Dean Guitars Backwood 6-String Banjo with Pickup Review

Today we review the Dean Guitars BW6CEBC Backwood 6-String Banjo, which is a gorgeous-looking instrument, I must say off the top. It’s a sleek black chrome finish with black chrome hardware. If a banjo could be compared to an animal, this one would be a sleek, black panther. The sounds that you’ll be able to coax from this beauty will soon eclipse the sight of the banjo on stage. You’ll be tempted to place this banjo on a stand and stare as if it were art, but you’d miss the sweet sounds of this banjo if you did that.

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Specifications

  • Clear 11” Remo head
  • Mahogany body
  • Dual-action truss rod
  • Black chrome finish
  • Black chrome hardware
  • Die-cast tuners

First Impressions

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice about the black-chrome, 6-string banjo from Dean Guitars is how beautiful it is. The second thing you’ll notice with this banjo is that it’s the haunting sustain and rich sounds it produces. There are some who might be disappointed with the sound of this banjo guitar, but it’s likely that they don’t understand the setup involved for a banjo out of the box.

This comes with a pickup, which you’ll be able to use with the system you already have for your instruments. The system you have will depend on where you plan on playing this instrument. It’ll vary whether you’re on stage or in the studio. You might even want to start recording yourself during the learning stages, so you can see how good you’ll get with practice.

Required Setup

Out of the box, the banjo will need some work. If the manufacturer sent your banjo fully tuned with the bridge in place, you’d have broken strings and a broken bridge to replace. Everything is loosened to ensure that nothing breaks during shipping.

When you receive the banjo, you’ll need to tighten the drum and adjust the action. Some banjo players will change out the strings to a type that they like. The bridge might need to be sanded, but it’ll definitely need to be adjusted. Along with the tightening and adjusting, the banjo strings will have to be tuned properly.

It’ll take some time to adjust the pickup that’s been supplied with this banjo, too. Keep all this in mind when you’re opening the box, so you’re not disappointed. If you don’t know how to setup your new banjo, take it to a professional who will show you how it’s done.

Banjo Materials

Banjos are made from quality materials. The type of wood in the banjo depends on the design as well as the manufacturer. This banjo has mahogany in the body and neck, and rosewood in the fretboard. The Remo head is 11” of clear material that allows you to see the resonator behind the banjo. The hardware is black and silver chrome.

Resonator or Open Back

This banjo has a resonator, which is finished in a chrome black like the rest of the banjo guitar. This gives the banjo a sleek finish. You can see the back of the resonator through the head, which gives the piece added dimension. There’s chrome hardware keeping the resonator attached to the banjo.

Banjo Guitar Transition

One of the best things about the 6-string banjo is that it allows guitar players to transition from the guitar to the banjo easily. It’s tuned like a guitar, but the sound is different. This gives you more variety as a guitar player when you can pick up a banjo and produce sounds that are pleasing to the ear immediately. Instead of being frustrated at how long it can take to learn the banjo, you’ll be able to play songs right away.

Magnetic Pickup

This banjo comes with a magnetic pickup that makes it easy to send the sounds of the banjo to an amplifier or a PA system for when you’re good enough to play for an audience. You don’t have to drill or make alterations to the banjo itself to attach this pickup. It’s meant to fit on the banjo without being destructive to the instrument.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I replace the strings on this banjo?
Most customers found that the factory strings weren’t to their liking. Replacing them wouldn’t be a terrible thing to do. Some like 11 gauge strings while others like 10 gauge.

How much does the banjo weigh?
The banjo is a middle-of-the-road weight of 8.9 pounds. You can easily take this on road trips or camping. You’ll have to decide if you can handle lugging this on a hiking trip into the woods, though.

The Dean Guitars Backwood 6-String Banjo with Pickup is a simply beautiful piece of equipment. You’ll be tempted to place this banjo on a stand and admire it instead of playing it. That would be a mistake since it sounds even better than it looks.

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