here in the Appalachians where I am travelling for 2 months. It does indeed get hotter where I come from !

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