Gold-Tone has been crafting some of the best banjos and for that matter other string instruments, on the market. They cover all bases, starting from beginner, more affordable banjos to intermediate and pro-level instruments. Their ability to synthesize innovations with the vintage design is what keeps them going for years. Their CC-Plectrum Cripple Banjo is a stunning instrument that we would recommend to any beginners, intermediate and even pro-level players. It is one of the best banjos in its price range by combining quality craftsmanship, tonewood, and functional hardware.
People at Gold Tone know how to build their instruments that deliver on the best sound and playability. With their CC-Plectrum the company went with 13″ maple resonator and maple neck. This 12 bracket banjo has twenty-two fret gorgeous blackwood fingerboard with snowflake inlays. The natural gloss finish accentuates the coloring of the wood and lets the wood breathe. The removable resonator makes this instrument very versatile and more interesting for people who do not want to buy two separate banjos. The black ABS binding and Gold Tone engraved armrest add to the overall stability and vintage look of the instrument. All in all, the construction this banjo allows for great comfort, ease of playing, and, might I say, gorgeous looks.
Hardware-wise, the CC-Plectrum features two-way adjustable truss rod that will allow you to adjust the neck angle and make your life just that much easier. The standardly shaped headstock keeps the balanced weight of the instrument and beds beautiful maple veneer. On the headstock, you will see sealed guitar-style tuners that are simple to use even for absolute novices and keeps the tune pretty well. Moving a bit down, you will see maple bridge with the ebony cap. There is really no complaint I have about the hardware. The string is pretty okay, there is never anything too special about the strings that the instrument is shipped with. The action is perfect, it is low enough for comfortable playing but not too low. The string spacing is a bit wide for a lot of people. I personally would rather have more space and it is more comfortable for me, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Plectrum Banjo Sound
It is never easy to review instruments, especially banjos and compare them to other models. It is hard not only because I am a serial procrastinator, but because whenever I have to write a review of a cheaper instrument or a more expensive I will always have a benchmark to compare it to. While for some it is an advantage, sometimes it makes me feel that I might be unfair to certain models.
For instance, I started playing around with CC-Plectrum after having to review several more affordable instruments. While the cheaper ones have a lot of pluses (I mean the price is enough, duh), picking up a model that was made with more high-end and durable tonewood, with better craftsmanship always feels like you just got your first prescription of glasses and nothing will ever be the same. This model has a crisp, balanced tone while also maintaining a pretty impressive volume. The fact that this model also has a removable resonator is a huge plus and adds to the versatility. This is an amazing banjo for many styles but especially for someone who is interested in pop, Celtic and jazz.
Gold Tone produces a lot of instruments, they have a range of ukuleles, guitars, mandolins and so on. But banjos are probably the main reason why I love this company. While there are definitely more high-end and expensive banjos on the market, the Gold Tone CC-Plectrum is one of the best banjos if you want something in mid-price range but also very high quality.
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