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Gold Tone AC-1 5 String Openback Banjo

5-String Banjo

  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Rim: Composite
  • Head: 11" Remo LC coated
  • Inays: Dot
  • Binding: ABS Black
  • 2-Way adjustable tension rod
  • Scale length: 665 mm
  • Nut width: 30.2 mm Zero Glide
  • Maple bridge with ebony cap
  • Adjustable tailpiece
  • 22 Frets
  • 16 Clamping screws
  • Flat bar hoops
  • Closed tuners
  • Tuning: G-D-G-B-D
  • Chrome-plated hardware
  • Colour: Matte black
  • Includes gig bag

Further Information

Number Of Strings 5
Body Plastic
Neck Mahogany
Frets 22
incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag Yes
Pickup No

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8 Customer Ratings
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5 /5
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Cheapest banjo still worth playing
bunditty, 05.12.2020
As an aspiring banjo player, I did my research, and I have found this is the cheapest banjo that still comes as recommended by veteran players.

As advertised, Gold Tone does not skimp on quality control and only ships instruments that are ready to be played. Having received it, I examined it in accordance with online tutorials. Every part of the instrument, from the head tension, to action, to bridge placement, was adjusted correctly, ensuring I did not have to learn to set up a banjo the first moment I held it in my hands (and there's a lot to learn about banjo setup!). All I had to do is tune it.

Learning to play it is a pleasure, as it rings bright and clear, and stays in tune for a long time. It is pretty loud, despite the open back. A resonator can be bought from Gold Tone to attach to it, making it even louder.

Generally, it is well made both at first glance and on second deeper look. There's no bump, no irregularity, no crack, no notch to be found, and all the materials seem to be of high quality.

The matte black finish on the ebony neck and the composite rim is beautiful, like an old piano, and seamless - nobody will tell the difference. The fretboard is also visually appealing.

Now, the downsides.

The finish is unfortunately very delicate. I have scratched it with my fingernails, by just accidentally lightly bumping the headstock against the wall, and when I attempted to attach a clip-on strap. This doesn't have to be a downside if you just treat it as the instrument gaining character, but I felt it should be mentioned.

The pot is basically weightless compared to the neck, which makes it difficult if not impossible to play without a strap. Otherwise, you will be supporting the weight of the neck with your left hand, which makes fretting very hard.

Fortunately, a good strap fixes that problem easily, and there's plenty of information online on how to properly attach it. I recommend using a strap which you tie onto the banjo (you can do this with any guitar strap and some sturdy cord) rather than one with clips, which can damage the finish, vibrate and make a sound, or snap and break at the worst moment.

The gig bag is... there. It's paper thin, and by the time you'll be thinking of going to actual gigs, you'll be wanting to upgrade. It's still useful - I keep the banjo inside it to prevent gathering dust or accidental damage.

The lack of an arm rest definitely contributes to it being so inexpensive, but after an hour of playing you'll be looking at a dent in your forearm. A soft fabric wristband fixes this problem, alternatively, arm rests can be bought from Gold Tone.

Overall: I love it. I'm enjoying every day playing it and getting better. The downsides are minor and easily overcome with a little independent thinking, which banjo will require of you either way. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start out on their banjo journey smoothly and without having to deal with hit-or-miss hardware and fixing factory mistakes yourself.
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de Original review (Show translation)
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Insgesamt sehr zufrieden
jocgraf, 29.09.2020
Um in mein Soloprogramm als Liedermacher etwas Abwechslung zu bringen, habe ich mir dieses Instrument gekauft.
Das Banjo ist gut verarbeitet, aber der matte schwarze Lack, am Hals hatte einen ca. 3cm langen Kratzer. Das erspart mir schon mal den Ärger des ersten Kratzers. :) Mechaniken sind leichtgängig, das Instrument hält die Stimmung sehr gut. Das Instrument ist insgesamt gut eingestellt und sofort Spielbereit.
Der Klang ist für einen Open Back Banjo sehr kräftig, oder wie meine Frau sagt: "Der Klang geht durch Mark und Bein". Die Lautstärke lässt sich mit einem zusammengelegtes Händehandtuch regulieren, das man zwischen Stab und Fell klemmt. Die Bespielbarkeit ist gut. Als Zubehör ist eine Tasche sowie das nötige "Bordwerkzeug vorhanden.
Ich denke es handelt sich um ein gutes Einsteiger Instrument, das gut klingt und gut spielen lässt.
Die Fa. Goldtone bietet auf ihrer Homepage für diese Modell ein Resonator Kit an, das auf der Rückseite angebracht werden kann, so kann man das Instrument zu einem Banjo mit Resonanzkörper machen. Wäre toll, wenn das Thomann noch ins Programm nehmen könnte!
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de Original review (Show translation)
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Einfach und gut
Ich jetzt so, 29.12.2020
Sehr ordentlich verarbeitet und eingestellt, lässt sich bequem spielen und fällt klanglich nicht gegen mein Deering Goodtime Open Back ab.
Das AC-1 klingt sogar eher noch definierter und fetziger, ob man das jetzt mag oder nicht.
Bei den Features habe ich einen Stern abgezogen, der Hals könnte für meinen Geschmack doch noch zwei Millimeter breiter sein.
Es ist federleicht, ist deshalb meine erste Wahl als Picnicbanjo, und dient als Ersatz wenn das Deering mal im Proberaum bleibt.
Wer ein solides Einsteigerbanjo sucht, darf hier
beruhigt zugreifen.
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fr Original review (Show translation)
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pascalbrun, 28.07.2021
absolument ravi de mon achat
son clair ,manche trés facile a jouer
parfait pour débuter
l'instrument est léger mais d'une sonorité puissante pour un open back
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£222
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Available immediately
Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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