Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Demo/review of Gardner banjo.

Views: 102

Comment by Tom Taggart on September 27, 2016 at 2:41am

Nice job comparing the two different banjos Lee.  One thing I would have liked to have seen you mention is a comparison of the price between the two banjos.  I am assuming the Bell banjo costs considerably more than the Gardner.  Gardner does make some nice instruments.  I purchased my Mountain Dulcimer from him and it sounds great and I am very happy with it.  I was considering buying another banjo my current one has a skin head and keeping it in tune can be a pain sometimes.  But, hey, that is a problem the old minstrel players had to deal with as well.  Again, nice job on the comparison.

Comment by Leonidas (Lee) Jones on September 27, 2016 at 8:35am
Thank you Tom, I appreciate it. While I understand your wanting to know something about pricing, my purpose was to do the comparison, not to act as a salesman for one or the other. They are both fine instruments, and I like them both. I will bring both on our event this weekend. With possible cloudy conditions with showers off and on on Friday, playing on skin head at the time of the school program might be a problem. If the Bell remains playable, I'll certainly play on that.

There is always the option one relaxing the skin head on a Bell, or any other skin head instryment, with a fiberskin head. Due to the size of the pot, it would need to be specially ordered, which can be done on line, My goal was not to change the Bell in any way, just to give me another option.

I will say though, that while the Bell is more expensive than the Gardner, whether it's"substantially more" or not is open to speculation. The Bell is, in my opinion, very reasonably priced for the quality of the instrument. It you are lucky enough to find someone selling a used instrument, it might even be comparable.

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